[SONG REVIEW] Taylor Swift Makes Her Reappearance with ME!

In an all-encompassing song incorporating a marching band, spelling lessons, self-love, and Brendon Urie, Taylor Swift makes her reappearance with her newest release, ME!. Her first single since the release of the album Reputation.

ME! is consistent with the majority of Swift’s song narratives, chronicling a turbulent relationship in which she feels underappreciated but ultimately salvages the relationship. Swift’s last album, Reputation, released in November of 2017, was received with ambivalence. Following her musical hiatus after the album 1989, the style, cadence, and topics found in Reputation contradicted (and for many, displeased) the image Swift had created for herself as a country girl-turned pop star. This shift has not been abrupt, however. Since her debut in 2006 with her self-titled album, Taylor Swift, the artist has gradually distanced, but not severed, herself from the young country girl she was in her formative years with the unapologetically confident lyrics heard in albums like Red and 1989.

Swift boasts of her distinctive and colorful persona, encouraging her listeners to embrace themselves because there is, after all, only one of them”

Swift’s shift from the naivety of adolescence to the rebellious nature of her more recent albums culminate in her latest release, somewhat unsuccessfully. For much of the song, Swift boasts of her distinctive and colorful persona, encouraging her listeners to embrace themselves because there is, after all, only one of them. While the message is appealing, the delivery, bolstered by lyrics and instrumentals of the same overly-bright sentiment, is overstimulating and sappy. Swift is accompanied by Panic! At the Disco’s lead vocalist, Brendon Urie, in this carefree but excessively buoyant tune. Contributing to the overstimulation is the portion resembling a sing-along. The two artists conjure, in their joint falsetto, an elementary ambiance as Swift chants: “Hey, kids: Spelling is fun!” followed by: “You can’t spell awesome without ‘me’.”

ME!, with its overwhelming and saccharine vocals, redeems itself with its underlying meaning; just as she does in so many of her songs, Swift uses ME! to promote authenticity and acceptance (Swift and Urie sing: “You’re the only one of you; baby that’s the fun of you.”)

Although ME! may be received with less enthusiasm as her previous albums, the cheery and danceable tune amplifies the endearing, positive message of being oneself.