You can’t spell “lame” without “ME!”
Taylor Swift released her pop tune single "ME!" featuring Brendon Urie: a song nobody asked for and nobody wanted
May 1, 2019
After staying up waiting for Taylor Swift to release her newest single “ME!” featuring Brendon Urie on April 26 at midnight, I lost sleep over it and not in a good way.
I first listened to the song by itself and then watched the music video to see the work come to life; I was simultaneously underwhelmed by the music and overwhelmed by the video’s visuals. The song did not represent them as individual artists nor did the collab make sense. They have two different styles and it felt forced and unnatural.
Taylor Swift has been all over the music board from her start in country to a recent move towards contemporary pop. Her previous album “Reputation” had an edgy appeal with darker moods: “Reputation” symbolized her jadedness towards her old, boy-crazy persona. The album as a whole had an edgier tone as Swift used the theme to move her into a fierce and independent era of music. She had created a new brand for herself as the songs and lyrics represented so much of her life under the magnifying glass.
Brendon Urie has created a name for himself in pop-rock and alternative music as the lead singer with Panic! At the Disco. Urie’s music has recently had a casual affair with pop contemporary music with his latest album release “Pray For The Wicked”. With some of Panic’s previous hits being “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and “Death of a Bachelor,” it seemed very out of place for Urie to be singing the lyrics “Spelling is fun!” after perfecting his angsty and punk sound. “ME!” placed both artists under a ray of sunshine and far away from their other releases.
Not only did “ME!” lack real substance, but it felt like a step backwards in terms of maturity. JoJo Siwa’s aesthetic would look like the color black compared to this song. The lyrics are uninspired and don’t sound original or authentic. The music video resembled that of the Pixar animated film Trolls, except Trolls had a solid message and is one of my favorite movies.
Swift helped direct the visuals for “ME!” and used a lot of imagery to bring her lyrics to life. The music video opens with a CGI rendering of a snake— symbolic of Taylor’s previous album— exploding into a kaleidoscope of butterflies. I don’t know why she would want to put “Reputation” to death when it was some of her most authentic work. The following 3 minutes and 55 seconds were full of bright colors and kiddy-pool-deep representations of the lyrics and motifs in the song.
When watching the video, it didn’t seem like it could be something either of the two of them could produce. Maybe they are trying to rebrand, but country turned pop and punk turned pop came together in a collaboration nobody asked for and nobody wanted.
Jules Whitaker is a senior and the Features and Opinion editor. She is also involved with the Student Government Association and plays flag football.