Taylor Swift is back!
There's no one quite like a Swiftie, Taylor Swift's die hard fans who are all secretly detectives and boy do they need those skills. I'm happy to call myself a Swiftie and have been since the very start, I had to set my alarm for 5am UK time to see the new release but it was worth it! In the early Swift days you had to allow a little extra time to pick out the capital letters in her song lyric booklets to decipher who each song was about. She trained us well as now the clues have started to get a little more difficult. In the countdown leading up to the single and video release of ME! Taylor teased us with photos with no explanation, then a mural popped up in Nashville supposedly for the NFL Draft of a butterfly containing pretty much all things that make Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift - cats, 13 hearts, rainbows, I don't know who would buy that about it being for the NFL! Then just hours before the release the fans were proved right when Taylor showed up to the mural and the word me was added.
It turns out that mural pretty much represents the music video for her new pop anthem which features Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco. It begins with the Reputation character - the snake launching an attack and bursting into hundreds of butterflies and Taylor having an argument in French. She says "How dare you, and in front of our young daughters" as she gestures towards Meredith and Olivia... her cats! I won't commentate on the entire video as you can watch for yourself by clicking on it above, but there are a number of things to point out especially for the Country fan! I didn't expect Taylor to release a Country song or album this time but I do think she might in the future, maybe one or two album tracks might go back to that vibe. However she makes a number of references to her roots in this video.
The first sign we see is on the wall when she sings about cool chicks we see all these photos of little chicks wearing sun glasses and in amongst them is a framed picture of the Dixie Chicks, now before Taylor was signed to Big Machine she had a publishing deal and pitched Teardrops on my Guitar to the Dixie Chicks although they didn't cut it Taylor always said what a moment it was for her as they were one of her favourite bands and lead singer Natalie Maines has since sung with her on stage on one of her tours! Is a collaboration in the works or is it just a nod to her inspirations? The other thing to note if you're a Country fan is the reappearance of cowboy boots about three quarters of the way through the video! Besides that, the mural is in Nashville and a number of photo shoots show her wearing tassel jackets but I'm sorry to disappoint you, I don't think we'll see a solid return to Country from Taylor just yet!
Other interesting points include the introduction of Taylor's new cat Benjamin Button and the costume changes. Taylor's tours are known for their epic costumes and on stage changes and this song alone sets any Swiftie off visualising what she might do, can she replicate that dress which seems to turn itself to liquid? If anyone can, Taylor can! But what about the actual song? Well written by Taylor, Brendon Urie and Joel Little it is a fun, up-beat pop tune celebrating individuality and what is not to love? Taylor also produced the track with Little who wrote and produced Lorde's Royals to name just one song you may be familiar with, the drums are interesting and an integral part of the verses, there's some effective trumpets but above all Brendon's vocals blend so well with Taylor's. The chorus is very catchy, lyrically it's so simple and that's what makes it work so well for a pop song the emphasis is all on the melodic hooks and phrasing of the words. I mean how many people could get away with rhyming me with me and you with you - that was called lazy songwriting at Uni but does it matter? No, because melodically it's got you hooked and it's already number 1 on the UK iTunes chart so... SUCCESS! Good job Taylor Swift you've pulled it out of the bag once again, we look forward to the album!
PS Whilst writing this Taylor revealed the second single and the title of the album are somewhere in this video! Happy hunting fellow Swifties!