Taylor Swift and Lana Del Ray

by 9:06 PM 0 comments
(First of all, I know this album came out like a million years ago in internet time, so yeah, I'm slow to respond...)

Some people on the internet were complaining about Taylor Swift copying Lana Del Rey on her last album, particularly in the song 'Wildest Dreams.'

Yes, it's obviously LDR inspired. Stylistic evidence:

1. "Say you'll remember me:" remembrance an LDR theme. In "Blue Jeans" she writes "I still remember/That day we met in December...Promise you'll remember that you're mine." Which is interesting, because the song is about being abandoned, and she's not even asking the guy to come back. Taylor has a similar sentiment in "Wildest Dreams;" she's not asking for marriage, just for a place in someone's memory.

2. The colors in Taylor Swift's song, "Red lips and rosy cheeks" mirror Lana's color references, examples:
1. "Old Money:" "Blue hydrangeas...white sunshine/red racing cars"
2. "Blue Jeans:" "Blue jeans/white shirt,"
3. "National Anthem:" "Red, white, blue is in the sky"
4. "Summertime Sadness:" "I've got my red dress on tonight"
There are more! But you get the idea.

3. The thing after Taylor Swift sings "wildest dreams" where she goes ah-ah-ah is a classic LDR thing. The most obvious example is "Dark Paradise," where she literally does it for over 15 seconds straight.

So yes, Taylor certainly borrowed from Lana's style here. Critics seem to be focused on whether or not she copied, but no one is asking why she did. I have a theory.

Lana Del Rey is not the most popular artist around. Actually, the amount of vitriol being thrown at her is kind of unbelievable. People say she has fake lips, that she can't sing, that's her mental illness is her own fault, etc. This woman cannot catch a break when it comes to popular opinion.

You know, I like her. Her voice isn't that strong, but I like the quality. Her lyrics are sometimes painfully and pathetically male-dependent, but in the current pop music sphere, that can be a refreshing change from the messages of Beyonce and Katy Perry. Sometimes you have to lie down and cry to some LDR for a spell before you can sing along with "Irreplacable" or "Roar." I don't think that all of her decisions have been great, but whose have? She's not exactly Bill Cosby in terms of unforgivable crimes against humanity.

Taylor Swift has been the critic's darling lately, but she used to be the subject of ridicule. Remember when she hosted SNL is 2009? Or her appearance in the movie Valentine's Day? Or when Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made fun of her at an awards show...twice? Even recently, she's been criticized for taking too long to get ready to leave the gym (one hour) which is really not a lot when you add in time for showering and blow-drying.

So Taylor knows how a star can rise and fall, and at a time when everyone is abandoning Lana Del Rey post-SNL and Rolling Stone cover, she's sticking her neck out for another woman. Taylor once said that "there's a special place in Hell for women who don't help other women," and she's acting true to her own version of feminism. I see "Wildest Dreams" as a way of reaching out and supporting Lana when no one else will.

Love Taylor Swift! Love Lana Del Rey! Go girls!

Marina Gafni

Marina Gafni is a 28-year-old speech pathology student. She lives with her husband in San Jose, CA.


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