So much for waiting until midnight: the new track off Taylor Swift’s 1989 has emerged early. Hence, “Welcome to New York,” Taylor Swift style. The first track off her album really goes for the ’80s vibe, with tons of synth. Somehow I imagine Swift posting Amy Arbus’ famous photo of Madonna on St. Marks to an inspiration board, and saying, that’s what I want to evoke. But she doesn’t quite nail it. “Welcome to New York” sounds like it came out of a pop music factory, with a beat that will be the perfect soundtrack for a Tri-State Ford dealership commercial.
It’s the Sex and the City tour version of New York, so much so that one almost expects it to make a stop at Magnolia Bakery. It honors the city as the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of,” but only skims the surface. I wanted to highlight some specific lyrics:
“Walking through a crowd, the Village is a-glow…” Swift doesn’t specify which Village though. If “a-glow” is code for drunk, I’d go with East Village, but Swift’s romantic notion of New York begs me to think it’s the West.
“When we first dropped our bags on apartment floors, took our broken hearts put them in a drawer.” It’s worth noting that Taylor Swift’s apartment is a $15 million penthouse in Tribeca, and Orlando Bloom is one of her neighbors.
“And you can want who you want/Boys and boys and girls and girls.” It’s a nice sentiment, but this gets to the lack of specifics here. As much as I love the city, New York does not have a monopoly on tolerance. Gay marriage is now legal in 31 states.
“Like any great love it keeps you guessing/Like any real love, it’s ever changing/ Like any true love it drives you crazy, but you know you wouldn’t change anything anything anything.” This is Swift’s Carrie Bradshaw moment. Specifically, Carrie Bradshaw in the episode “Anchors Away.” The one in which she ditches a hot sailor who insults New York. “If Louis was right and you only get one great love, New York may just be mine, and I can’t have nobody talking s–t about my boyfriend,” Carrie says in voiceover.