I like to find the truth in pop culture. It’s a sort of game I play while enjoying some mental junk food. And, I’m a huge fan of Taylor Swift. I’m not embarrassed by it, because Taylor Swift’s music is designed to be likable. Guilty pleasures, like fast food or a Pomsky puppies–things that are built to be like this are met with equal parts enthusiasm and disdain. That doesn’t mean there isn’t something worthwhile mixed into the mess.
Every medium has a test(s) that lets the end user decide if the work as any legitimate value. When it comes to music I have the acoustic test. An idea that came from this famous cover. Basically, the song’s lyrics might be hiding a grain of truth worth considering that was buried by the pop sound.
I recognize that not everyone will agree with me and many will actively decry it. Nonetheless, with the acoustic test in mind, I suggest that Shake It Off (original), does have some redeeming quality that comes to the surface when the tone is shifted in this acoustic version of Shake It Off. It really shows the inner melancholy forced on people by Internet cultures, and the ever present need to maintain your own identity as a matter of self-preservation.
It’s similar to the “junk food” test for trashy fiction. If you strip out the obviously trashy parts (over the top romance, melodrama, crappy science fiction), what is left should display it’s value if any.