Exactly Why Is All Too Well So Great?

‘All Too Effectively’ is a once-in-a-lifetime music, however what precisely is it that makes it such a gut-punch?

The announcement of the 10-minute model of ‘All Too Effectively’, set to seem on Crimson (Taylor’s Model) despatched Taylor Swift followers right into a frenzy.

The existence of the 10-minute lower was, till this level, the stuff of pop music (ahem) folklore; Taylor had talked about its existence in interviews round Crimson’s launch and dropped lyric snippets within the Lover journals, however most TS followers felt the discharge of the prolonged, reportedly express, authentic model of ‘All Too Effectively’ was nothing however a pipedream.

To imitate Taylor’s personal lyrics, all the pieces has modified — and we’re set to listen to the 10-minute lower of the country-pop energy ballad for the primary time on Friday, November 12. Arguably, ‘All Too Effectively’ is the observe that followers are most anticipating, regardless of Crimson (Taylor’s Model)’s A-list options resembling Phoebe Bridgers, Ed Sheeran, and Chris Stapleton, and by no means earlier than heard bonus tracks.

Within the Taylor Swift universe, ‘All Too Effectively’ is a licensed fan-favourite. The album Crimson is usually thought-about to be the primary Taylor Swift album that checked out love with a very important, mature, virtually cynical eye — versus her earlier data which had been targeted very a lot on chaste, romantic fairytales.

That’s to not say her earlier albums aren’t extremely nicely written — however Crimson is on a complete new stage, one that basically solely comes from a songwriter’s age and expertise. The purest distillation of this inventive improvement could be heard on ‘All Too Effectively’ — all the pieces that makes Taylor Swift’s songwriting so affecting, so spectacular, is on present.

In some methods, ‘All Too Effectively’ is an uncommon fan favorite; it was by no means a single, and by no means acquired a music video. It’s lengthy, significantly for a pop music, clocking in at 5 minutes and 29 seconds — and it subverts the normal ‘verse-pre-chorus-chorus’ pop music construction in fairly an fascinating method.

Swifties and music critics alike have lengthy embraced ‘All Too Effectively’s peculiarities; Rolling Stone described it as a ‘masterpiece of the break-up ballad form’, Slant Journal referred to as it ‘arguably the finest song in Swift’s entire catalogue’ (as did Music Junkee).

So let’s unpack what makes ‘All Too Effectively’ Taylor Swift’s magnum opus — and why the ten-minute model might be a game-changer.

That Scarf In The Drawer

“I left my scarf there at your sister’s home, and also you’ve nonetheless acquired it, in your drawer, even now.”

Taylor Swift’s lyric-writing prowess is at its highest in ‘All Too Effectively’. Swift leads the listener by means of the story of this doomed relationship by means of evocative vignettes and quick, detailed verses. Maybe probably the most important component of this imagery is the now notorious ‘All Too Well’ scarf, allegedly nonetheless gathering mud in some drawer at Maggie Gyllenhaal’s place (it’s extensively understood that ‘All Too Effectively’ is written about Taylor’s relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal).

Taylor establishes the headband’s location within the first verse, and it’s the primary indication that we get because the listener that this relationship is now over. She then takes us by means of the flashbacks — within the automobile, dancing within the kitchen within the fridge gentle, chatting together with her lover’s mom; then devastatingly, crucially, bookends the destiny of the headband — stored by her ex in an try to carry on to misplaced innocence — within the last moments of the music.

Some of the tough issues to grasp as a pop songwriter is this sort of concise storytelling. The duty of the lyricist is to relay as a lot evocative data and element as potential, inside a cost-effective, catchy verse or refrain — and the exceptional factor about ‘All Too Effectively’ is the vivid nature of the imagery, how a lot element Taylor has managed to suit into her tight, expository verses, and the way neatly the story is wrapped up by the tip of the music.

