Taylor Swift yesterday delivered fans her first new music since 2017's reputation album, in the form of a brand new single, reports news.com.au.
Titled ME!, the song a duet with Panic! At the Disco frontman Brendon Urie and comes with a big-budget, hyper-colourful music video:
Pastels, rainbows and butterflies and a song that sees Swift cheer "Spelling is fun!" — for some, the whole affair feels a bit... juvenile. Is there a new Trolls movie coming out that this is meant to be soundtracking?
"The song is a showcase for the worst and weakest aspects of Swift's work," said Pitchfork, "there will be better songs on the eventual album, because it is not hard to write a better song than this."
"Ugh Taylor What The Hell Are You Doing?" Stereogum titled its review, saying the song "comes across as a bad faith misstep — what people who turn their nose up at Taylor Swift pretend a Taylor Swift song sounds like".
called the video a "pastel nightmare" that's "woefully out of touch with the current landscape".
said that "with no insipid animated film attached to ME!, it's not clear what Swift's (point) is".
The Atlantic titled its savage review "Taylor Swift's 'ME!' Is Everything Wrong With Pop", calling the song's niggling "me-he-he, hoo-hoo-hoo" chorus a "dolphin's screech".
But the music video also has plenty for fans to pore over: A French-language couple's fight from Swift and Urie. A slithering serpent — the animal symbol of Swift's last album — exploding into a swarm of butterflies, seemingly signifiying a new era is upon us. We even get to see the star clutching a cat — very on brand.
And the critical savaging doesn't seem to have had an effect — the song is number one on iTunes and fans have flooded social media with praise:
It marks a tight turnaround for the star, who released the harder-edged reputation album less than 18 months ago. That album was met with the most mixed reviews of Swift's career — but still sold 4.5 million copies worldwide.
Swift has always been fond of teasing fans with clues to her new projects, and this time around the big hint came in the form of a giant mural that sprung up on a city wall in Nashville.
The mural shows a pair of wings, along with the title of Swift's new single, ME!.
After a quick call-out on Instagram, Swift yesterday headed to the mural to pose with a horde of excited fans who'd pieced the clues together.
"I've never been more proud of your FBI level detective skills," she told the assembled Swifties.