Taylor Swift has been my favorite singer since I was 10 years old. Even though I hated country, I listened to her first four albums non-stop. I stood by her as she dealt with hate and reclaimed her title as the queen of pop with Reputation. As much as I miss her old sound, I’ve embraced her new pop music. But her new single, “ME!” might be too much even for a super fan like me. As I listen to Taylor’s old music, it’s hard to believe this is what she is creating more than 10 years into her career.
Now, like I said, I am a Taylor Swift super fan. Anything Taylor makes is magic, but some songs are just more magical than others. “ME!” featuring Brendon Urie from Panic! At the Disco is an upbeat summer jam sure to hit the top of the Billboard charts. For any other artist it would be fine, but knowing what Taylor is capable of, I have to say I’m disappointed. Did I really wait two years to hear “You can’t spell awesome without me?” Is this the same girl who wrote “Teardrops on my Guitar” and “Back to December?”
I don’t completely hate the song and I understand why Taylor chose to go in this direction. After her dark reputation era, she wanted to bring some light and fun into her music. The colorful video (which opens with a snake turning into an army of butterflies) shows Taylor at the happiest she has been. She’s dancing in pink, frilly dresses and bright yellow suits, showing off her new kitten, and dueting with a punk prince. “ME!” brings Taylor into a new era of pastel shades and butterflies. The video and song are reminiscent of a cheerful song they’d play at the end of a Pixar movie. But Taylor is a multiple award-winning songwriter who is almost 30 years old. As a lifelong fan, I was expecting more.
But if Taylor is having fun, I will be having fun right along with her. Whether it’s a hit or miss, she is an artist who wants to experiment with her sound. Her music is how she finds herself, and if “ME!” is any reflection of that, Taylor is telling us she has found happiness and self-confidence. I will always love Taylor, and even if “ME!” is not my favorite song, I’ll probably still listen to it on repeat. But let’s hope that there is better, more mature music to come. Knowing what Taylor is capable of, I am hopeful for this new era. I’m ready to see Taylor let the light in, to spread her wings and fly.