?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
08 January 2018 @ 11:24 am
Ranking the music videos of ... Taylor Swift  
Note: Although I posted the Britney Spears ranking already, this is the first one I did.

So Demi Lovato's epic "Tell Me You Love Me" video got me thinking of other awesome videos out there and I randomly decided that I wanted to rank music videos of certain singers and the first one who came to mind was Taylor Swift because she's had some great ones that I've really enjoyed. So I sat down and watched them all and did my ranking. Firstly, I did not include the few videos that was just concert footage so "Fearless," "Sparks Fly," "Red," "The Last Time," and "New Romantics" are not included. Also, I am big on story over high-concept. Finally, this obviously was way subjective.



01.) Blank Space

This is amazing. Full-stop amazing. It doesn't matter how many times I watch it it never stops being amazing. The portraits in the hall. The first time she hangs his up, you can see the hatchet sticking out of the one opposite it. Her crying mascara'd face as she's singing. The over-the-top dramatics. Bicycling in the living room. Her standing on the horse at one point. Two horses in her bedroom. The random goat. The cutting up of his clothes. The glorious, glorious fashion. The house porn. The little, knowing looks she gives the camera. I know Joseph Kahn is a problematic WTF? when it comes to Taylor Swift, but damn, did he do a fantabulous job directing this video. It is absolutely brilliant.



Source

02.) Look What You Made Me Do

Awesome, awesome, awesome. This video had everything, she took all of the stuff that had been thrown at her in the past year or so (even much of it that was of her own making--the I <3 TS shirts, the Kanye/Kim receipts), the snake reputation, the squad, etc. and she ran with it. It was hilarious, it was on point. It was perfection. And that final sequence with all of the Taylors just made the video... absolutely elevated it to iconic status. (It also included something that I only caught now--even though I've watched this one several times already--the ballerina from "Shake It Off" bows and lowers herself ungracefully like she does in that video, lol!) LOVE. IT!

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

03.) Ours

I love this one so much. Aside from the end which just had me all verklempt, my favorite part was the whole bit with the xerox machine. I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen the video and do want to watch it: [Spoiler (click to open)]She walks up to the machine, the sign says "OUT OF PAPER," she comes back with a sheathe of paper, and a new sign says "OUT OF TONER." She then comes back carrying toner, and the entire machine is gone. She looks around like WTF? but with an office drone's affectation of WTF? so it's more a mild, 'I don't really care' lower-case wtf? It was hilarious. This video was just so, so good. It wasn't a play-by-play of the song (except for the beginning), but it absolutely fit the spirit of the song and was just sweet and funny and romantic. And it starred MATT! from Friday Night Lights!! (Zach Gilford) Awww! I just loved this so much!!!

[Click to watch the video.]


Source

* Confession: Before doing this list, I had never actually seen this video, don't know how I missed it as I thought I'd watched every TSwift video, but I had not. My loss, but now my win!

04.) Mine

I'm not gonna lie, this one makes me tear up. It just gets everything right, everything that is right about the song--and truth-telling again, I love this song. That line "You made a rebel out of a careless man's careful daughter" is splendiferous and then the turnabout where we hear that same sentiment from his point of view showing that he so gets her, her insecurities, her fears and loves her and cherishes her all the more (*sigh*). All of that is reflected in the video. Yeah, I love it. It's simple; it's not over-the-top, but it worked to perfectly sell the song. Taylor in the woods seemed a bit odd at first but that even worked too because they tied in the standard 'singer singing their song' part to the video because of all the pictures and how they were part of the love story too.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

05.) I Knew You Were Trouble

This would be at the top of the list (or at least number three--"Blank Space" and "Look What You Made Do" are masterpieces, man) if it were not for the Taylor voice-over intro and outro. It is just so unnecessary, pretentious and oversells the premise of the video. We didn't need it. The video sold it. SHE sold it. She did her best acting (well, after "Blank Space," but that was campy and over-the-top) in this one. The story was beautifully told in the acting, the direction, the everything. It was so, so well-done. It played beautifully with the song, with the stylistic choices... but damn, that overwrought, laying-it-on-too-thick voice-over in the beginning and end just dinged this video hard. Too much, Taylor, too much. Watch just the song portion of the video and it's so much better.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

06.) Begin Again

I'm a sucker for (a) a video that goes with the song, (b) a sweet, little love story... and this here delivers on both counts. This was just lovely and romantic. It was just sweet, which is what this song is. It's about a girl who had her heart broken and is feeling tentative, trying to find herself again, trying to smile again because her ex made her feel like she wasn't worth much of anything and a new guy comes along when she's getting there and helps affirm that, yeah, she's pretty great. The video also gave great visuals of Paris and fashion (that lilac dress)! So on that level it was beautiful! Just a sweet, lovely video. It made me smile and fit the song's tone so perfectly.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

07.) White Horse

I'm so glad this video is so good because it goes along with Taylor's MOST underrated song. Fitting the lyrics beautifully, Taylor gives a fine performance in a little mini-movie that gives us a heartbroken, but not broken Taylor. Really well done. (And her hair is at its most gorgeous!)

