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‘What’s Her Billie Jean?’: Neil Tennant Has Some Big Opinions About Taylor Swift’s Pop Dominance

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'What's Her Billie Jean?': Neil Tennant Has Some Big Opinions About Taylor Swift's Pop Dominance

Pet Shop Boys frontman Neil Tennant has admitted he’s a little unconvinced by Taylor Swift’s status as a pop icon.

 

Earlier this week, Neil took part in a live interview with The Guardian, in which he lamented about the current state of pop lyricism.
“[The self] is the only subject,” he said of modern pop. “To have a successful pop career now you have to have a series of relationships which are amazing and then break up tragically.”
Later in the conversation, Neil shared: “I was looking at the chart earlier today, and … it’s all Taylor Swift.”
Confirming he had listened to Taylor’s much-discussed new album The Tortured Poets Department, Neil admitted to being “fascinated” by the Grammy winner’s continued dominance.
“Taylor Swift sort of fascinates me as a phenomenon because she’s so popular and I sort of quite like the whole thing,” he explained.
“But then when I listen to the records […] for a phenomenon as big [as she is]… where are the famous songs? What’s Taylor Swift’s Billie Jean?”
After Taylor’s 2014 single Shake It Off was suggested, Neil continued: “I listened to that the other day, and it’s not Billie Jean. It’s not…
“Melodically – she’s got a great voice, by the way, and the production’s beautiful – but melodically … it’s all sung one or two notes going up and down…”
While heaping praise on the sense of community and “collective experience” among the Swifties, Neil added: “I just think that the one disappointing thing is the music. Not even the lyrics, the music.”

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