Universal Music Group (label)
26 April 2019 (released)
26 April 2019
Taylor Swift opens the next chapter with the bright and breezy new single ‘ME!’.
Back in 2017 Swift released the controversial ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ to herald the release of her sixth studio album Reputation. The song was, big, bold, and brash, with its artist proclaiming the old Taylor dead.
Inspired by an overblown negative portrayal in some quarters, not to mention an incomplete ‘Famous’ conversation, the singer played up to the villainous role for all it was worth.
Two years on and the next chapter set to begin, the mood feels starkly different.
‘ME! ‘Is unashamedly bubble-gum pop, wonderfully cheesy and several notches beyond over the top. It’s a song that revels in the joy of the uniqueness that makes us special.
The duet With Panic at the Disco’s Brendon Urie, leans heavily on its inclusive hook.
“Me-e-e, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh I'm the only one of me Baby, that's the fun of me,
Eeh-eeh-eeh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, You're the only one of you Baby, that's the fun of you…”
This gaiety is propelled from the off by a marching band drumbeat, gently mixed horns across the chorus, and an ear worm of a hook.
The tracks crowning glory comes in the second half of the ditty as the performers lay on the Brie thick and fast. The twosome Goofishly point out:
“Girl, there ain't no I in team but you know there is a me, and you can't spell awesome without me…”.
It’s so knowingly hammy that you can’t help, but bust out the dance moves, laughing or singing along all the while.
There are allusions to themes of, acceptance, self-confidence, and loving yourself even in spite of your faults. It may not be Taylor Swift’s most deep entry to date, but it certainly is a feel-good booster shot, sure to make most smile.
The Panic at the Disco front man demonstrates a strong vocal chemistry with his partner, helping to carry the frolic through.
If the listener needed any help figuring out how seriously to take the mood of the tune, the accompanying music video should give you a not-so-subtle clue.
Featuring an exploding snake that transforms into butterflies, Mary Poppins-esque flying umbrellas, big dance numbers, and psychedelic sequences, the companion piece only increases the off-the-wall experience.
Despite coming across as a carefree romp, the single has cleverly been used to bookend one era while simultaneously beginning another.
Listeners may notice a reference to going “psycho on the phone…”. Reputation’s leadoff single was most striking for having its creator declare her old persona deceased via foe answering machine.
As Refinery29.com’s lyrical analysis astutely points out the lyric, “seems to be an acknowledgement that the Reputation chapter has closed, and, as fans already noticed, she's returning to the aesthetic that most know and love”.
Think of ‘ME!’ as kind of like a cousin of ‘Shake It Off’. Both have a similar zest for life, but ‘ME!’ Has watched all the musicals it could possibly find, put itself up for the Eurovision song contest, and just generally consumed an awful lot of brightly coloured E number filled sweeties.
‘ME!’s bubbly disposition will not be for everyone. While some will find its es·prit de corps a tonic, others will likely be overwhelmed by the smorgasbord on offer and write it off as disposable pop.
The imminent seventh LP will doubtless have more emotionally profound efforts, but the first single off the rank has done its job. It not only brings the feel-good, but also further amps up anticipation for TS7’s arrival.