Taylor Swift, a pop star who is quite literally afraid of becoming a cliché, has written the most clichéd essay about why she remains optimistic about the music industry (hint: it has to do with "love"). In the WSJ's 125th anniversary issue, Swift dismissed the critics who fear the "downfall of music sales and the irrelevancy of the album as an economic entity," countering them with sunny optimism, rainbows, a garden and a lot of romance. The essay reads like a Swift song, full of relationship metaphors, love and metaphorical pink hearts. Here are the seven most Swift-y lines in Swift's confessional essay:
The music industry is just now coming alive, because Taylor Swift is an optimist and she says it is:
you should know that you're reading the opinion of an enthusiastic optimist: one of the few living souls in the music industry who still believes that the music industry is not dying…it's just coming alive.
Can you put a price on love? Well, no, but also, yes.
In my opinion, the value of an album is, and will continue to be, based on the amount of heart and soul an artist has bled into a body of work, and the financial value that artists (and their labels) place on their music when it goes out into the marketplace.
Because Music = Cupid's Arrow (just go with it)
They are buying only the ones that hit them like an arrow through the heart or have made them feel strong or allowed them to feel like they really aren't alone in feeling so alone.
Because romance is the perfect metaphor for everything.
The way I see it, fans view music the way they view their relationships. Some music is just for fun, a passing fling (the ones they dance to at clubs and parties for a month while the song is a huge radio hit, that they will soon forget they ever danced to). Some songs and albums represent seasons of our lives, like relationships that we hold dear in our memories but had their time and place in the past.
This is everlasting love!
I believe couples can stay in love for decades if they just continue to surprise each other, so why can't this love affair exist between an artist and their fans?
Wait, are we still talking about music right now? (I forget ...)
The only real risk is being too afraid to take a risk at all.
At the end of all of this, Taylor Swift will have a nice garden. What will YOU have?
I'll just be sitting back and growing old, watching all of this happen or not happen, all the while trying to maintain a life rooted in this same optimism.
And I'd also like a nice garden.