Taylor Swift - "I Knew You Were Trouble"

People don’t tend to save their best music videos, so this is a thinner list than most. But if the world does end today, at least you won’t die before watching Taylor Swift’s version of a Lana Del Rey video. Because that’s what Stereogum’s readership wants, right? T-Swizzy doing LDR? Check out our picks below.

5. Major Lazer – “Jah No Partial” (Feat. Flux Pavilion) (Dir. ?)

Being in Major Lazer looks like fun. I think I would enjoy being in Major Lazer. I would possibly also enjoy being a citizen of Belgium; it appears that they get down over there.

4. The Killers – “Here With Me” (Dir. Tim Burton)

Upon reading that Tim Burton had directed a Killers video, I expected something way more visually stunning and narratively involved than this. On the other hand, we do have the kid from Submarine acting creepy-intense, a room full of Winona Ryders, and the late-breaking revelation that people are actually candles, so maybe i should stop complaining.

3. Hooray For Earth – “Never / Figure” (Dir. Milton Ladd)

A batshit exploration of head-trip physics that, I like to imagine, is one long pre-death hallucination, sort of like Waking Life. That frozen-time shot of the car going over the bridge is pretty incredible, and I have no idea how they pulled it off under what must’ve been a severely constrained budget.

2. Baroness – “Stretchmarker (Acoustic)” (Dir. ?)

Not a music video as such, and it would be pretty boring (albeit pretty and impressive) under most circumstances. But still: A great band almost dies in a bus crash, disappears for a few months, and then reemerges with a plainspoken acoustic duet? That’s a really cool thing. It’s worth celebrating. It still doesn’t beat Taylor Swift with pink streaks in her hair, though.

1. Taylor Swift – “I Knew You Were Trouble” (Dir. Anthony Mandler)

Taylor Swift as a punk-rock sprite, screaming while a guy in a Misfits backpatch kicks the shit out of her dirtbag boyfriend? A romantic betrayal at a desert rave? The first dubstep bass-drop in pop-country history? I’m sorry, you guys, but I can’t see how anyone would want to resist this.

Comments (18)
  1. Stereogum <3 TSwift

  2. I’d love to rag on the top spot this week, but admittedly that video/song was a lot of fun if not cheesy. You can have your T-Swifties this week, Stereogum.

  3. Most of that spoken-word intro could’ve come from a 14-year-old Twihard’s diary but damn if T-Swift isn’t a looker.

  4. i am so incredible tired of the spoken-word shtick. LDR, M83, and now T.Swift. It doesn’t make you deep it just makes you a shitty-shit.

    • This contradicts my “You can’t fuck with John Hawkes” rule now that the SIgur Ros video with him and Elle Fanning exists. And that rule is unbreakable.

      Plus, I still get chills shot down my spine when I’m driving around at night and “Dead Flag Blues” comes on.

      Maybe it’s best utilized in post-rock type settings?

  5. the drastic change in tone from the intro to the actual song in T. Swifts vid just didn’t work for me.
    i also wonder how fans of her earlier music feel about this new direction.

  6. I can dig it but lol @ that pool shark with the fiend patch.

  7. 2 comments on the Killers video:

    1. Every time he re-emerges from whatever shadowy lab he spends his time toiling away in, Brandon Flowers looks that much closer to being a robot.

    2. THAT DRUMMER’S FACIAL EXPRESSIONS. Seriously, watching him in that video reminds me of why I can’t watch the LotR trilogy anymore: my friend invented a game called “Elijah Wood watching goat porn” and every time there’s a shot of his face, you’re supposed to imagine that’s what he’s doing. I think it applies here as well.

    • 1. Definitely more like a jude law robot from AI or an improved version from Surrogates, but this could simply be the production companies not his own doing.

      2. that game sounds awesome… when elijah gets stabbed by the troll

  8. So, if we rely on LDR’s and Taylor’s videos, the irresistible guy is always asshole looking, skinny, tattooed, with junkie eyes. Also, Alex Lees is totally right about the monologue trend in music videos. “I didn’t really know him, but I kinda felt like this was the beginning of something. You know, like, when you’re on a desert road, alone, at 2 am with your last cigarette. Maybe it was me, maybe it was him, but I won’t ever forget the times we had … or those we couldn’t”.
    oh damn, shut up already, you got no story to tell … (though the song is pretty good, but just stop trying to be arty, you’re doing everything you despise in hipsters)

  9. how hard is Anthony Mandler biting Melanie Matsoukis???

  10. Come on stereogum! I won’t necessarily fault you for including miss Swift in your countdown, but top spot? Really? That video wasn’t great. And with the bad voiceover, desert setting and theme of dating the “bad guy,” it felt an awful lot like a rip-off of Lana del Rey’s (also terrible) video for “Ride.” And sure, it’s fun that there’s a little bit of a bass drop, but otherwise this song sounds like typical Swifty-trite bubblegum pop. Don’t get me wrong, I want to make out with Taylor Swift too, but let’s not get carried away.

  11. “but I can’t see how anyone would want to resist this.”

    great writing

  12. If you wanna hear a bass drop and see an attractive 20-something with blond hair and pink highlight things, just watch an Ellie Goulding video…

  13. I’m not sure what this website has with Taylor Swift. Either way, that song was just abysmal. Country music is really going to shit, and it’s gonna be tough for it to come back.

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