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"Delicate" is fifth track and sixth single from Taylor Swift sixth studio album, Reputation (2017). It was released on March 12, 2018 through Big Machine Records. Swift wrote the song with producers Max Martin and Shellback. Upon its release, the song was met with critical acclaim, with many critics praising its lyrical vulnerability and production, and was noted as an album highlight. The song won Best Music Video at the sixth annual iHeartRadio Music Awards.

Promotion and release

On March 5, 2018, Swift announced that the music video of "Delicate" would premiere on the iHeart Radio Music Awards on March 11. "Delicate" was released the next day onto Hot adult contemporary radio and onto contemporary hit radio before a radio release in Italy and the United Kingdom on April 20, 2018.

A vertical video was uploaded to Spotify on March 30, 2018, which was made available for users in the US, the UK, Sweden, and Latin America.[1] The video was later released on YouTube on May 16. As of March 2019, the video on YouTube has over 5.6 million views.

A remix for the song featuring American musicians Ryan Tedder and Sawyr was released on May 25, 2018. On June 8, a remix of the song featuring musician Seeb was released.

Taylor released a clip from her DirecTV series, Taylor Swift NOW, The Making of a Song, for Delicate.

The Making of a Song- “Delicate”

The Making of a Song- “Delicate”

Critical reception

The song received critical acclaim. Geoff Nelson of Consequence of Sound coined the track as one of Reputation's strongest moments, along with "Gorgeous" and "Call It What You Want".[2] Zach Schonfeld of Newsweek called it as "the album's first real moment of vulnerability", and it succeeds by "peeling back all the bravado and EDM aggression of the opening tracks".[3] Roisin O'Connor of The Independent stated that "Taylor Swift produced some of her most honest and direct songwriting to date", and that "'Delicate' was one of the best examples of that".[4] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone named it the best song of 2017,[5] and was also included in Vanity Fair's The 17 Best Pop Songs of 2017, stating that "even at her most publicly beset, Taylor Swift possesses a secret weapon that separates her from the competition: truly unimpeachable songcraft".[6] In 2018, Billboard ranked "Delicate" as the 35th best song of 2018,[7] and was also named by Slant Magazine as the 9th best single of 2018.[8] Rolling Stone also named it as the 12th best song of 2018.[9]

Year-end lists

Critic/Publication List Rank Ref.
Rolling Stone Rob Sheffield's Top 25 Songs of 2017 1 [10]
Vanity Fair Best Pop Songs of 2017 17 [11]
Billboard The Best Songs of 2018 35 [12]
Slant Magazine Best Single of 2018 9 [13]
Rolling Stone 50 Best Songs of 2018 12 [14]

Awards and nominations

"Delicate" has received three awards from seven nominations.

Year Organization Award Result Ref.
2018 Teen Choice Awards Choice Pop Song Nominated [15]
BreakTudo Awards Video of the Year Nominated [16]
2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards Best Music Video Won [17]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Favourite Song Nominated [18]
iHeartRadio Titanium Awards Won [19]
Myx Music Award Favourite International Video Won [20]

Music video

The music video for "Delicate" premiered on March 11, 2018, at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards after Swift accepted her award for "Female Artist of the Year". Directed by Joseph Kahn, the music video was shot in various locations around Los Angeles, including the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, the 7th Street/Metro Center station, the Los Angeles Theater and adjacent St. Vincent's Court, and the Golden Gopher bar.[21] The video features Swift discovering that she is invisible after a mystery man hands her a note, and is a satire and symbolic of Swift being able to be herself for the first time, and not caring about how others view her.[22][23] The video gained almost 13 million online views in the first 24 hours of release.[24] As of March 2019, the music video has gained over 340 million views on YouTube.[25]

Behind the scenes

Vertical video

On March 30, 2018, Swift uploaded an alternate video exclusively to Spotify, which was made available for users in the US, the UK, Sweden, and Latin America.[1] The video was filmed in one continuous shot in a vertical format. It features Swift walking in the woods while singing and also referencing her relationship with Joe Alwyn by "clutching her necklace with a J on the pendant".[26] The video was later released on YouTube on May 16. To date the video has over 6.3 million views on YouTube.

Delicate (Vertical Version)

Delicate (Vertical Version)

Chart performance

In the United States, "Delicate" was a sleeper hit, debuting at number 84 on the Billboard Hot 100 after its release as a single. It rose to number 66 the following week. The song has since peaked at number 12,[27] making Reputation the first album in three years to have five top 20 hits on the Hot 100 with the last album doing so being Swift's own album 1989 in 2015. It also debuted at number 24 on the Adult Contemporary chart, becoming the week's highest ranking debut and later peaked at number one on the chart becoming the first single from Reputation to do so and spent ten weeks at the top of the chart. The song later become the longest-charting solo female song of the decade on the chart by more than 54 weeks of charting. The song entered at number 32 on the Mainstream Top 40 and number 37 on the Adult Top 40, peaking at the top position on both radio charts becoming the first single from Reputation to do so.

Additionally, on the week dated August 11, the song spent its twenty-first week on the chart, becoming the longest charting from Reputation on the Hot 100, and spent 35 weeks on the chart. After one year released, the song spent its fifty-third weeks on the Adult Contemporary chart, becoming the longest charting song by Swift. It also becoming the ninth longest charting song by a female artist on the chart in history. Billboard noted that compared to other singles from Reputation, which peaked high initially and then fell, "Delicate" was a slow growing radio hit which gained popularity the longer audiences stayed with it. It also became the biggest radio hit from the album surpassing "Look What You Made Me Do".[28]

After the release of Reputation, the song debuted at number 98 on the Canadian Hot 100 falling off the chart the following week. After its release as a single it re-entered the chart at number 44, becoming the fifth consecutive song from Reputation to peak within the top 50 of the chart. The next week it moved to number 38, later peaking at number 20.The song also debuted at number 87 in the UK, before peaking at number 45. In Australia it debuted at number 56, later peaking at number 28.

Live performances

The song had its debut performance at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on May 8, 2018, as part of the setlist for Swift's Reputation Stadium Tour.[29] On May 27, 2018, Swift performed a stripped-down, acoustic version of the song as part of her performance at BBC Radio 1's Biggest Weekend in Swansea, where she supported herself on the guitar.[30]

On June 30, 2018, Swift performed this song in a secret gig in Chicago as she took a break from her Reputation Stadium Tour.[31] On December 6, 2018, Swift made a surprise appearance at the Ally Coalition Talent Show in New York City and performed an acoustic version of this song with Hayley Kiyoko.[32]

Lyrics

This ain't for the best
My reputation's never been worse, so
You must like me for me…
We can't make
Any promises now, can we, babe?
But you can make me a drink

Dive bar on the east side, where you at?
Phone lights up my nightstand in the black
Come here, you can meet me in the back
Dark jeans and your Nikes, look at you
Oh damn, never seen that color blue
Just think of the fun things we could do
'Cause I like you

This ain't for the best
My reputation's never been worse, so
You must like me for me…
Yeah, I want you
We can't make
Any promises now, can we, babe?
But you can make me a drink

Is it cool that I said all that?
Is it chill that you're in my head?
'Cause I know that it's delicate (delicate)
Is it cool that I said all that?
Is it too soon to do this yet?
'Cause I know that it's delicate
Isn't it? Isn't it? Isn't it? Isn't it?
Isn't it? Isn't it? Isn't it?
Isn't it delicate?

