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Old 01-16-2019, 07:06 AM
  #16
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Brilliant post:

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I haven’t written an essay in a while. I’ve been skipping a lot of anons lately, but I couldn’t pass up this one because Dress is one of my top 3 songs on rep, and I’ve never written anything in depth about it, and I feel like writing about it today.

For me, this song has probably aged better than any others from rep. I always liked it (even in my brief pre-kaylor period) and post-kaylor, of course it took on more meaning, but in the last couple of months I’ve gained new appreciation for it, partly because of its connection to my favorite rep song, DWOHT, and the softest Kaylor song, YAIL.

Much has been made about the best friend line. I especially like the idea that “I don’t want you like a best friend” is a response to KK saying to her in YAIL “You’re my best friend.” It’s cute, but also sexy. And no one can deny that the idea of them being best friends was a major part of their public relationship, it was beaten into the public’s consciousness repeatedly, especially in 2014, so the idea that this does not refer to KK is laughable. It is indubitably a sexy song (per TS’ own words), but it’s not just a song about sex. Taylor also said it’s a love song about deep and tender feelings. “My one and only, my lifeline” and “I woke up just in time, now I wake up by your side” are powerful lines about being so in love with your person, and it rivals lines in Don’t Blame Me, CIWYW, and New Year’s Day for being about a long term, all-encompassing, sustaining love.

The sexy part obviously includes the ah ha ha haaaa parts, and taking the dress off, and carving their name into her bedpost, but also in the hands shaking, pining in anticipation parts. This is so evocative and makes one think of them attending a party or public event and TS is so into this person, she cannot wait to get out of this event so this dress can be removed. But the relationship is secret, which ups the anticipation to 11, and then you get the release during the ah ha ha haaa parts. I really love this. And my favorite part is “say my name and everything just stops.” Again, this is already sexy, but then she ups it to the next level by having that moment of silence after the third “stops”. GAWD.

And when you realize her partner is a woman, you get the added amusement of not knowing who’s wearing the dress. Did TS buy the dress for herself to have the person take it off, or did she buy it for her lover, so she could watch her partner take it off? We’ll never know. Genius!

Possibly the most curious line is “I woke up just in time, now I wake up by your side.” This suggest that TS wasn’t always aware of how important her love is to her. Maybe there was a breakup caused by TS’ behavior. Or maybe TS had an epiphany of some sort that made their relationship stronger. There can be a lot of things that could fit in here and I doubt we’ll ever know, but it does speak to the fact that this has relationship has likely had its ups and downs, like all do, but especially when you consider the crazy circumstances surrounding it. There is more evidence of this in New Years Day. But she stays.

Back to the connection of this song to DWOHT, Dress gives us a glimpse into how her bed had been turned into a scared oasis. DWHOT precedes this song on the album. DWOHT is a song full of anxiety. The production is designed to evoke this feeling of dread that things are going off the rails. It’s full of minor chords and an anxiety inducing beat and ends with this rhythmic sound that reminds me of an ellipsis…, and you don’t know what happened. Was gravity enough to save them? Then Dress starts and it’s like this breath is exhaled and eventually “Inescapable” and that is your answer. Excuse me while I go have a breakdown.

“If we get burned, at least we were electrified.” Can I reach and note here that we have TS mentioning a lot of natural forces? We have gravity, magnetism, fire, and electricity on this album (and electricity in TIWYCF as well.) In the past, we had a similar metaphor in Treacherous. But they are different. In Treacherous, she doesn’t want to give in to this friction-filled relationship, but the gravity is too much. I’d argue the difference is that she is futilely fighting gravity in Treacherous, but in DWOHT gravity is saving the relationship that is electric and magnetic, not friction-filled. She’s always used water a lot in her imagery (rain, floods, droughts), but she doesn’t in songs about KK. In fact, the only two references to water/rain I can think of from the rep era are in the Delicate music video, she dances in the rain on her way to the bar (which I would argue is representing 2013), and in The Why She Disappeared poem when she’s up to her neck in the ocean during her dark period, but KK is by her side. What does it mean? I don’t know, but I’d bet it has something to do with her finally being Clean.

“We’re spilling wine in the bathtub, you kiss my face and we’re both drunk,” probably is just a fun memory for her of a specific moment, rather than anything metaphorical. A glimpse into their fun, intimate private life that we don’t get to see normally.

