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Taylor Swift celebrated her 23rd birthday on Thursday by premiering her 23rd music video, for the single "I Knew You Were Trouble"--and, while she was at it, she set another unofficial milestone. The new clip is easily the least country-feeling video she's ever made. Like, ever.
Furthermore, it seems to set a dividing line between her youth and her adulthood. Fans of Swift's typically romantic, breezy, and/or cute clips will no doubt be very surprised by her newest, which portrays Swift in a dark and distinctly mature light. There's no flowers, birdcages, squirrel pajamas, or references to Tim McGraw to be found here.
The video opens up with a lengthy spoken intro of Swift musing about a bad-boy love--the "Trouble" she knows she's supposed to avoid--offering up such commentary as: "How can the devil be pulling you towards someone who looks so much like an angel when he smiles at you?"
Viewers are then taken through a gritty-feeling storyline in which Swift finds herself drawn into a world that turns out to be a bit too fast and dark for her liking.
The clip itself is not only edgy; Swift plays with a look she's never tried before--trading in her ladylike dresses and long locks for a shaggy pink-streaked 'do and punkish wardrobe. The result is a distinctly grown-up and sexy vibe that has never translated to her earlier work.
Swift explained that she intentionally chose to make a video divergent from her usual style. "As soon as I started writing this song, I knew it was different from anything else on the record, so I knew that I wanted the video to be different from anything we'd ever done," she noted. "I wanted to tell the story of a girl who falls into a world that's too fast for her, and suffers the consequences."
"I Knew You Were Trouble" was shot in Los Angeles and features actor Reeve Carney as the darkly handsome love interest. Carney is currently playing Peter Parker in the Broadway production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
Although Swift's new video veers far out of country territory, the singer has by no means abandoned her home genre. In fact, she'll be appearing on Tim McGraw's upcoming Two Lanes of Freedom album, collaborating with him and Keith Urban on a song called "Highway Don't Care."