The Beat with Kylea Pearson: You can’t Spell ‘Meh’ Without ‘Me!’

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Music is made to move. It has the ability to take you higher, bring you down, humble you and create unimaginable foregrounds within the widespread imaginations of creators and listeners.

Taylor Swift has been a suspect of this act of moving mountains within the music industry and in people’s lives, my life included. For years, six albums worth to be exact, Taylor has never lost purpose within her music and much as she states within her Elle UK interview, pop is personal, just as it should be.

To backtrack, I attended one of her shows from the Reputation tour in Levi’s Stadium in May 2018. This was the moment I dreamed of since I was 7. After years of busting my mom and my car’s speakers with Taylor Swift songs, I found myself screaming lyrics to every song, annoying those around me in my glitter drenched outfit. I even welled up at the thought of finally seeing her perform in front of my eyes. to me, she was a beautiful and powerful artist I knew I could trust; then the show ended.

Taylor waved and bowed while fans cheered and shrieked their love. She disappeared behind the curtain and something I never in my wildest dreams would’ve thought would happen actually happened. The lights went up, people were leaving and my heart was undeniably shattered. Out of every show I’ve ever attended throughout my 19 years of wreaking havoc on this planet, she was the only artist who did not perform an encore. That was the moment I knew she was gone. Her recent music release only emphasizes this within me.

Her new song titled “Me!” was released after a countdown, which lasted 13 days. The only difference in comparison to her previous track record of music releases, this song has a feature. Brendon Urie from Panic! At The Disco was the chosen artist who would be cohabitating this song with Taylor. Brendon has an incredible vocal range and talent through the roof, matching Taylor, so in most expectancies, I was convinced this song would be the song of the summer … something valuable.

Then, the song was released with a music video. Typically, I would not suggest watching a music video before hearing the song alone beforehand, but I was desperate. Initially, I was hopeful. The first verse was moderately good and started the song off with something close to a meaning, but as the track continued, the light that once rested in my eyes and ears had faded.

Taylor stated it was a song about embracing your individuality and knowing just how great you are. Yes, this factor was achieved, but it was met in such a way that it felt cheap and processed like McDonald’s chicken nuggets.

Pop songs are meant to be repetitive but with a purpose. This song had no purpose.

Taylor sings, “I’m the only one of me. Baby, that’s the fun of me!”

This is a fun and confident statement, but then she spends more time vocalizing vowel sounds instead of actually singing lyrics. It seems this chorus is an effortless way of selling merchandise to stores like Justice, a shop with horrifically neon shirts that will soon display “you can’t spell ‘awesome’ without Me!” in a plastic font, for three-year-olds to wear. (Yes, that is also one of the phrases Taylor utters multiple times in this song, as though she’s attempting to edge her way back into being “family-friendly.”)

The video is also not to be praised. At least 85% of it used a green screen. Most of the props had no value to the song; needless to say, the song could not stand on its own, and Taylor knowing this, created the flashiest music video she could think of.

If pastel and glitter are who Taylor Swift is, she should go for it, but she is drowning listeners in repetitive and ultimately pointless lyrics that she probably found shopping in the children’s section at Ross, hoping that will be enough. Unfortunately, it is not.

Considering this is only the first single off of her soon-to-be album, I still have hope. Taylor has a tendency to never let us down, so maybe this isn’t the end just yet. She preaches the importance of storytelling and she shows the value of purposeful lyrics, but she did not give us that this time.

Instead, she produced a product that might as well be wrapped in plastic and sold on shelves of Walmart at mass amounts. She’s only one person, and no one can be perfect forever and sell incredible music forever. I just assumed she would descend with grace.

As a fan and supporter of Taylor Swift, I hope her corporate scheme will soon end and that someday she will be an artist once more. We don’t care about the “old” or “new” Taylor — all we want is the “real” Taylor.