“We never go out of style,” the lyrical hook on Taylor Swift‘s “Style,” does a whole lot of work. If her latest album 1989 is, as billed, an attempt at going “pop,” then here’s her bid to be the type of pop that stays popular for decades — as implicitly opposed to the Top 40′s passing fads (who, truth be told, are often the most fun!). It’s also the crux of the sleek, Eurodisco-descended song’s romantic narrative: a tale as old as time, but not a love story, exactly.
The song’s video is here, and it’s directed by Kyle Newman, the husband of Swift pal Jaime King. There’s no shortage of screencap-able Swift glamor shots. Swiftologists are already decoding potential references to past gossip-page headlines. The song, though, is as tricky and emotionally complicated as it is recreative of streamlined world-conquerors by the likes of Kylie Minogue or Richard X. The catch in Swift’s voice as she repeats what she’s heard about her beau and “some other girl” resembles no one so much as Conor Oberst; after the fella confirms his indiscretion but insists he “can’t stop thinking about you,” she shoots back coolly, “I’ve been there, too, a few times.” Yet the video is a mix of the flatly literal — when she sings about driving, they’re driving — and the drably arty (a magic mirror). “Meh” taste may be timeless, but “Style” deserves better.
Watch it below.