Every two years, pop sensation Taylor Swift surprises the world with new music shortly after releasing various subtle hints on social media. Considering her second pop album “Reputation” debuted in 2017, it’s only fitting that she released a new single titled “Me” in 2019.
Throughout the past month, Swift drove fans crazy with cryptic messages via Instagram. From changing the entire aesthetic of her Instagram page to captioning “4.26” on nearly every photo posted in the past two weeks, the singer kept her followers entertained while agonizing them with suspense.
While that suspense led to various theories on what Swift’s hints meant, some including an entirely new album while others rumored engagement announcements, a new single from a soon to be released album that dropped midnight of April 26.
The questions being asked now are no longer about the theme of Swift’s Instagram. Now fans wonder if her new song was worth the wait and, more importantly, whether or not it ponies up to all the iconic songs of her past.
The short answer is no.
In the past 13 years, Swift deemed herself not only a country music icon but a pop music icon as well. With 10 Grammy wins and 32 total nominations, she breaks down barrier after barrier ever since her first ever single “Tim McGraw” was released in 2006. She’s gone from America’s sweetheart to pop queen all while calling out every guy or friend whoever did her wrong. However, she’s better than her new single.
While I appreciate the message in her newest song, I do not understand how the same person who wrote the lyrics, “You call me up again just to break me like a promise / So casually cruel in the name of being honest” is the same person who is now writing “you know there’s no ‘I’ in team but there is a me.” For someone as talented and inspirational as Swift, I expected something a little more resounding than a catchy tune about how no one will ever find a girl like her.
The most disappointing part of it isn’t necessarily the poor quality of her new song, but the fact that it is supposed to embody an idea about breaking out of her damaged reputation seen in her last album to grow into a new, beautiful self-loving butterfly. It’s a shame that the lyrics, “You’re the only one of you / Baby that’s the fun of you” is supposed to exemplify this message when in reality it sounds like a Disney song trying to preach originality to kids.
I’m not saying Swift’s new song is the worst thing I’ve ever heard. I’m not even saying it’s a bad song. If some no-name singer threw this into the music mix as their debut single, I would probably sing along and be fine with it. But Taylor Swift isn’t a no-name singer who’s trying to make it. She’s already made it and she has given us some of the greatest songs with profound lyrics. Swift is a rare talent; she writes her own lyrics, produces her own sound and controls her entire music-making process. She has done this for 13 years and has published six record-breaking albums.
Remaining a music icon is difficult to do forever; look at Elvis Presley, any 80’s rock band, Madonna and especially Britney Spears. These people revolutionized music at one time period and then eventually faded away while younger generations created new and improved sounds. Does this mean Taylor Swift may fizzle out?
As sad as it might be, I think this will be the last Taylor Swift album that makes an impact upon the music world. After her last album “Reputation,” Swift lost a good chunk of fans who grew bored or uninterested with her pop flare. While “Reputation” was still a solid album with some killer songs, it is no secret that her past music has done significantly better.
Maybe I am wrong and Swift will make a legendary album with the world’s greatest bops and everyone will laugh at how I thought she was headed under. Or, maybe this album will follow in suit with her newest single “Me” and disenchant fans. Either way, she will board the burnout train at some point.
Email Kacey at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @kaceyconnolly1.