Taylor Swift has made her return today after a two-week social media-countdown and a two-year break from the music industry.
With a vivid burst of colour, Swift released the long-awaited single ME!, a song that the singer has explained is about “feeling like you’re not replaceable.”
But the sugary new single says less than it wants you to think.
No longer feeling her insecurities and instead embracing her flaws as what makes her unique, Swift opens the song with a smile and an assertation, “I promise that you’ll never find another like me.”
The point, carried throughout the song as Swift and Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon Urie cry, “I’m the only one of me!” feels hollow and superficial.
Accepting your flaws is, of course, important, but listening to someone cheerily asserting that they might make the relationship about them, but at least they’ll never bore you, really doesn’t promote the right attitude.
As the pair are keen to remind us, “you’ll never find another like me” – but do we really want to? You can accept your flaws without making them a hinderance to the person you love.
Of course, you’re not replaceable: the next relationship will hopefully be with someone who accepts and works on any issues. Why replace someone or something with more of the same if it was bad for you?
Pairing the over-the-top cheesy lyrics with bright colours, dance routines and the natural euphoria of Urie’s vocals intertwining with Swift’s may very well allow the listener to feel better about themselves, but at what cost?
Three minutes of t-shirt slogan self-love and a bizarre breakdown that sees Swift yelling “Hey kids, spelling is fun!” before she and Urie repeatedly remind us that you can’t spell ‘team’ or ‘awesome’ without the letters ‘M’ and ‘E’ feels like an awfully quick fix.
Of course, Swift can’t be expected to play therapist or get everything right, but the song really misses its mark, struggling to reach beyond the superficial.
We all know the argument of being a unique, one-of-a-kind lover but dressing up relatable, lacklustre statements in an ecstatic pop song does little to inspire confidence.
Revel in your individuality, take on board your flaws and accept them as part of who you are, but don’t get lost in the idea that they’re exactly what makes you loveable.
After two-weeks of fan frenzy and speculation surrounding the countdown, a sky-high mural painted in Nashville and a teaser interview, the feel-good pop song instead becomes something of a let-down – a plaster on a gaping wound.
That being said, the song itself provides a catchy upbeat tempo and a video that drew half a million views within a couple of hours of its midnight debut.
Swift may have missed the mark with the lyrics, but she sure knows how to pull a crowd.