The Beat 8/31: Taylor Swift Rules Charts, Frank Ocean Does TV, Austin Mahone Gets Signed

85 Billboard Rating

TAYLOR SWIFT
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" (3:11)
Producer: Max Martin, Shellback
Writer: Taylor Swift, Max Martin, Shellback
Publisher: MXM. Administered by Kobalt (ASCAP)/ Sony/ATV Tree Publishing/ Taylor Swift Music (BMI)
Big Machine Records
Rating: 85

Forget about the Max Martin-assisted embrace of delirious pop hooks on Taylor Swift's new single for a second, and think about how "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is the funniest song the country superstar has thus far recorded. Gone, momentarily, are the sweepingly romantic narratives of past lead singles "Love Story" and "Mine"; instead, there's a sardonic sneer in Swift's singing voice, a spoken-word bridge in which she assures her audience that her past flame is so in the past, and an incisive, spot-on comment that her ex could find his "piece of mind/With some indie record that's much cooler than mine." Swift has already offered winning permutations of her girl-next-door persona within different genres, and has certainly written breakup chronicles that cut her exes down to size. But with "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," Swift expands an already impressive songwriting range to incorporate a biting sarcasm within her deep-rooted confidence. With a new album, "Red," that will likely showcase her experimental impulses when it hits stores in October, Swift has tossed out a lead single that's at once bold and familiar.

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