(COURTESY / FREENJOY INC)
Taylor Swift’s first live performance of her new single ME! Wednesday night at the Billboard Music Awards cinches in the image of her new album as an era of pastel colors and the sugar-sweet pop reminiscent of 1989, in case anyone was left wondering after the nature of her latest music video and social media posts.
The song itself, a unexpected collab both vocally and writing-wise between Panic! At The Disco’s Brendan Urie and Swift, does not live up to either’s true potential as lyricists. Neither the song nor the video take themselves too seriously – their saving grace – but even with a fun, lighthearted tone it can be difficult not to roll your eyes after the lyrics about “cool chicks” and “lame guys” culminate in a bridge about how you “can’t spell awesome without ME!”
The lyrics border on trite and childish, leaving the song feeling more like a throwaway pop track for a movie score than a lead single.
However, Swift’s lead singles are often more simplistic than the rest of her album, and though the song will not win any awards for depth, it does live up to Swift’s goal – that it feels like a “celebration.”
Urie’s and Swift’s voices work well together, and they each bring a unique energy that lights up the stage and music video. Where the song ME! is lacking in perhaps substance of its own merit, it makes up for it in every way with visual mediums.
The live performance is an experience of flashing lights, colors, fun costumes and a well-used fly system; the music video defined by the word pastel, stunning visuals, a cute kitten and Urie pulling a Mary Poppins with a pastel umbrella.
Both are worth a rewatch, and perhaps ME! will be a song better enjoyed on a screen than over the airwaves of the radio.