By Teresa Ugarte

Taylor Swift is a musical enigma. She’s changed genres and styles too many times to count, and nobody knows what her next move is going to be. So when she wiped her Instagram clean of the gritty snake theme of the “Reputation” era and replaced it with pastels, rainbows, butterflies and a 13-day countdown, nobody knew quite what to expect. Theories ranged from her coming out as bisexual to releasing a new single to dropping a full album. It turned out to be a single and a music video, but the biggest surprise of all was the fact that it was a collaboration with Panic! at the Disco’s Brendon Urie.

The tone of Swift’s new single could not be more different than that of her previous album, “Reputation,” which was released 16 months after a video published by Kim Kardashian West seemingly destroyed Swift’s, well, reputation. Now that Swift is through rising from the ashes, she’s dropped the dark, snake symbolism of the “Reputation” era in favor of butterflies and rainbows.

The song, “Me!” is a self-love anthem about individuality within a relationship. It’s a fun song, though it does feel somewhat juvenile (part of the bridge includes Swift yelling “Hey kids! Spelling is fun!”) and a little bit shallow. It has the same tone as a song from a Pixar movie soundtrack. It sounds so much like a song from a Pixar movie soundtrack, in fact, that there was a now-debunked theory that “Me!” was for the “Secret Life of Pets” movie and not Swift’s new album.

“Me!” is akin to most of Swift’s other singles in that it’s probably the most radio-friendly song on the album and the least emotionally mature. The lead single of “Red,” for example, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is a full-on bop, but it doesn’t have the depth or lyrical prowess of “All Too Well,” a song only released in the main album.

And speaking of the main album, Swift revealed in the comments of the “Me!” music video that the name of the album is hidden in the video itself, along with the name of the next single. Swift is no newcomer to teasing music through cryptic means. She’s been leaving clues for her fans to parse out since her very first album, where she capitalized certain letters in the lyric booklet to spell out secret messages. Ever since she’s been leaving clues for her fans to find everywhere from her music videos to a specially commissioned butterfly mural in Nashville, Tennessee.

Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Taylor Swift’s Facebook Page

Teresa Ugarte is a freshman journalism and English major and can be reached at teugarte@terpmail.umd.edu.

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