It’s easy to get distracted by her celebrity, but Taylor Swift is a once-in-a-generation songwriter, reports BBC.
From the very beginning, she’s displayed a knack for melody and storytelling that most artists never master. Take, for example, her first US number one, Our Song. Written for a high school talent show, it’s a fairly typical tale of teenage romance until the final lines: “I grabbed a pen / And an old napkin / And I wrote down our song.” That’s smart, self-assured songwriting for someone who wasn’t old enough to vote.
Notably, the lyrics insert the musician directly into the narrative – something she developed into a tried and tested trope. But Our Song also establishes another of Taylor’s trademarks: The one-note melody.
These static vocal lines, where she sings at one pitch for a sustained period, crop up on all of her her albums – and increase in frequency when she switches lanes from country to pop.
You can hear it on all four songs she’s released ahead of her new record, Reputation, which comes out this Friday. It’s most apparent on the lead single, Look What You Made Me Do, where the entire chorus is delivered in a sinister monotone.