BSBB Round 1: Nico & Vinz, "Am I Wrong" vs. Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off"

Courtesy Photo (2)
Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules

Am I Wrong

Nico & Vinz

Shake It Off

Taylor Swift

CHRIS PAYNE: My love of “Am I Wrong” perplexed me throughout 2014. Why was I so entranced by a song that seems like some Sting-influenced post-Maroon 5 radio schlock, especially when its album art reminded me of the Black Eyed Peas’ Elephunk and I’m always wary of dudes named Vinz? But I still find this song hypnotically brilliant and compared to the other singles on 1989, “Shake It Off” is basic and generic.

My Vote: "Am I Wrong"

MEAGHAN GARVEY: To be clear, the video for “Shake It Off” is still completely mortifying, no matter how “in on the joke” Taylor may have been: the ultimate encapsulation of the pumpkin spice privilege upon which her entire career rests. But in my quietest moments, I have begrudgingly come to terms with the fact that I am powerless to skip past this… sick… beat when 1989 soundtracks my wheezing elliptical sessions. Haters: as you were.

My Vote: "Shake It Off"

MYLES TANZER: "Am I Wrong" is so even-keeled that it's like riding in the most sepia-toned car commercial that a marketing executive could dream of. The horns in the chorus are pleasant, but nothing more than just catchy. Here's the difference — the baritone sax in "Shake It Off" is an absolute presence. This is a song that punches you in the mouth while snaking into your ear. That sax is so damn good that it makes up for the most cringeworthy bridge of the year. "Shake It Off" has an laughable amount of staying power — it's the song that radio stations will use to define 2014 for the next million years.

My Vote: “Shake It Off”

ERIN STRECKER: It’s Nico and Vinz’s own bad luck for going up against Taylor so early in the competition. At least for a while, Swift’s infectious kiss-off to haters should destroy everything in its path.

My Vote: “Shake It Off”

STEVEN J. HOROWITZ: Nico & Vinz cribbed all of the notes from Avicii and Aloe Blacc for “Am I Wrong,” which went as quickly as it came. Sure, it’s catchy, but, like a disposable piece of Bazooka gum, it loses flavor fast. The same can’t be said for “Shake It Off,” the gutsy Taylor Swift pop-crossover single we’ve thirsted for. In Taylor we trust.

My Vote: “Shake It Off”


“Shake It Off”

Best Song Bracket Battle: View the Matchups | Critics and Rules

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.