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

08.) Picture To Burn

One of her earliest but still one of her best, a young (still very country) Taylor inflicts a whole lotta damage on an ex's home who has moved on. But it's light-hearted, silly damage: Such as her team of Men (and Women) in Black licking all the silverware and that adds a fun vibe that you can laugh at. The little surprise at the end is cute and we get a touch of mature Taylor too. Plus, her hair looks fabulous!

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

09.) Out of the Woods

If I were more a concept girl as opposed to story, this would probably be higher, but I like story better personally and this list is subjective in every way, so it's not. With that said, aside from the cheesy title and end cards, this is really, really good. I remember watching it when it first came out and not being as impressed as I'm now. I think I expected something different and so didn't appreciate the video on its own merits. I'm doing so now. It gets the meaning of the song (didn't need the written clarification in those title cards, Taylor!) across beautifully--and when I write that I mean both literally and figuratively, the visuals are amazing. Again, if I preferred concept to story, this would be higher, I just like story videos better. (Still, it made the top 10.)

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

10.) Shake It Off

I'm sorry, ya'll, but Taylor Swift had a shit-ton of diversity in this video. (Something girl can rarely get accused of!) There were persons of color dancing in just about every sequence. Yes, there was only one black ballerina, but there were multiple POC in every other other sequence and every single dancer was freaking awesome and highlighted in their awesome.* The point of this video was to shake off haters, which we saw, not only random people of all shapes, sizes and color, but also some of those accomplished dancers just letting loose and having fun doing so at the end. It was also hilarious seeing Taylor suck so hard at dancing in every discipline. HI-LARIOUS. And the final shot where she bowed not-so-gracefully never doesn't make me laugh. This was a happy, light-hearted, fun, embrace yourself, love yourself, love everyone and BE HAPPY concept that worked. Taylor actually sold it. Judge me all you want, ONTD, but I love this video so hard.

* ETA: But... I do still love this video, however due to my conversation with meadowphoenix I came to realize that there is racism in the video that I as a non-POC didn't really see because I only saw Taylor mocking her lack of dancing ability and the brilliance of the dancers. The focus on the black twerkers' anatomy and, especially, Taylor crawling between their spread legs while they twerked *did* smack of racism, though. That highlighting of those dancers and in that way was not done for any other dancer and it sexualized them in a way that fed into a racist stereotype. Because of that, it's dinged the video for me and I am moving it down a few six slots.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

11.) Fifteen

This was Taylor's first high-concept video and it was fairly effective. She got the message across, and the switch-up at the end from concept to reality, I felt, did deliver that punch from the song's perspective of trying to impart wisdom.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

12.) Safe and Sound

This was a simple video, but it was good. It was mostly just Taylor walking around a deserted landscape and the Civil Wars in a cabin in front of a fireplace, but due to the haunting song and the landscape itself, what Taylor saw, the direction, the cuts (the disintegrating deer), it created an eerie, haunting effect. Well-done.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

13.) Everything Has Changed

This was very cute, and with a bit of a surprise ending there. I really don't have much more here. I didn't love it; I didn't dislike it or hate it. It was cute and it is memorable, but it's not one of her better videos, but it doesn't quite fall in the middle either.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

14.) The Story of Us

This is a good video that follows a fairly standard template. It more or less fits the story of the song, but it's nothing really to write home about, however it does have pizazz. There's feeling and emotion, a kickiness to it that matches the song. The location is not your standard music video locale, Taylor sells the emotion and you can feel the intensity of what is conveyed in the song; plus the John Mayer look-alike vibes all throughout the video are hilarious. Bonus points for that.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

