Since he didn’t release a second of music or video footage from “Midnights” prior to releasing that album four nights ago, Taylor Swift is working to make up for lost time. She released the second music video for the song from the album a few days after the first, with “Bejeweled” hitting Swift-isphere on the heels of “Anti-Hero” at 12 (ET) Monday night. Watch the full clip featuring Laura Dern, Dita von Teese, and the three Haim sisters below.
It’s a Cinderella story, although the prince – whose role was played briefly by producer/writer Jacques Antonoff – appears more succinctly in it than most versions of the fairy tale. Swift plays House Wench Taylor, who first appears cleaning up the vomit Lady Este (Este Haim) left behind after a drunken outing the night before. “Stepmommy” (Dern) and Messrs. Alana and Danielle berate the suffering star more brazenly than the Disney versions—there’s nothing Uncle Walt thinks about the promise of “diamond tassel nipples”—before Swift transforms herself in the starry arena of up diamonds. She is then the ghost of the barely glimpse Antonov, and perhaps she’d better go back to the giant cocktail glasses she’s been walking around in with “Fairy Goddess” von Teese. Pat McGrath, one of the world’s most famous makeup artists, also wears a cameo.
While discussing the video on “The Tonight Show,” which aired on the East Coast around the same time the video was first showing on YouTube, Swift told Jimmy Fallon that there was a “psychotic amount” of Easter eggs embedded in the visuals. “We have a PDF of the Easter eggs in this video, because there’s so much we can’t keep track of.”
Unlike “Anti-Hero,” Bejeweled’s song is all about self-confidence, almost as an act of anti-self-erasing programming touted for its first single. It’s a disjointed song, or at least one we might break up, but it’s also the really flashiest number on the album, closer to the shiny highs of “Lover” like “Me” or “You Need to Calm Down” than any other tune in “Midnight.” . Of all her songs about troubled relationships, it is one of the least disturbing. The message: She is bewitched by leaving you.
But that lyrical content has nothing to do with the music video, as Swift finds something more appealing than Prince: an opportunity to relate to a story centered on her theme running in the middle of the night.
One development that fans were hoping for with Swift’s “Tonight Show” didn’t quite work out. Swifties had been hoping to announce her 2023 tour, but she’s only allowed that she’d like to take a tour… which may or may not be a symbol of everything being locked and loaded. In any case, Swifties who will have to wait a little longer for tour details can occupy themselves until 3am or later by collecting fresh eggs.
One clue to future plans that doesn’t seem particularly accurate: a strong hint in the video that “Speak Now” will be the upcoming “Taylor’s Version” re-recording. In the clip, Swift hits a purple elevator button to the third floor — and wore a purple dress on the cover of her third album, Speak Now. Less popular as a theory, but not entirely implausible, is the remote possibility that the color/number combination could only mean that “Lavender Haze” would be the third single or video from the new album.
The “Bejeweled” video and Fallon’s visit capped a day when news broke that “Midnights” had already amassed over 1 million album-equivalent units, the first album to do so in a week since Swift’s 2017 album Reputation. Luminate reported that the album reached About 1.2 million units after just three days, with nearly half a million copies sold in vinyl format.
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