Well she was going to appear at some point, wasn’t she?
So here we go. No this choice is not ironic, it’s not trolling, it’s not supposed to be ticking the chin of fate or fortune. I bloody love Taylor Swift, and I bloody love “Style”.
When Shania Twain’s body grew old and grey, she regenerated to become Taylor Swift. Or so one theory goes. Maybe that’s just something gleamed from Reddit some lazy Tuesday night, I forget. The thing is, there was once a time when female singers with sass and attitude appeared to zoom up the charts with one or two sharply worded power anthems before being slowly (or otherwise) dropped from great heights. Give a sassy songwriting woman a guitar, give her one top 10 single, then bury her in obscurity: such did the theory go to my observing eyes ten or so years ago.
“Style” would have slayed the opposition back in my youth. It has – and continues – to kill most in its path today. The slight electro background, the attitude in the chorus, its smart and slightly obscure sentiment in the verses, and all with an ear-worm melody so strong it could be classed as positively unhealthy.
“Why not choose ‘Shake It Off’?” I hear you ask. Well…here’s the thing. Were it not for the clumsy spoken word middle bit, then I would have called “Shake It Off” the worthy successor to ‘Call Me Maybe’ as pop event of the year. Alas it was not to be. “Style” has the whole package.
Back in 2013 I had an idea. You can see the Index for that idea here. Very pop-orientated. Very mainstream. I have pop sensibility and like a chorus strong enough to use as ballast, but really, I’m surprised by my choices coming across as more Radio 2 than 6Music. I would not choose the same list, nor put it in the same order now.
One year later is my 2014 Index . It is certainly less mainstream, maybe not organised quite how I would if doing it again (opening with Katy B, now there’s a misunderstanding about drawing in readers).
This year has seen my Spotify, SoundCloud, and ‘tucked in the back of the brain’ longlists growing by the week. Soon I will confirm the results of all that here – and as ever, the chosen 24 songs are presented in no particular order. In so many ways, this ain’t a chart.