15.) Bad Blood

I'm really annoyed. Taking out the whole Katy Perry/Taylor Swift aspect of this / "girl squad" nonsense and just judging the video on its own merits, as I was watching it, I was like, 'OK, this is REALLY cool.' It's all girl-power, all these bad-ass chicks getting together, learning how to fight, doing their thing and it was pretty awesome. And it wasn't just sexy, young starlets. You had Ellen Pompeo, Mariska Hargitay, Cindy Crawford and Lena Dunham, etc. Say what you will about some of them (**coughcough**Lena Dunham**coughcough**), still, that's at least some variety, and they weren't all blond and blue-eyed. But then... it just ended. The two groups of enemies meet and shit was about to go down, there was a literal clash and then it went black. The freaking video ended! Hello?!?! Lame. However, the visual effects were awesome, the direction (again, problematic with regards to TSwift Joseph Kahn at the helm) was fantastic, and the girl power on display was great, but there was no ending. What the hell?! This video would have been much, much higher in the ranking otherwise. (One good thing, though. I did realize that I prefer the version of the song with Kendrick Lamar. There is that. Yay.) Oh, also, while the brunette thing does not work on her, (see: "You Belong With Me," "Wildest Dreams" and "I Knew You Were Trouble") Taylor as a redhead? Surprisingly hot.)

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

16.) We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

I get that as a concept it's cool. The whole one shot thing, following her and yeah, it is cool, but... why are the band dressed like animals? Why are they Furries? Where does that come from? And she doesn't know all the people at the end, goes to open the door to leave, her ex is there, she's like 'No, dude,' goes back and then she's in her place again? I just... my OCD brain couldn't enjoy it. I don't know, for me, it was one of those types of videos that you enjoy it the first time around because of the concept but it's not a keeper kind of video. It's a one-and-done kinda thing. :shrug: Mileage may vary.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

17.) Tim McGraw

It's a good video, serviceable. I mean, it's not bad, but there's nothing memorable. However, it does commit a pet peeve of mine in music videos. If you're going to do a story that fits the song--which this does--and you have a specific reference in the song that is easy enough to match, then freaking match it. She sings "When you think happiness / I hope you think that little black dress" and yet despite several outfit changes in the flashbacks to their time spent together we never see her in a little black dress. We see her in the mentioned faded jeans, but not a little black dress. Grr.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

18.) You Belong With Me

It tells a story that goes with the song; I appreciate that. That's something that is going to make me love a music video, it's just... so broadly drawn and cliched, and Taylor does such a bad job as the "bad" brunette version. It completely zaps the enjoyment I had been having in earlier part of the video when she was being all lonesome and adorable. Ugh, and then the whole wallflower walks in and suddenly is beautiful and *that's* when her friend likes her also? It didn't help matters at all. What about before, dude? So, no, just no.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

19.) Love Story

I feel like this should be ranked higher, because it seems like 'Ooh, high concept video!' but really, it's not. Perhaps if the modern day-stuff had been interspersed with Taylor's imagination of the historical version of her and the guy, it would have worked, or if it had *just* been the historical story? Or if it had been a reincarnation of the two modern-day kids or something? *sigh* Alas, no. As it was, it was just book-ends of Taylor moony-eyed at a guy at school and then him randomly all up in her face and her liking it at the end surrounded by a typical music video just in ye olden times. You know, singer sings to camera intercut with romantic scenes, the only difference was they were in old-fashioned clothes (and Taylor's outfit in the tower was not flattering). So, meh. This was still in the great-Taylor-hair phase, though. That's something.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

20.) Wildest Dreams

This is a beautiful song. This song deserved a beautiful video. This was not a beautiful video. Firstly, he's a cheating louse. Secondly, Taylor and this actor had zero chemistry. Thirdly, too much, it was just way too much. The whole elaborate backstory with the movie and the lions and elephants, and bi-planes, and the Hollywood premiere, and the cheating spouse, ugh. No, no, no. Just tell a simple love story that just didn't work out, Taylor. That's all the song needed. TOO, TOO much. Waste of money, just a waste. Beautiful clothes, though. And, sure, nice that proceeds from the video were donated to the Wild Animal Conversation Parks for African Parks Foundation of America. But I bet it cost more money to make this video than she made off of it.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

21.) Style

Well, that's eight minutes of my life I'll never get back (I've watched the video twice, first when it came out and now). *sigh* Great song, horrible video. I mean, yeah, high-concept. "Cool" effect. Whatever. This was just... stupid. It made no sense, what was the fucking point? Yes, I'm pulling out the profanity because like many that have complained in the past about this video, ugh, this is such a great song and it deserved a kick-ass video to go along with it. Instead we got this stylized mess that made no fucking sense. I mean, seriously, what the fuck was this? Ugh. Points for "style" and pretty visuals don't count when they are just thrown on the screen and serve absolutely zero purpose, Taylor!

