How Bad Is Taylor Swift's Cover of Earth, Wind, and Fire? An Investigation
The backlash over Taylor Swift having spent the last decade in the spotlight trying to be America’s Bestie has been a little over the top. But in the case of her cover of Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September,” the response is justified, if not a bit understated.
Some of the reactions online are fairly polarizing. A mixture of disbelief, sarcasm, disgust, and outright offense characterized many responses.
These Black Women listening to Taylor Swift’s cover of “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire is SENDING ME pic.twitter.com/TIFm2137OT
— The Vixen of Gay T W I T T E R (@_TheRealKareem_) April 18, 2018
In case you need to hear the whole thing to decide for yourself, have at it.
Are there a lot of people out there who listen to classic soul songs and think “This is good, but I’d prefer it if you slowed it all the way down, replaced everything fun about it with a banjo and added some breath-y, open mic-style vocals”?
Good morning to everyone except people who think a Taylor Swift cover of “September” is a thing that ought to exist
— łopatologia (@mslopatto) April 13, 2018
Quick reminder, this is the song she is covering.
Now this is not to say that you can’t re-contextualize upbeat songs, or that coffee house covers are always bad (debateable). What makes this version fall flat is how unremarkable the whole thing is. There’s little to say about it other than it is a thing that exists. Also it’s painfully boring. There’s a time and place for stripped-down minimalism, but it needs to have a purpose and urgency, none is found here. And Taylor’s attempt at minimalism is half-hearted at best. Why does this song exist? It all feels very half-assed for an artist of this stature.
This tune is playing on loop in the overcrowded mall food court in hell. The Panda Express is eternally out of Orange Chicken.
In her defense, she nailed the ‘dormroom youtube cover’ vibe. Honestly, this seems like a surreal set up to a Your #wcw bit. As in “Your #wcw takes iconic 70s dance jams and makes em so boring Starbucks wouldn't play it. She also might be a low-key nazi.”
Y'all have to stop saying Taylor Swift "covered" anything. She did bad karaoke. Let's move on.
— Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) April 13, 2018
That’s a joke by the way. Starbucks probably commissioned this shit-sandwich.
A certain type of person seems unable or unwilling to take or recognize jokes these day, like the dark-money-funded fools over at The Federalist. These brain genius thought it was worth addressing the fact that GQ writer Nathaniel Friedman called Taylor’s cover “hate speech” on a popular social media platform. Aside from the fact that he’s correct, this is an obvious joke.
I mean, who even writes an entire post about what’s happening on twitter?
There’s no doubt in my mind that Taylor Swift puts raisins in her potato salad. https://t.co/IX6MEYaUj2
— Carrington Harrison (@cdotharrison) April 13, 2018
Speaking of basketball, this is another heat check gone wrong from Taylor. (Insert your own Reputation joke here)
Taylor Swift covered "September"? pic.twitter.com/eOi7m3ITpL
— BUM CHILLUPS (@edsbs) April 13, 2018
What is even going on with her vox on the chorus?
Ba de yaaaaaaa
Say do you remember
Ba de yaaaaaa
Dancing in September
Ba de yaaaaa
Never was a cloudy daaaaaaay -Taylor Swift pic.twitter.com/nwgMw65erc
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) April 13, 2018
I don’t think this cover reminded me of Big Enough, but I’ll use any excuse to play this
The history of popular music in this country is more or less white people taking minorities best ideas and sanitizing them for mass consumption. This song falls comfortably into that paradigm, while not meeting Merriam-Webster’s definition of a crime. Although it should be noted by the original's greatness and ubiquity, it is not in need of any thing in order for it to be loved by the multitudes. `
In conclusion, Taylor Swift’s cover of “September” is CLEARLY not hate speech. It just sucks.
Calvin Paradise is not any one thing. The half-hearted vagabond and forgetful luddite currently resides in Los Angeles and how he spends his time is none of your damned business.