“Even in my worst times you could see the best in me…Even in my worst lies you saw the truth in me.” I’m not going to delve into TS’ mental state and insecurities, but I think these lines speak volumes to how important KK is to her and how this is a deep song about a relationship full of love and trust from both sides.

Unfortunately, this song is so gay that it had to be straightwashed. But she did it in a way that is fairly easily explainable to the story, rather than adding male pronouns (thank ****.) “Flashback to when you met me your buzz cut, my hair bleached” is supposed to be about when Toe met in spring of 2016. I’ve heard a couple of different theories about how these lines fit with Kaylor so it is still part of their story, and there are two that I think are plausible. Buzz cut (which in the TS handwritten written lyrics is two words, while the haircut style that joe had is one word, buzzcut. Never forget that for TS words are her thing) can refer to the famous K*rlie Cut that KK got in 2011 that inspired TS’ haircut she got to start the 1989 era. There were lots of articles about it. It was buzzed about. Or, more likely IMO, it could be about the 2016 Met gala. They met there (in other words didn’t go together like in 2014) and TS’ simply replaced the word “dress” with “buzz”. “Flashback to when you met me, your dress cut, my hair bleached.” Karlie cut her Brand*n Maxwell dress for the after party and made a whole video about it. And this gives us a fun play-on-words with met vs. Met. I’ve also heard buzz just referring to “quick” in other words she made a quick cut of her dress. But the song is, after all, called Dress, and a simple one word change and you go from super gay and obviously about kk to being about Joe. Taylor’s galaxy brain never fails to impress.

TS said this song was mostly written a year before she recorded it. There’s no good reason for her to lie about this, so let’s take it at face value. From the BTS’ and a mention that she was in the studio in Sep 2016, it seems that she finished the majority of the songs in late summer and fall 2016, but at the latest, late winter 2017. So, this song was mostly written in late 2015-early 2016. The buzz cut, hair bleached line was likely added late, at the time of the recording. And I’d guess that the golden tattoo lines were also added at the time of recording (there is a connection this song and the Drake song Hold on, I’m Coming Home, and the golden tattoos were worn at Drake’s Bday party in Oct 2016.)

Credit to @gazelessstares for our ongoing breakdowns about songs, especially about the physics and natural forces references. And to the post I saw on Twitter about how the beginning of Dress is like exhaling a breath, because wow.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:14 AM
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Very accurate
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Old 01-18-2019, 02:32 PM
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I also love this one:
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Anonymous asked:

everyone says how the whole delicate and wildest dreams happened which must have been happening just a few months into when they met eachother but taylor wrote you are in love like 2 months after they met eachother? But that talks about a long relationship so how could she be singing about karlie when they’d just about met


WD and Delicate describe the same period of time but they process the emotions differently. WD fit 1989 theme while Delicate is very well at home with REP theme. And Taylor recorded YAIL 4 months after they’d met, giving her some time to deal with the residual emotions from the past. For her to put it on the album, while she probably had a whole bunch of songs to pick from, suggests that the songs means to her a lot. I rewatched her YAIL performance at Hyde Park 2 days ago and it adds a whole new dimension to the song, check it again here
I personally thinks that she probably did not profess her love before recording the song. She came to that realization, and like the hopeless romantic she is, she went and put it into words. At no moment in the song we see her actually engaging with the other person. And late February/Early March Big Sur happened, and Taylor used the “on the way home” caption which makes me think that she spilled it all out by then, giving her 4 and a half month to well.. come clean (clean was recorded right before that trip by the way) and live this new love fully.
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:42 PM
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I like that analysis
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Old 02-26-2019, 07:34 AM
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Add me please
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:55 PM
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things were interesting today
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Old 02-27-2019, 01:43 PM
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Are the pics news?
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:23 AM
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yes, from the same day i posted
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:54 PM
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Huh.
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Old 03-01-2019, 04:25 PM
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Flashback to my mistakes, my rebounds, my earthquakes
Even in my worst light, you saw the truth in me
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Old 03-01-2019, 04:31 PM
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OH, we also had this
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Old 03-02-2019, 04:21 PM
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I love this
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Old 03-05-2019, 05:37 AM
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WOW
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Old 03-09-2019, 01:26 PM
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Have you read both essays for Elle USA and Elle UK? Some parts gave me ~feelings~
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:07 PM
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Nooo but now I want to
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