This probably isn't Taylor's best song ever...but I'm loving the more pop-esque music that she's been producing of late.
The video caused quite a bit of controversy for three main reasons:1) Ms. Swift’s move to pop material (a sign, for certain fans, of selling out); 2) her dancing; and 3) the supposed racism in a section on twerking.
On Twitter, the rapper Earl Sweatshirt rather quickly accused Ms. Swift of “perpetuating black stereotypes.” later admitting that he hadn't even watched the video...
The best response to Shake It Off came from Brian Siebert who blogs for one of the NYTimes blogs 'ArtsBeat'.
I would attempt to paraphrase his words but I think he says it perfectly so I shall simply quote him instead:
"The punchlines, as this dance critic was happy to see, are mostly dance jokes. The way that Ms. Swift trips over the crossed legs of the ballerinas and topples while trying to bow deeply in toe shoes is not highly clever or knowing, but it’s funny. And the frightened and confused look that she gives the overwrought contemporary dancers earns a dance critic’s immediate empathy. Ms. Swift in “Shake It Off” is like Lucille Ball or Carol Burnett, a heroine triumphing through klutziness. It is probably too generous to interpret the video as a satire of how dance gets used in pop videos, but it certainly is a satire of pop video conventions.
Which brings us to the twerking. The moment when Ms. Swift crawls between the lined-up legs of the twerking ladies, advancing through the colonnades of jiggling flesh as if she were the camera of Busby Berkeley, is very silly. A second later, when Ms. Swift breaks out in giggles, she is laughing at the absurdity of herself in that video genre, but also, I think, at the absurdity of the genre.
With respect to racial politics, it would have been better if the shots of ballerinas had included some darker complexions. But if Earl Sweatshirt had bothered to watch the video before commenting, he might have noticed the carefully placed black faces among the cheerleaders, the contemporary dancers and the regular people, and also the trashy white women among the twerkers. For him to have accused Ms. Swift of racism without watching the video is as unjust as if she had accused him of misogyny without first listening to his tracks. Yes, everyone knows that there is racism and misogyny in pop music. Fortunately, there’s also humor."