Welcome back the mega-successful Taylor Swift and her catchy tunes and lyrics.
That Taylor Swift was also 18.
If you expect some more maturity with Taylor Swift’s newest offering, you are vastly mistaken. If you expect a darker tone, such as her Hunger Games offerings (Safe & Sound, Eyes Open), you are immensely mistaken as well.
If you expect some country too, then you’re way off the mark. If you’re expecting some deep lyrics, you’re in the wrong place. Taylor Swift’s new single is about yet another relationship gone sour and it’s custom-made for the leagues of teenagers who will swallow the song up with its catchy chorus and radio-friendly status.
Simply put, there’s no way the song won’t get stuck in people’s heads, à la Call Me Maybe.
Going straight to the point with an overly long title, there’s no room for second-guessing and analysis on the song. Taylor is telling one of the many, many guys she has dated that they are, well, never – ever – getting back together. I have to ask though – why would anyone date her if they know they’d end up in song? Or is it because they know they’ll be immortalized in song that they date her?
But I digress.
“We are never ever ever getting back together,” she sings on the chorus. As if the title wasn’t evident enough. To the backdrop of “Woo-oh-oh,” she sings “You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me. But we are never ever ever ever getting back together.”
Yes, those “ever”s are very numerous.
At the song’s bridge, she goes into typical teenage girl phone talk: “Then he calls me up and he’s like “I still love you,” and I’m like this is exhausting, we are never getting back together – like ever.”
No, I’m not making this up.
As I said, the song is insanely catchy – her catchiest offering so far in fact. As I type this and after hearing it only a couple of times, I have the melody stuck in my head. And that’s what Taylor Swift is really good at: making a very catchy hook that does what a hook is supposed to do: hook you.
However, what’s demanded of an artist like Taylor Swift is less “OMG, it’s like OMG” in her songs and more seriousness. What’s demanded of her is less teenager-ish attitude and more soon-to-be 23 year old who shouldn’t be going all gaga over someone on the phone.
Moreover, the least that can be expected from one of country music’s leading artists is to have a country element in the lead single. Some artists keep the twang if they decide to drop the country elements of the music. Others choose to tell a story even if the melody isn’t country. With “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” Taylor does neither.
Even the fact that pop hit-maker Max Martin produced the song isn’t an excuse because he has dipped his toes in country music before. The result was Carrie Underwood’s Quitter. How will country radio react to this? It will eat up the song. The fans will rush to buy this – watch it break sales records. But I, for one, really hope this isn’t indicative of the material quality on Red, her fourth album which she will release on October 22nd. Because after songs such as Enchanted and Back To December, this is definitely a let-down. Even Love Story was more mature than this. Go figure.
5/10 – just for managing to get stuck in my head after one listen.