I don’t know if this is the first single from an as-yet-unannounced album, or just a one-off, but what it most resembles is the end credits song from a second-tier animated film (think ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ or ‘Happy’). Light, fun, forgettable.
In the 13th and 14th spots on Billboard’s Hot 100 we have two songs I featured the last time I looked at the charts — ‘The Middle‘ by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey; and ‘Meant to Be‘ by Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line. These two country-flavored hits were back to back in the top five in late May and they’ve stuck together lower on the chart.
At #15 is another (one-time) country artist, though it’s been awhile since Taylor Swift got her twang on. In fact, I think the best unexpected career move for Swift right now would be to put out another bona fide country pop album.
As with Big Star’s ‘Thirteen,’ I knew exactly which song I’d feature for today’s number before I even started looking. Taylor Swift’s ‘Fifteen’ is lovely and iconic and certainly the best song ever written with this title.
Swift is also in contention for slot #22 with, you guessed it, ’22,’ but I have decided to go with only one song per artist, so somebody else will get the nod in a week.
Reputation is pretty much what I expected based on the mostly disappointing pre-release singles. The good news is the rest of the album is a step up in quality, even if the subject matter is disappointingly more of the same. Dis tracks, love songs and meditations on what it’s like to be as famous as Taylor Swift.
We’ve had a whole lot of discussion about Taylor Swift on this blog in recent weeks, mostly centering on her choice of subject matter (namely, herself). I maintain that Swift’s obsessive focus on her own personal drama diminishes her as an artist.
Two days ago, Swift released the first single from her upcoming album Reputation, and I’m sorry to say it reinforces that negative impression.
Our third Round Four matchup pits Elvis Costello against Taylor Swift. Swift has been a giant slayer in the contest thus far, propelled by some major fans and a whole lot of debate. She took out David Byrne in Round One, Tom Petty in Round Two and Simon & Garfunkel in Round Three (72/28).
Costello topped Carly Rae Jepsen, then John Mayer and finally Michael Jackson (with a commanding 90% of the vote).
Swift’s path has been a generational war, Millennials vs. Boomers, and that won’t change in this round. Can she continue to topple the oldsters on her way to the Final Four? Or will Costello prove too tough a foe?
Swift defeated a couple of celebrated veterans to get here, dropping David Byrne with 88% of the vote in Round One and Tom Petty with 72% in Round Two. Simon & Garfunkel defeated Rufus Wainwright with 80% in Round One and Prince with 64% in Round Two. That’s an impressive batch of artists left in the wake of these two contenders. Continue reading