Taylor Swift debuted the music video for her dubstep-inspired track, "I Knew You Were Trouble," Thursday at 4:40 PM EST, and it's unlike any other incarnation of Swift you've ever seen before. It's darker than anything she has done in the past, more gritty and mature. It plays out like a short film rather than a music video, with a long intro chronicling her relationship with a guy who leads a fast life, and the consequences of losing herself for someone who never loved her.
Before this guy enters the picture, she starts off much like the Swift we all know: happy, sweet, surrounded by her girlfriends. That all changes as soon as she meets him. He's a tattooed and free-spirited; a dangerous influence, starting bar fights for seemingly no reason (and smiling about it!), kissing other girls at concerts, and being pulled over the by the cops. But regardless of all these warning signs, Swift falls for him anyway, and dives headfirst into his world, losing herself in the process. Even physically, you can see the difference: her blond hair becomes tipped in pink, her makeup darker and smudged, her clothes ripped and grungy. There's no happy ending for this story, either. After partying all night at an outdoor party/music festival/concert, she sees her man making out with another girl, sparking a downward spiral. She wakes up the next day, alone, in the middle of the field, literally hitting rock bottom.
The intro monologue is a bit cheesy and overly dramatic, but as for the rest of the video, I say: well done, Taylor Swift. This is a true departure from her squeaky-clean, goody-goody image, but not in a tragic real-life way (ahem, we're looking at you, Lindsay Lohan). It shows the decline of a girl who loses herself in a relationship that was never good for her in the first place, which unfortunately happens all too often.
"I Knew You Were Trouble" is the third music video from her album, Red. It features Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark star Reeve Carney as her dangerous bad boy and was directed by Anthony Mandler.
"As soon as I started writing this song, I knew it was different from anything else on the record, so I knew I wanted the video to be different from anything we'd done ever done," Swift said to MTV. "I wanted to tell the story of a girl who falls into a world that's too fast for her, and suffers the consequences."
Swift is having a pretty great day. Not only did she turn 23, but "Safe and Sound" (her collaboration with The Civil Wars for The Hunger Games soundtrack) was nominated for a Golden Globe in the the Best Original Song category. All this, plus the debut of her music video? Today is probably her best day ever. Ever.
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[Photo Credit: Big Machine]