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EXCLUSIVE: ‘She dominates our age’: how Taylor Swift became the greatest show on Earth and rule the world

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EXCLUSIVE: ‘She dominates our age’: how Taylor Swift became the greatest show on Earth and rule the world

 

How to write about the biggest, most written-about star in the world as summer 2024 approaches, and with it the arrival of Taylor Swift’s Eras tour in the UK later this week? We could take cues from the normally level-headed New Yorker.

 

EXCLUSIVE: ‘She dominates our age’: how Taylor Swift became the greatest show on Earth and rule the world

But even they recently threw up their hands and pronounced Swift as beyond review – not because reviewers might get doxxed by overzealous Swifties if they dare give her fewer than five stars, but because Swift’s work might officially be beyond good and evil.

The New Yorker’s Sinéad O’Sullivan contends that Swift is operating so far outside the norm for pop that assessing her output as mere songs is futile: she has created a Marvel-style universe all her own, in which complex internal references abound and the identity of her enemies, and the 3D chess games she is playing, are pored over across the social mediasphere.

Teenage girls and young women, it turns out, are not passive consumers of glittery froth, but supercharged Dylanologists crossed with ninja cryptographers, operating at an emotional pitch on the scale of Beatlemania. Swift not only has lore, she embarks on her multi-platform art knowingly, laying a trail of Easter eggs and numerological puzzles. She is also, of course, beyond interview, a “post-media” celebrity who does not have much use for middle-people.

But in a rare 2023 exchange with Time magazine (when she was named person of the year) she discussed her emotive and canny album re-recording campaign to gain control of her masters – Taylor’s Versions – being like a mythical quest. “I’m collecting horcruxes,” Swift said, eyebrow only slightly raised. “I’m collecting infinity stones. Gandalf’s voice is in my head every time I put out a new one. For me, it is a movie now.”

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