“Me!” was definitely not for me

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A still from Taylor Swift’s music video “Me!”

As most people probably know, Taylor Swift released a new single with Brendon Urie, lead singer of alternative/rock/pop band Panic! At The Disco. The single was released a couple of days ago to the adoring screams and adoration of “Swifties,” as Taylor’s fans so affectionately call themselves.

Disclaimer: I am not a Swiftie. Taylor Swift is fine. I agree that for what she does she is talented enough, but I liked Swift better when she was singing “Teardrops on My Guitar.” I do admittedly bop along to all her hits and thought her last few album releases have been wildly successful.

However, this song is over the top bubbly and screams pink – as implicated in the cotton candy style music video – and bears a very strong Broadway-esque quality that is pushed even more with Urie’s influence. I’m a big Panic! fan and applaud Urie on his ability to so easily flow between the alternative emo sounds early Panic! was known for and the more classical sounds of Broadway show tunes. Urie is truly the star of this single and without him, I think the song would be a flop.

Brendon Urie as seen Taylor Swift’s music video “Me!”

Swift is a smart businesswoman. Utilizing a talent like Urie to kick off a single that really lacks her sound is brilliant. Swift’s classical sound has ranged over the years, from her initial country tracks to her newer modern pop, but she still maintains that quintessential crossover ability.

Yet, Swift hasn’t done show tunes while Urie has. Without Urie, the show tune style really wouldn’t work, but it does. The chorus is really catchy and after a couple listens I found myself humming along. The verse lines are a little stilted and cheesy for my taste, but the chorus is good and catchy.

The biggest peeve I have with the song is a part where Taylor happily screams, “Spelling is fun!” before beginning a spelling routine like any good and iconic show tune includes. This could have been done in a different way and seems jilted in the middle of the song and kind of disrupts the bopping beat that grows as the song goes on. In a way, it ruins any seriousness the song could potentially have – and Swift has been so lauded for having such meaningful songs instead of open, airy, meaningless ones. Without that little line, I think the song could have continued on its merry way.

The music video is very aesthetically pleasing, with light pastel colors and cotton candy-esque backgrounds, and Swift and Urie float through it dancing and singing their hearts out. It was a little weird, but I liked it more than just the song by itself. According to Swift-lore, the new album title and next single were revealed in the video, but I couldn’t find it. However, maybe a more dedicated fan than I could.

A still from Taylor Swift’s music video “Me!”

This song is completely different than what was described as Taylor’s “snake-phase” with the release of Reputation and may signify her new beginning after calling out everyone who hates her. It’s a far stretch from what she has released in the recent past, and maybe her fans will be here for it.

Overall, the single is fun, easy to listen to and I’m sure that it will be streamed an excessive amount of times and be named a new bop for the summer, but I miss the old Taylor Swift with the deep lyrics and ballad-like musical backgrounds. Maybe her new album will still harbor some of that old country goodness that moderate fans like me appreciate so much.

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