Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Taylor Swift and Natalie Portman: matching sounds

I've always been conflicted about whether or not I like Taylor Swift's music.  On the one hand, she has a really sexy voice and catchy songs.  On the other, her lyrics reflect the romantic depth of a Disney plotline.  Until she dropped "Back to December," pretty much every song consisted of 1. Today Prince Charming picked me up on the back of his horse or 2. I'm too scared to tell you that I love you, so I'll just be your best friend while you date the popular girl.  I'm not trying to imply that I'm an emotionally mature guy; quite the contrary, just ask any chick I've ever interacted with.  I'm just saying that Taylor Swift's lyrics are childish and send the wrong message about love to her young fans.  Which made her foray into the rap game all the more interesting:

Despite being 19 when she and T-Pain released this song at the CMT awards, Taylor brags about living with her parents and not going to clubs.  Weird.  Anyway, when I first heard the song, the only thing I could think of was Natalie Portman's rap on SNL from three years before.

Compare Taylor Swift and Natalie Portman as rappers, after the jump.

Don't their rapping voices sound exactly the same?  Except that Natalie spits about drinking and fighting, not caramel delight.  Despite that image, though, Portman's films tell a different story about her underlying emotional development.  She's basically been typecast as a young girl who stumbles into a pseudosexual relationship with an older father figure that can't come to fruition because of the age difference-think The Professional, Beautiful Girls, and Black Swan.  She's started to break this mold, but for many years it was a common one for her.  It's always unsettling to watch a man and a child develop a deep bond that borders on romantic love, but Natalie Portman has provided it repeatedly.  I bet she could analyze the hell out of herself with that Harvard psych degree.

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