Not solely does she tell us what occurred to the headband, however she pulls every vignette again into the highlight in the direction of the tip of the music (“Wind in my hair, you had been there, you keep in mind all of it/down the steps, you had been there, you keep in mind all of it”), mimicking the cruelty of reminiscence; the way in which these painful moments linger for hours in the course of a sleepless evening or flicker for seconds even on a superb day.

In direction of the tip, Taylor switches from the road “I keep in mind it” to the accusatory “you keep in mind it” — a easy, efficient embrace of her personal company, and her ex’s function within the demise of this relationship.

Type Displays Feeling

“You referred to as me up once more simply to interrupt me like a promise/so casually merciless within the identify of being sincere…”

Maybe probably the most quoted, most universally adored line in ‘All Too Effectively’ is that this tragic line from the primary bridge part of the music, and for good motive. Earlier than this bridge hits, Taylor builds slowly, absolutely, as much as this second, taking us by means of the most effective moments of the connection earlier than knocking all of it down with this devastating line.

The connection between lyric and vocal melody is a particular, symbiotic one – typically, virtually just like the literary approach onomatopoeia, vocal melodies sound like the sensation behind the phrases being sung. This line is a good instance of this. Written in C main, ‘All Too Effectively’s vocal melody lingers round center C, a snug, mid-to-low a part of Taylor’s vocal vary. Even the choruses do not likely transfer removed from right here, solely going up a fifth to a G.

Your complete music builds to this bridge, each in vocal melody, lyric, and instrumental association.

For this line, and for the primary and solely time in ‘All Too Effectively’, Taylor sings a C5, one entire octave (eight notes) above center C. It’s the best word within the music, a excessive part in Taylor’s vocal vary, and it feels cathartic, virtually hysterical — like a pal talking a few breakup and, after having stored their composure for all the recount till this second, they break down, their voice getting increased and better with emotion and damage. It’s the shining second — all the music builds to this bridge, each in vocal melody, lyric, and instrumental association.

Characterised by this climatic bridge, the construction of ‘All Too Effectively’ is uncommon for a pop music by a mainstream artist. Ungoverned by the normal verse/pre-chorus/refrain pop construction, ‘All Too Effectively’ embraces virtually extra of a folks music’s kind, with a number of verses that comprise nearly all of the story, and choruses with ever-changing lyrics.

As a substitute of 1 bridge, ‘All Too Effectively’ arguably has two, with the primary reaching the hovering heights of the well-known break me like a promise line, and the second appearing as an outro, a intelligent, sweeping play on the refrain vocal melody (“Trigger there we’re once more, after I cherished you so/again once you misplaced the one actual factor you’ve ever recognized”) that flashes these pre-established reminiscences again in fast succession, cementing the misplaced love in moments over time.

The observe additionally has an everlasting relatability that’s on the coronary heart of Taylor Swift’s songwriting. Everybody can relate to the heartbreak described: the confusion, the unadulterated ache, the questions, accusations — ‘All Too Effectively’ captures each conflicting feeling that accompanies a breakup. It’s a masterful instance of the type of writing that makes Taylor Swift’s music so universally common — her potential to put in writing music that touches virtually everybody who hears it’s unparalleled.

The upcoming launch of the ten-minute model presents numerous fascinating hypotheticals — will it develop on the narrative of the lyrics, or will really feel overindulgent compared to the trimmed model? Will it add extra to the layers and the callbacks and the intricacies of the music, or will audiences be capable to pinpoint why and the way it was edited for the 5′ 29 model? Will it observe the identical construction because the shorter model, or will there be a completely new chord development or part that comes out of the blue? And crucially, HOW will the phrase ‘fuck’ match into all of this!?!?

Regardless of the outcome, ‘All Too Effectively’ is a once-in-a-lifetime type of music, written by an artist at a important turning level in her profession.


Eilish Gilligan is a musician and author from Melbourne. She streams at twitch.tv/eilishgilligan and tweets at @eilishgilligan.

Picture Credit score: Sandra Mu/TAS/Getty Photos 

https://junkee.com/all-too-well-taylor-swift-red/313918 | Precisely Why Is All Too Effectively So Nice?

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