Review: Miss Americana

You're the only one of you.

This documentary follows singer/songwriter Taylor Swift over the past handful of years, particularly through the writing process of her album Lover.

I suppose if I had to put a label on myself regarding Swift, I'd classify myself as a former fan. I really enjoyed her first three albums. I'm not a fan of country music, but I liked her poppy-country sound. When she went full pop, I just wasn't as into it and chalked it up to me just getting older. I'd like a single or two - like 22 from Red, but otherwise I'd say my opinion of Swift for the past few years has been lukewarm at best. The phony squad thing, the Kimye drama (and boy that took an interesting turn last week, didn't it?) Because of all that I wanted to see how someone like me would take this documentary.

I actually enjoyed it overall. One thing I'd never take away from Swift, even if I'm not into her music anymore is the fact that she writes her own songs. They might sound repetitive at times but she still puts in the work and plays her guitar and piano and that's far more than a lot of other singers can say. I liked seeing her songwriting process. Though I felt a bit strange that she would say she has "no one to share this with" when she won her second album of the year Grammy after they had just showed us a decent amount of footage of her working with a sound mixer who helped build her lyrics into a fully realized song. If anything, the only negative thing I could say about this is how privileged Taylor is, but she grew up rich. Rich and wanting to be the "good girl." It's probably normal of her expecting to get nominated for Grammys at this point, then being disappointed when she found out Reputation got none.

I had sort of expected this to be about Taylor the victim but it was really honest and was just about her trying to find her voice in the industry, understanding that she doesn't always have to beg for that approval and stand up for her beliefs. I really liked the parts where she talked about being afraid to tweet about politics but feeling as if she couldn't stay silent anymore. It's nice to see someone with a platform realize they should use it for good. I walked away from this documentary not thinking she's a massive wolf in sheep's clothing, but just that she's a complicated person like the rest of us, only in a massively different situation than most.

And what I've heard from Lover is far better than anything I heard from Reputation so hopefully she's proud about writing a better record.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "I'll just write a better record." - Taylor Swift

14 comments:

  1. I'm the opposite, I love Swift's newer music and like bits of the older stuff. The politics part gave me goosebumps, I vaguely remember hearing about this when it happened but it was really interesting/impressive to see the backstory to that! I'm glad you like Lover better-- I think it's just really good lol.

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    1. I think Lover feels more "true" to Swift. Reputation was like bad girl cosplay. It was weird lol.

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    2. Same as Elina, honestly. Newer stuff over the old, but mainly because I never really listen to country anything, you know?

      I'd probably check this out...maybe with the kids? (I'll look it up first, dammit ZUCCHINI)

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    3. lol there's a few curse words, but otherwise you'll be fine.

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  2. I have no interest in this and based on those leaks last night. I refuse to see it as it's just a bunch of he-said/she-said shit. Plus, I really despise her fanbase. They posted death threats towards fans of Tool all because their album went to #1 and knocked her album off the top spot.

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    1. I remember that lol. I still think the way Reputation was handled was cringey at best, but I can't say I'm surprised to hear that phone call was edited out of context just because of the way it was presented in the first place.

      That and Kanye is a mess.

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  3. I definitely want to see this. I wouldn't call myself a huge Swift fan, but I've enjoyed all her music so far and she's definitely lead an interesting life so far!

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  4. I have no care about Taylor Swift but I bet she feels lonely. She really is unsure whom to trust and be able to just be herself. Money and fame is not everything. What happened last week with Kanye?? Why care about Kanye..he's not worth it

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    1. Basically that phone call he had with Taylor was released in full and it turns out he and Kim cut parts out to make her look bad when she was telling the truth the whole time.

      You know, basically drama. lol

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  5. I would categorise myself as a former distant fan. I liked her songs and I enjoyed them but when I started seeing her in interviews and stuff.. she came off as fake. And now I can't shake that.. I can't shake it and can't even put myself through watching this documentary cause I don't trust her. And so many have said "you'll understand her now, she will show her real side".. will I, does she? I don't trust it. And that's just that.

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    1. I agree with you, I should've touched up on that a bit more. The fakeness is hard to get past, and for me the part of the doc that felt the most real was her talking about politics.

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  6. Nice review! Obviously as a Swiftie, I really liked this documentary. But I thought it did a good job appealing to fans as well as people who are familiar with her. The scene with her and her mom trying to get permission from the male members of her team to post on social media about the election was inspiring. It's also crazy how some celebs have to go through a team of people just to speak up about something.

    I don't really have a favorite era of Taylor's. I like them all a lot. That said, Lover is fun but the songs can sound too much alike. I much prefer Reputation (excluding Look What You Made Me Do).

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    1. Look What You Made Me Do is a truly awful song. lol. That social media scene was crazy. I couldn't imagine having to do that.

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