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

22.) Teardrops on my Guitar

I don't think I was supposed to laugh, lol! The story parts were adorable; that's the Taylor Swift that I think a lot of younger Country fans fell in love with and it's easy to see why, but the flowing green dress, the fan blowing said green dress, laying on the bed with the guitar, the crystals applied next to her heavily-made up eyes, the tear rolling down her face, it was just... so corny and over-the-top. I couldn't help but laugh. Such pure cheese. Oh, sweet, young country Taylor.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

23.) Change

Not much going on here. Other than the fact that we're still in the era of great Taylor hair, the only thing this video has going for it is seeing Taylor still in her OTT country phase (cowboy boots and all), cheesy dramatic close-ups, a few hair-flips and, her exuberant dancing. Other than that, she's just standing in front of her band in a church singing an inspirational Taylor song. :Yawn:

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

24.) Mean

This was not good. I loved the colors; the filters and the saturation were gorgeous. The messaging of rising above bullying and bettering yourself, sticking through it and becoming successful was great. (I personally love this song.) It just... the whole way that it came across was just too cutesy? Too manipulative? Too petty? I don't know... I can't put my finger on it, but it left a bad taste in my mouth. At least it wasn't boring, though, right?

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

25.) Back to December

Wow, this was so boring. Guy walking in a deserted town, sitting in his car, blah, blah, blah, intercut with Taylor in her empty house, sitting on her windowsill, on her stairs, on her bed, lamenting what a crappy girlfriend she was. Oh, look! It's snowing in her house because, get it? December, right. Oh, and she's writing a letter, so walking guy finds it in his jacket at the end of video. Ooh, how exciting. Not. Seriously, such a boring video. Lame. Talk about inspired by Taylor Lautner.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

26.) I Don't Wanna Live Forever

And this was even more boring than "Back to December." Zayn brooding and Taylor looking sad and trying to look sexy (sorry, girl, it's just not your thing) while in a hotel for four minutes. Oh, and there were some strobe lights too. Uhm, OK. At least something happened in "Back to December."

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

27.) 22

I don't remember this being so boring the first time I watched it so maybe it worked the first time, but watching a bunch of "22"-year olds goof around for four minutes and that's it is just not that exciting. Even if one of them is Taylor Swift.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

28.) Our Song

Ugh, this should have been a fun, adorable video about a young couple in love... instead it's basically an ode to Taylor Swift in full-on-queen bee and princess 'aren't I awesome?' mode. Very disappointing.

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

29.) Ready For It?

Yes, I actually have this as her worst video. I know, right? What gives. It's just... it's just so stupid. It makes no sense. It has absolutely NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SONG. At least the above videos whether they be boring fit the song, you can make sense of them, or have the generic music video quality to them. Like "Change," Taylor with her over-the-top hair-flipping and dancing is cute; she's adorable in it. "Back to December" and "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" fit the song, and there are emotions and angst in them that you can feel. "Our Song" at least it's Taylor and she's sorta selling the feel of the song and relating bits and pieces of it. But this one? Two AI versions of Taylor, one bad/one good (I think) and then another one who looks more human, but has sparkly-eyes and they're in a apocalyptic warehouse, whu? And, ooh, look at all the expensive CGI FX that doesn't make a freaking lick of sense?

Yeah, it's pretty, and it's cool... but who the fuck cares if it has absolutely nothing to to with the song? It doesn't relate in any way at all. And the video itself doesn't make sense. I mean, I guess the AI Taylor in black taunts the AI Ghost in the Shell Taylor and then her scream breaks through to free her but then nothing happens. She just walks around and mostly human with glowing blue eyes Taylor smiles. Again, it makes no fucking sense. So (a) the video doesn't make sense, and (b) it doesn't relate to the song in any way at all. Blech. I really loathe this video. Ugh, and to come after the brilliance of "Look What You Made Me Do" is disappointing. It's like "Blank Space" all over again. There was an amazing first video release and the follow-ups were just disappointing. :SMDH:

[Click to watch the video.]

Source

Previously posted entry in this series:

- Britney Spears
 
 
 
Florencia: DE (It Started to Rain)florencia7 on January 20th, 2018 02:49 pm (UTC)
This was such an amazing post! So enjoyable to read and watch! I usually have problems with ranking things, but in this case your top 3 are exactly the ones I'd pick too! And I agree with all of your other comments too.

I don't watch music videos very often, but Taylor's videos are actually the ones that I usually watch more than once. I think one of the things that makes them so good is the fact that the girl's got some serious acting skills! Her facial expressions are always on point, her comedic timing is flawless, and she can pull off any outfit and hairstyle. I also think that she's a very talented songwriter. Some of her lines are uncannily insightful.

I already can't wait for your next post! Your comments on any topic are always delightful to read :)