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ME!

Feat. Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco | Lead Single | Lover (2019)

“ME!” is the lead single from Taylor’s seventh studio album, Lover (2019). It was released on April 26, 2019, which made it the first song Taylor released under her new record label Republic Records. It features Brendon Urie of the band Panic! at the Disco.
With ME!, Taylor teaches listeners a lesson about self-love and confidence. It’s a stark turn from the sound of her sixth studio album, reputation (2017), which is known for its dark visuals and mature themes.

Background and Production

On April 13, 2019, a countdown to midnight on April 26 appeared on Taylor’s website, leading to speculation about the release of new music. On April 25, various news outlets reported that fans suspected that a mural of a butterfly in The Gulch neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee, painted by street artist Kelsey Montague, was connected with the upcoming release. A crowd of several hundred gathered at the mural as the word “ME!” was added to it by Montague. While Montague was initially told that the mural was commissioned as promotion for ABC, ESPN and the 2019 NFL Draft, Taylor appeared at the mural and revealed that it was in fact part of her countdown promotion and that she would be interviewed by Robin Roberts during the NFL Draft broadcast with further information that evening. At the interview she confirmed the release of a new song and music video at midnight, sharing the title as well as the feature from Urie.

Lyrical Theme and Production

“ME!” is a bubblegum pop song written by Taylor, Brendon Urie and Joel Little, and produced by Joel and Taylor. Introducing the song to her fans, Taylor said: “With a pop song, we have an ability to get a melody stuck in people’s heads, and I just want it to be one that makes them feel better about themselves, not worse.”

«This song is such a celebration and it’s so playful. When I thought of this melody, I was like, ‘It’s so catchy. What do we want to get stuck in people’s heads?’ And what I wanted was to make people happy about themselves because I think everyone is so neurotic, and insecure, and anxious about things. I think there should be a way for us to have a song stuck in our heads that reinforces the fact that we’re different. And obviously there are a lot of songs about, ‘I’m special,’ but I hadn’t heard one recently that was about, ‘I’m special because of who I am.’»

Taylor Swift

Music Video

The colorful music video for “ME!” is a symbolic departure from the previous dark aesthetic of reputation, welcoming fans into the Lover era. It has been described as a “phantasmagorical delight” that induces an instant “sugar rush” in a “bubblegum psychedelia”. The video amassed over 65.2 million views within its first day of release, breaking the 24-hour Vevo record previously held by Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next”, also surpassing Taylor’s personal record set in 2017 with the “Look What You Made Me Do” music video, which garnered 43.2 million views in its first day. The video scored several accolades; it won a VMA for “Best Visual Effects” at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, the “Best Video” at the 2019 MTV Europe Music Awards and the “Best Female International Artist Video” at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards Japan.

Upon the music video’s release, Taylor teased that there are multiple Easter eggs in the video, one of them being that she adopted her third cat, Benjamin Button. Additionally, there were three levels of Easter eggs in the video, from most obvious to least obvious, which point to clues about the upcoming album, single, and tour. It was revealed that “You Need to Calm Down“, a line Urie says to Taylor at the beginning in French, would be the second single, and an “old-timey, 1940s-sounding instrumental version” of the song plays in the background in the same scene. The album title Lover was correctly guessed in advance. Other potential titles that were speculated of being on the album were “Kaleidoscope”, “Home” and “Awesome”. The portrait of The Chicks was later revealed to be a reference to a collaboration for the song “Soon You’ll Get Better” on the album.

Critical Reception

“ME!” received polarizing reviews from music critics. Rolling Stone‘s Rob Sheffield called the song “campy”, “bubbly” and “a totally canonical Taylor Lead Single”, noting similarities to past lead singles such as “Look What You Made Me Do“, “Shake It Off” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and commenting that all of these songs differed sonically from their respective albums. Rob Harvilla of The Ringer opined “‘ME!’ is a cloyingly goofy Disney-pop confection with an earworm chorus and a certain try-hard insidiousness to it”. Writing for Billboard, Jason Lipshutz stated that it “is similarly shiny, and the tongue-in-cheek self-assessment of ‘Blank Space‘ shows up in the verses, but it’s also much more broad, way more cheerful and delivered without an ounce of sarcasm or snark”.

