NEW YORK—In a dramatic break from the singer’s past incarnations, including her more aggressive recent image, Taylor Swift unveiled an even darker persona Friday with the release of her new single, “Skullfucking Maggot Shit Boyfriend.” “From the moment we see her chewing the entrails of a bound-and-gagged man wrapped in coils of barbed wire, it’s obvious this is a version of Taylor we definitely haven’t seen before,” said Billboard magazine writer Joseph Wohl in a post analyzing the new song and its accompanying music video, which feature graphic images of self-mutilation, a bass line sampled from a recording of cattle slaughter, and multiple lyrical references to genocide. “In the pre-chorus, when she sings, ‘I’m going to hatefuck you till the worms feast on your eyes,’ it’s not clear if she’s referring to ex-boyfriend Tom Hiddleston, her rival Katy Perry, or her ongoing feud with Kanye West. But it’s obvious from the bursts of industrial noise and mid-song interlude involving an imagined phone call with serial killer John Wayne Gacy that this new Taylor isn’t playing around.” At press time, several music blogs had reportedly criticized the single as overly derivative of artists like Throbbing Gristle and Anal Cunt as well as for appropriating imagery from Pier Pasolini’s film, The 120 Days Of Sodom.
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