The video - which premiered on Thursday 13th December at 9.40pm on MTV - is most definitely a departure for the usually demure Swift, a decidedly dark thing that documents a pair of star-crossed lovers embarking on a race to the bottom.
Her furry friends from the We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together promo have been replaced with fistfights, snogging sessions in dingy motel rooms, druggy dance-floor spinouts, shirtless tattoo sittings and, of course, a whole lot of tattered clothing.
Reminiscent of Rihanna's edgy We Found Love vid, Swift opens the clip with a length voiceover, where the 23-year old says: "I think that the worst part of it all wasn't losing him, it was losing me", showing the risks Taylor is taking as she throws herself into the role of a good girl poised on the precipice of a steep drop.
Co-starring with Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark lead Reeve Carney (the titular troubleman), Swift seems to delight in getting dirty, whether she's being cast aside in a bar brawl or losing herself in the whirl and whomp of the dancefloor. She even sorta dyed her hair for the role.
When taken at large, Trouble may not separate itself from the field of other down-and-dirty vids being dropped by her pop contemporaries, but when considered in the cuddly context of Swift's other clips (probably not coincidentally, this is her 23rd ... and it premiered on her 23rd birthday), it represents a quantum leap for the squeaky-clean star.
A large portion of her Red album seems to be about her seizing the reins and driving her career to the next plateau, and perhaps Trouble is the next logical step.
It may give ammo to the naysayers, and it could possibly alienate whatever portion of her country fan-base that still exists, but you get the feeling Swift could care less. This is about growth, about expansion, about pushing the boundaries.
Like she says at the end of the promo: "I don't know if you know who you are until you lose who you were" ... preach, sister.
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