First there was country Taylor Swift, then pop Taylor Swift, then biggest-star-in-the-world Taylor Swift, then vengeful, don’t-mess-with Taylor Swift – who told us in no uncertain terms that the old Taylor Swift was dead.
Now we have new Taylor Swift, who bears more than a little resemblance to the old Taylor Swift, and she’s back in a rainbow of sunshine and sugary rainbow pastels in the video for her new single, ME!.
The video contains many references to her previous works and images – including a snake, a nod to her famous feud with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
However, this time round, the reptile is slithering across colourful cobbles and bursts into a cloud of beautiful butterflies. Swift is over it, guys! Feuds are like, so exhausting.
Within seven hours of its premiere in the early hours of Friday in the UK, the video had been watched more than 24 million times on YouTube.
The song is an upbeat earworm of a pop track, Swift’s first since her singles from 2017 album Reputation, and features Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco.
The pair play a couple who are initially fighting in the four-minute video, in French, for reasons that aren’t really explained, but go with it.
Fans will no doubt be delighted to see the star’s cats, Olivia and Meredith (regulars on her social media channels), making an appearance as their “young daughters”.
“I’m the only one of me/Baby, that’s the fun of me,” the 29-year-old goes on to sing, in scenes seemingly inspired by a Willy Wonka, Mary Poppins and Wizard of Oz mash-up.
She also extols the virtues of the written word, exclaiming “spelling is fun!” towards the end of the track. An unusual addition, perhaps, but it’s a good lesson. Watch as dictionary sales soar.
Shortly before its release, Swift appeared on US TV network ABC to preview the track.
She told host Robin Roberts: “It’s a song about embracing your individuality and really celebrating it and owning it.
“You know, I think that with a pop song we have the ability to get a melody stuck in people’s heads and I just want it to be one that makes people feel better about themselves, not worse.”
Swift also thanked her fans for “caring about the music that I make” and said hints she had dropped in the build-up to the release made the experience “more fun” because to “create music and music videos knowing (fans) will care about little Easter eggs or clues or hints – you have no idea how much fun that is”.
ME! is Swift’s first new release since leaving her previous record label, Big Machine Records, and signing with Universal Music Group in November last year.
Take a look at the video here.