Reputation precedes ME! Taylor Nation denizens.
Here at the Swift Agency, just an old guy reminiscing about the good ole days, I must accept waiting for the release felt just like being guy in the suit again… That was nostalgic and a bit sad at the same time. You probably won’t get why some of the old school Taylor fans feel happy and sad to welcome a new era, and that’s ok. It’s kinda crazy to think that the Sparkly Dressed, a relative young artist, has an “old school” fandom section until you’ve followed the Blonde With The Sparkly Guitar for a few of her eras. The rep era is now over.
If you’ve ever read some of my posts from past eras, you probably know I’m always doubtful of the first single. Taylor’s studio albums always have a first single that by design has to be radio-friendly, which means it’s meant for mass-consumption and has to be the one with the sharpest hook from her repertoire. Yes, I’m going by the popular assumption that this is the first single of TS7. There’s a lot of promo for this to be a one-off and Taylor only does those when they’re tied to other media like a movie soundtrack.
All this to say, my first impression of ME! was with the video and it felt a bit gimmicky. Director Dave Meyers and the T-meister herself went full pastel with unicorns and rainbows. Felt a little too Tim-Burton-remaking-Willy-Wonka-And-The-Chocolate-Factory kind of colourful. It’s still a happy and joyful video that I can find charming but I prefer a more natural palette. It’s a feast to the eyes but it has a little too much candy. I need some water now. I expect the video to do just fine.
That being said, the song does fare a little better to my ears without the saturated visuals. There are certain things that I always feel pop music over-produces and ME! is not the exception. At least they’re happy sounds and oh’s and ah’s we’ve come to expect from the opening salvo. I don’t hate the song but it’s not my cup of tea. It has a positive message so that’s fine, but I don’t see myself having it on repeat. What I want to know and I won’t know for a while is how deep are the other cuts of the album, the ones that won’t make it to radio. Dare I expect an “All Too Well” or a “New Year’s Day” in there or is that too much?
But let’s look at the positives. We met Benjamin Button the cat. We’ve also got some easter eggs to examine and some hints of more collab stuff coming up. Also, she’s diversifying director-wise and we got Dave Meyers now. ME! was written by Taylor Swift, Brendon Urie and Joel Little. No doubt that Universal will want Taylor to collab a lot more with artists of her label.
The biggest positive that more than one critic has pointed out already, is that we’re getting a happier message than the previous era. Reputation felt like a response to all the harsh criticism. I appreciated the edge in its comeback, and it felt like a more adult message. The new era (we don’t have a name yet) feels warmer and more comforting so it seems to be attracting positive vibes. Honestly, I don’t feel there was anything wrong with the rep era, but at the same time I am glad this album is coming from a happier place. It’s still Taylor Swift from the beginning up until now.
And perhaps that’s what makes it nostalgic. The more Taylor changes, the more she stays the same. We fans also change through the ages, and although some bow out and some stay, we always have new ones coming in. Perhaps we’ll get some old friends back. As for me, I think I’ll stay a little longer. I might do it at a distance or perhaps this time I might just get to show up, as impossible as that sounds. Someone told me to never dream impossible dreams. And then they did and the dreams were no longer impossible. That same person might have new music coming up as well, so I can’t wait to hear how that sounds.
On other news, the Mother of Fighting Dragons With You will be performing with Brendon Urie at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards. She’s also up for top female artist and top touring artist.
Coming up in the Calendar:
- May 1: Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie will open at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards with the worldwide premiere of ME! on television. Taylor is up for top female artist and top touring artist.
(Sources: 2019 Billboard Music Awards, Instagram)