Music

End Game

Taylor Swift Reputation End Game

“End Game” by Taylor Swift featuring Ed Sheeran and Future, the best track from Swift’s 2017 album Reputation.
I didn’t immediately enjoy Reputation as much as 1989, but I persevered.
Of fifteen tracks, nine are co-writes with Max Martin and six co-writes with Jack Antonoff (among others in both cases.) Martin and Antonoff both seem to have been in a meeting with the gods about how to structure modern pop records and they’ve got it sewn up; by the time they’ve collaborated with Swift, who is no slouch herself, they’re creating dreams pop has had about itself.
“End Game” itself has a composer credit to Taylor Swift, Max Martin, Shellback, Ed Sheeran and Nayvadius Wilburn, the last of whom trades as Future. Shellback, meanwhile, is a Swedish producer and musician whose mother would know him as Johan Schuster. I dunno, they make dreamy music but can’t get their names sorted out…
This is one of the few Taylor Swift videos I’ve been comfortable watching. She seems much more comfortable as a recording artist (and has done since her mid-teens) than as a visual presence; too often the videos have a lot of violent imagery and sometimes are just very close to porn. Lady Gaga gets away with it (and more;) it doesn’t quite suit Swift I feel, but there will be millions of hairy-palmed youths whom I am glad will disagree.
Anyway, this is a great video for a great record. My favourite bits are from 1:38 when Ed Sheeran appears for the first time. He looks as if he is wondering how his life can have worked out so well – nearly all the chart records are by him or written by him and he even gets a fifth of the royalties on this for pocket money! The cat in the cream shop and who can grudge him, I just wish he would make a record I like rather than admire or hate (he makes enough of them Taylor and her pals necking pints in London (or “London”) from 2:50 is good too…a cultural signifier?

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