«I wanted [fans] to see that I’m heading in a different direction musically than they’ve seen in the past few years. This song was to change expectations and be a bit of a palette cleanser before they heard more of this new project. Plus, the chorus just makes me happy and lifts my mood when I sing it. I never want to be presumptuous, but I hoped it might do the same for someone who’s having a shitty day.»

Taylor Swift

Commercial Performance

During the week ending May 4, 2019, “ME!” debuted at No. 100 on the Billboard Hot 100, only accounting for four days since its initial release. During the week ending May 11, the song peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100. It had the highest jump in Hot 100 history with 98 spots jumped from its debut to the consecutive week.

Lyrics

[Intro: Taylor Swift]
I promise that you’ll never find another like me

[Verse 1: Taylor Swift]
I know that I’m a handful, baby, uh
I know I never think before I jump
And you’re the kind of guy the ladies want
(And there’s a lot of cool chicks out there)
I know that I went psycho on the phone
I never leave well enough alone
And trouble’s gonna follow where I go
(And there’s a lot of cool chicks out there)

[Pre-Chorus: Taylor Swift]
But one of these things is not like the others
Like a rainbow with all of the colors
Baby doll, when it comes to a lover
I promise that you’ll never find another like

[Chorus: Taylor Swift]
Me-e-e, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
I’m the only one of me
Baby, that’s the fun of me
Eeh-eeh-eeh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
You’re the only one of you
Baby, that’s the fun of you
And I promise that nobody’s gonna love you like me-e-e

[Verse 2: Brendon Urie & Taylor Swift]
I know I tend to make it about me
I know you never get just what you see
But I will never bore you, baby
(And there’s a lot of lame guys out there)
And when we had that fight out in the rain
You ran after me and called my name
I never wanna see you walk away
(And there’s a lot of lame guys out there)

[Pre-Chorus: Taylor Swift & Brendon Urie, Brendon Urie]
‘Cause one of these things is not like the others
Livin’ in winter, I am your summer
Baby doll, when it comes to a lover
I promise that you’ll never find another like

[Chorus: Brendon Urie, Taylor Swift & Brendon Urie]
Me-e-e, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
I’m the only one of me
Let me keep you company

Eeh-eeh-eeh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
You’re the only one of you
Baby, that’s the fun of you

And I promise that nobody’s gonna love you like me-e-e

[Bridge: Brendon Urie, Taylor Swift & Both]
Hey, kids!
Spelling is fun!*
Girl, there ain’t no I in “team”
But you know there is a “me”
Strike the band up, 1, 2, 3
I promise that you’ll never find another like me
Girl, there ain’t no I in “team”
But you know there is a “me”
And you can’t spell “awesome” without “me”
I promise that you’ll never find another like

[Chorus: Both, Taylor Swift & Brendon Urie]
Me-e-e (Yeah), ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh (And I want ya, baby)
I’m the only one of me (I’m the only one of me)
Baby, that’s the fun of me (Baby, that’s the fun of me)
Eeh-eeh-eeh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh (Oh)
You’re the only one of you (Oh)
Baby, that’s the fun of you
And I promise that nobody’s gonna love you like me-e-e

[Outro: Brendon Urie, Taylor Swift & Both]
Girl, there ain’t no I in “team” (Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
But you know there is a “me”
I’m the only one of me (Oh-oh)
Baby, that’s the fun of me
(Eeh-eeh-eeh, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)
Strike the band up, 1, 2, 3
You can’t spell “awesome” without “me”
You’re the only one of you
Baby, that’s the fun of you
And I promise that nobody’s gonna love you like me-e-e

*The lyric “Hey kids! Spelling is fun!” is not included in the album version of the song.

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General Information
AlbumLover
FeatureBrendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco
ReleasedApril 26, 2019
StudioElectric Lady (New York City)
GenreBubblegum Pop
Length3:13
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Brendon Urie
Joel Little
ProducersJoel Little
Taylor Swift
LOVER CHRONOLOGY
AfterglowME!It’s Nice To Have A Friend
Single Certification
ME! Butterfly Mural
Single Artwork
Making of
Music Video
Live Performance
Lyric Video
Official Live Audio