What Is Taylor Swift’s Problem?

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I don’t know what I expected after I heard that Taylor Swift was going to release a cover of Earth, Wind & Fire’s classic “September.” Swift, fresh from releasing an inevitably controversial and eventually underwhelming album in Reputation, could have taken it in any number of directions: a bold and bright cover that nodded to the original song’s funk rhythms; a Red-style rock anthem that used the chorus to flaunt her vocal chops; maybe even some sort of half-rapped abomination. I did not, for some reason, expect the 28-year-old megastar to return to her pop-country roots, whisper-singing over some gentle banjos, sucking every ounce of life out of the thing. But here we are!

Like my editor-in-chief, I’m taken aback by the sheer audacity of this. Of all the songs in the world, Swift chose this, an immediately recognisable song a million miles away from her wheelhouse that was only ever going to fall flat. After…

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