Last week Taylor Swift slammed back onto the music scene after a whole year hiatus, bringing with her a brand new music video for ME!, her recent single in collaboration with Panic! at the Disco’s Brendan Urie, and seemingly discarding the dark and mysterious aesthetic she spent the entirety of the last two years and her whole Reputation album trying to reinforce.
In the new release, long gone are the dark tones, strange hoods and deep broody stares of the music videos of the Reputation era as we are disjointedly thrown back into a world of pastel colours, slightly off fake tan and camera angles that desperately try not to make it obvious that Urie is half the size of Swift.
Walking into a pseudo partisan wonderland that is infiltrated with dreamlike CGI effects after storming out on an argument with her boyfriend (Urie) the video manifests as a green screen technician’s wet dream and falls fowl of Marvel syndrome, so much of the video appearing doctored and false that it’s impossible for the watcher to feel on any level truly immersed or engaged in the ‘action’ on screen.
Despite her attempts to over-exaggerate the gleefulness of the track, her exclamation that “spelling is fun kids!” only reinforces an atmosphere of immaturity that does Swift an injustice. While it’s nice to see her go back to the kind of music she does best: upbeat and light-hearted after her systemic assassination of ‘the old Taylor’ just over a year ago, this track and its video can’t help but feel like an overcorrection and ultimately lacks substance.
While the video doesn’t deter any excitement for what Swift has up her sleeve in her next album, it surely doesn’t add to it, and I for one are hoping that this bubble-gum primary school explosion is merely one pastel shade of Swifts self-proclaimed ‘rainbow with all of the colours’