Though her clips aren’t as visually shocking or as jaw-droppingly art directed as those of contemporaries like Lady Gaga or Katy Perry, Taylor Swift deserves quite a bit of credit for her excellent music videos. Even though she has won an MTV Video Music Award for her work, she is rarely mentioned alongside the best contemporary video artists. Still, consider how many of her clips have become instantly iconic, including the recent domestic drama “Mine” and high school fantasies like “You Belong With Me” and “Love Story.”
Her new clip “Back to December” joins her pantheon of modern classics, as while it skimps a bit on narrative, it makes up for it with an almost haunting visual sense. The video follows the aftermath of a break-up between Swift and her boyfriend (in real life, the song is about “Twilight” actor Taylor Lautner, and the actor in the video vaguely resembles the young man who plays Jacob Black). There are a lot of shots of each one brooding, though the most compelling images kick in about half way through, when it starts to snow inside Swift’s spacious house. In the video’s key scene, Swift lays down in an empty bathtub as the snow gently falls — it’s as though she is overcome by the melancholy that the break-up has built up inside her. It’s a lovely and poetic image that is fraught with sadness and beauty.
Swift’s third album Speak Now has dominated the early part of 2011, as she has spent the first three weeks of the year on top of the Billboard album chart. “Back to December” will almost certainly help continue her reign.
What do you think of Taylor Swift’s new video for “Back to December”? Let us know in the comments!