Taylor Swift premiered the video for her new single “I Knew You Were Trouble” today on MTV and it’s her most ambitious and cohesive number yet.
Like the dubstep-lite audio on the track, the visuals accompanying it unravel like a mini-film, opening with Taylor on the ground of a desert in the middle of what appears to be an abandoned party, something Goody Goody Tay Tay probably knows nothing about—unless the Kennedys threw some ragers on Hyannis Port.
Swift sends us back into the lead up of that moment with narration that says, “I think when it’s all over, it just comes back in flashes…” Commence flashes.
Like prior Anthony Mandler-directed videos (Lana Del Rey’s “Ride,” Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” though it's more reminiscent of the hard rise and fall depicted in "We Found Love"), “Trouble” is a mix of heavy narrative and visuals. We follow Taylor into a pink dip-dyed tresses transformation upon meeting a mysterious rocker dude in a suspenders and bowler hat.
Taylor falls hard for him, even though her gut tells her this won’t end up as a love song on her next album. (It would, however, make a really awesome revenge break-up dance track, so she goes with it.)
The two appear to have a good time together. He introduces her into a new scene her country-pop roots aren’t familiar with (mosh pits, garage bands, a Motel 6). He stands on his seat in moving convertibles because he's wild and free-spirited. He plays guitar and it’s exciting. He’s also just stringing her along also, something she doesn’t accept until he’s making out with lips attached to various women that aren’t T-Swift. This guy is clearly a womanizer and it’s clear this guy is standing in for John Mayer.
Watch the Taylor-Mayer saga unfold in the new video here: