The reviews for Cats are running the gamut from moderate to completely abysmal to The Daily Beast calling the big screen rendition of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical as “The Death Knell Of The Hollywood Musical” One aspect of the film that has been able to mostly avoid the swinging axe that the critics have been yielding has been the stunning track “Beautiful Ghosts”, performed by Taylor Swift and written by Swift and the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber himself.
While the track in it’s original format is hauntingly simple, putting Swift’s vocals front and center. In the hands of remixer and producer Joel Dickson, “Beautiful Ghosts” gets a beat heavy, slightly retro vibed mix, where Dickinson makes the chorus the centerpiece of the mix, with great lead up on the verses to support it.
One thing I noticed about this track the first time I heard it was the lyrical content. Talking about “visions of dazzling rooms I’ll never get let into” and “all that I’ve ever wanted was to be wanted” are easily traced metaphors for the coming out process that many of us went through. Additionally, the later verses leading into the bridge indicate a freedom that has now been found, with verses like ” I never knew I’d love this world they’ve let me into”. While Swift was not around during the 1980’s AIDS crisis, Lloyd Webber was, even losing several of the original stars of the Broadway production of Cats during the plague. The metaphor in the final anthemic chorus that says “the memories were last long ago…so I’ll dance with these beautiful ghosts” could send chills up the spine of even the most jaded of club goers.
Grab the Joel Dickinson remix to Taylor Swift’s “Beautiful Ghosts” here