“I Knew You Were Trouble” may be, well, all sorts of troublesome for some Taylor Swift fans, because Taylor seems to have given herself over to her co-writers Max Martin and Shellback this time around. The new Red cut begins with a “once upon a time” and a plucky guitar line that sounds pretty typical of Taylor, but there’s hardly a twang to be heard thereafter, as the song turns into something more grinding and chaotic. Where things really get crazy is at the hook, when the bass drops (albeit pretty gently) and Taylor leans in: “OHH, OHHHH/ TROUBLE TROUBLE TROUBLE.” She’s basically moaning, though — because she likes it?
Multiple albums’ worth of breakup songs later, the world has begun to suspect that Taylor is sort of enjoying all these heartbreaks. With “Trouble,” she seems to be admitting as much. The song finds Taylor reflecting on a relationship that maybe never should have been: “I knew you were trouble when you walked in, so shame on me now,” she sings. But she doesn’t sound faint of heart about the whole thing, rather she makes self-aware jokes about “Once upon a time, a few mistakes ago…” It’s exciting to hear Taylor shed the good girl guise and show-off her bad side like this, and if experimenting with new sounds helps her to express these feelings, then by all means let that bass drop! Experimental Taylor might just be fun, after all.