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Taylor Swift's 'Me!' review: Back to her straightforward pop self

Taylor Swift surprised fans at the "What Lifts

Taylor Swift surprised fans at the "What Lifts You Up" Mural in Nashville the day before her new single came out. Credit: Getty Images/Leah Puttkammer

Taylor Swift is back doing what she does best on her new single “Me!” (Taylor Swift Productions/Republic), an upbeat, esteem-building pop song featuring help from Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon Urie.

Swift released “Me!” early Friday morning following weeks of hints about new music on social media. It’s the first single from her still-untitled seventh album, the follow-up to 2017’s “Reputation,” and it marks a change of direction for the superstar.

In case there was any doubt, the video, also released Friday, opens with a snake — Swift’s symbol from the “Reputation” rollout — exploding into thousands of butterflies, the symbol Swift has used to tease the release of “Me!” The aggressive, angry Taylor of “Look What You Made Me Do” has given way to the nurturing Taylor of “Me!” who promises, “I’m the only one of me. Baby, that’s the fun of me.”

Musically, “Me!” — which Swift co-wrote with Urie and Joel Little, who produced Lorde’s debut — marks Swift’s return to the more straightforward pop sound of her “1989” album, blending a bit of “Blank Space” with Sara Bareilles’ “Brave.”

"I think that with a pop song we have the ability to get melodies stuck in people's heads,” Swift told Robin Roberts Thursday night during ABC’s NFL draft coverage. “And I just want it to be one that makes them feel better about themselves."

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