Taylor Swift finally gives us a new sound. The song tries to veer away from Swift’s familiar bubble gum country pop sound and takes on a refreshingly different beat. Given the questionable use of the dub-step in the chorus, the song’s overall electro-pop theme surprisingly works. Another surprise is how Swift’s voice changed into this high-strung womanly vocal sound that seems so alien that at one point, the repetitive part of the refrain sounds eerily like Rihanna . What stays the same though is the diary like lyrics wherein she has yet again successfully communicates her adorable angst towards disappointing love. This song at least shows Swift taking responsibility with the line “shame on me” instead of bashing whichever ex inspired the song.
I Knew You Were Trouble is Swift’s third promotional single from her fourth studio album Red. The song was released on October 9, 2012 and immediately took the #3 spot on Billboard Hot 100.
This song is a big step away from country pop that Swift has been famous for. Although it’s too early to tell, critics are holding their breath of whether Swift’s fans will be loyal enough to support the new genre she’s heading or if they are going to turn their backs on the country princess who’s seemingly selling out. In the end, I still say kudos to Taylor for being brave enough to experiment.