On October 21, Taylor Swift released her new album Midnights and a song, “Snow on the Beach”, features Lana Del Rey. While Swift accelerated the collaboration leading to the release of Midnights, some Swift fans and music listeners remained pessimistic about Del Rey’s involvement. Once Midnights was released, it was revealed that some fans’ pessimism was well placed and that Del Rey had no verse in the song.
(LR) Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift | Kevin Mazur/WireImage
On October 11, Swift revealed that “Snow on the Beach” featured Del Rey, and the singer posted an Instagram video giving more details about the song.
“…I am such a fan of Lana Del Rey. More on that later. “Snow on the Beach” the song is about falling in love with someone at the same time they fall in love with you,” Swift shared on Instagram.
The singer-songwriter continued, “Lana Del Rey is in my opinion one of the greatest musical artists of all time. The fact that I can exist at the same time as her is an honor and a privilege. And the fact that she would be so generous to collaborate with us on this song is something I will be grateful for for life.
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Lana Del Rey only sang for ‘Snow on the Beach’
When Swift announced “Snow on the Beach,” anticipation built around the song, though some fans were cautious.
In the past, Swift’s high-profile collaborations, especially those featuring women, have resulted in the featured artist being relegated to background vocals. For this reason, female artists having no verse when featured in Swift’s music has become a recurring theme of criticism about Swift.
In “Snow on the Beach”, Del Rey does not have his own verse and instead provides harmonies and background vocals throughout the song.
“not Lana getting the Colbie Caillat/HAIM/The Chicks/Maren Moriss treatment lol,” one Reddit user wrote.
“What a waste of a feature Lana,” wrote another Reddit user.
One Reddit user wrote, “I barely heard Lana on Snow on the Beach. Taylor’s refusal to share the limelight with other female artists is a stain on her career.
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While some fans expressed how much they thought Del Rey should have had a verse in “Snow on the Beach,” other music lovers thought Del Rey’s vocals were a great addition to the song.
“You can hear lana throughout the song, they just layered their vocals together. Listening to headphones, the realization is ultimately rather nice. But yeah they should have given it a verse,” wrote one Reddit user.
“You can hear Lana in the background throughout the song, I think she used it pretty well. I actually like that she’s just in the background too, it adds a layer that I can’t really explain,” another Reddit user wrote.
Taylor Swift’s collaboration story
While Swift is known for being generous with writing and producing credits, her collaboration history is a bit more checkered.
Phoebe Bridgers is the only female artist to have her own verse on one of Swift’s songs since the two collaborated on “Nothing New” from the 2021 album Red (Taylor’s Version). Meanwhile, artists like Colbie Caillat, Maren Morris, Haim, The Chicks and now Del Rey have only provided background vocals on songs with Swift.
By comparison, male artists have mostly received full verses when featured in Swift’s songs, with the exception of Chris Stapleton on Red’s “I Bet You Think About Me” (Taylor’s Version).
Even on Swift’s 2019 album Lover, The Chicks provided background vocals for “Soon You’ll Get Better,” while Swift later released a remix of the song “Lover” featuring Shawn Mendes, and the Mendes’ feature included a new verse and new lyrics in the song’s bridge.
Why Taylor Swift’s ‘Snow on the Beach’ Has Drawn So Much Criticism
In “Snow on the Beach”, Del Rey is an effective presence, giving the song an ethereal feel. His influence is noticeable throughout the song. However, given the praise Swift gave Del Rey and how well Del Rey fits into the track, the singer not having a verse feels like a missed opportunity.
If Swift wasn’t used to having almost exclusively female artists on backing vocals while male artists perform full verses and duets, the disappointment surrounding “Snow on the Beach” might not be so. strong.
“Snow on the Beach (feat. Lana Del Rey)” further fuels speculation as to why Swift’s discography has this pattern. Is she afraid of being overshadowed by other female artists? Is it because of a coherent stylistic choice? Does she prefer to sing in duets with male artists?
While “Nothing New (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)” seemed to hint at a change in direction for Swift, “Snow on the Beach (feat. Lana Del Rey)” only confirmed some fans’ suspicions that Swift has a controversial scheme and bias.
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