The gem from ‘1989’ that you might’ve missed and why it matters

Katie Brown  |  Copy Editor

Taylor Swift’s record-setting album ‘1989’ is not exactly news. When it was released in October 2014, fans everywhere flocked to buy it and soon her tracks were being played all over.

However, a lot of people who didn’t opt for the bonus edition missed out on the bonus tracks, many of which pack an emotional punch and deliver clear truths about the current attitudes in American culture.

“New Romantics,” in particular, shines in this regard. Its soaring chorus and upbeat tempo are deceiving. A song that sounds fun and perfect to jam to has a tough but truthful message hidden inside. On a closer listen, the playful, vanilla-sounding song is actually quite profound. If you pause from dancing long enough to pay attention to the lyrics, you’ll get a new perspective on the way the millennial generation views and handles romantic relationships.

The song begins with the words, “We’re all bored, we’re all so tired of everything.” Swift is commenting on the fact that despite the plethora of entertainment at their fingertips, many people still feel unsatisfied and unfulfilled. All the distractions in the world can’t keep people from feeling like something is missing.

In the rest of the song, Swift suggests that young people are using casual flings, hookups and shallow relationships to attempt to fill the void. In the chorus Swifts sings: “Come along with me. Heartbreak is the national anthem, we sing it proudly. We’re too busy dancing to get knocked off our feet.” She is suggesting the best way to deal with relationships is to accept the new normal, one riddled with heartbreak and shallowness.

Not letting oneself fall in love is the goal; it’s best to have fun and keep things superficial while you’re young. This does seem to be the trend. According to The Guttmacher Institute, more than 70 percent of unmarried young adults have engaged in sexual activity by the age of 20.

However, even Swift acknowledges that this isn’t ideal, mournfully singing in the bridge that the best one can hope for is to have fun in a whirlwind romance before being inevitably left stranded and heartbroken once again.

The social commentary of the song is clear and meaningful. It may sound like a rallying cry, but it seems more like a cry for change. Swift has become calloused and disillusioned with romance, but she seems more saddened by this than emboldened. It has the tone of a distraught older sister warning her younger sister not to take the path she took but to strive for something better. This warning is clear and the problem is evident. It may very well be time to reinvent romance once again.

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