Third floor on the west side, me and you
Handsome, you're a mansion with a view
Do the girls back home touch you like I do?
Long night, with your hands up in my hair
Echoes of your footsteps on the stairs
Stay here, honey, I don't wanna share
'Cause I like you

This ain't for the best
My reputation's never been worse, so
You must like me for me…
Yeah, I want you
We can't make
Any promises now, can we, babe?
But you can make me a drink

Is it cool that I said all that?
Is it chill that you're in my head?
'Cause I know that it's delicate (delicate)
Is it cool that I said all that?
Is it too soon to do this yet?
'Cause I know that it's delicate
Isn't it? Isn't it? Isn't it? Isn't it?
Isn't it? Isn't it? Isn't it?
Isn't it delicate?

Sometimes I wonder when you sleep
Are you ever dreaming of me?
Sometimes when I look into your eyes
I pretend you're mine, all the damn time
'Cause I like you

Is it cool that I said all that?
Is it chill that you're in my head?
'Cause I know that it's delicate (delicate)
(Yeah, I want you)
Is it cool that I said all that?
Is it too soon to do this yet?
'Cause I know that it's delicate (delicate)
'Cause I like you
Is it cool that I said all that?
Isn't it? Isn't it? Isn't it? Isn't it?
Is it chill that you're in my head?
Isn't it? Isn't it? Isn't it? Isn't it?
'Cause I know that it's delicate
Isn't it? Isn't it? Isn't it? Isn't it?
(Yeah, I want you)
Is it cool that I said all that?
Isn't it? Isn't it? Isn't it? Isn't it?
Is it too soon to do this yet?
Isn't it? Isn't it? Isn't it?
'Cause I know that it's delicate
Isn't it delicate?

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Taylor Swift’s New Delicate Video Only on Spotify
  2. Taylor Swift – Reputation
  3. Taylor Swift's 'Reputation': A Track-By-Track Review, From "Ready For It" to "New Year's Day"
  4. Taylor Swift dances like nobody's watching in 'Delicate' video
  5. Rob Sheffield's Top 25 Songs of 2017
  6. The 17 Best Pop Songs of 2017
  7. Billboard's 100 Best Songs of 2018
  8. The 25 Best Singles of 2018
  9. 50 Best Songs of 2018
  10. Rob Sheffield's Top 25 Songs of 2017
  11. The 17 Best Pop Songs of 2017
  12. Billboard's 100 Best Songs of 2018
  13. The 25 Best Singles of 2018
  14. 50 Best Songs of 2018
  15. Teen Choice Awards 2018: Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther and Riverdale Among Top Nominees
  16. BreakTudo Awards 2018: Anitta, BTS and Camila Cabello lead the list of award winners
  17. iHeartRadio Music Award Nominations 2019: Complete List
  18. Kids' Choice Awards: 'Avengers: Infinity War' Tops Nominees; DJ Khaled to Host
  19. Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Cardi B & More Songs Earn iHeartRadio Titanium Award for 1 Billion Spins: Exclusive
  20. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myx_Music_Award_for_Favorite_International_Video
  21. All the Downtown Los Angeles Spots Featured in Taylor Swift's 'Delicate' Music Video
  22. Taylor Swift Channels Britney Spears' 'Lucky,' Maddie Ziegler in 'Delicate' Video
  23. Here's the meaning behind the "Delicate" video, because Taylor Swift is finally living her best life
  24. Fans Can't Stop Comparing Taylor Swift's New Video To This 2016 Perfume Ad
  25. "Taylor Swift - Delicate". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCXGJQYZ9JA. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  26. Taylor Swift Gets Up Close & Personal in 'Delicate' Vertical Video
  27. Taylor Swift Delicate Chart History
  28. Taylor Swift's "Delicate" is Reputation's biggest radio hit
  29. Here Are All the Songs Taylor Swift Played on the Opening Night of the Reputation Tour
  30. Taylor Swift Performs 'Look What You Made Me Do,' 'Delicate' & More at Biggest Weekend
  31. https://canoe.com/entertainment/music/taylor-swift-plays-secret-gig-in-chicago
  32. https://www.iheart.com/content/2018-12-06-taylor-swift-hayley-kiyoko-team-up-for-acoustic-delicate-performance/
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