://www.countryuniverse.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Taylor-Swift-We-are-Never-Ever-Getting-Back-Together-150×150.jpg” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”150″ />Building a Taylor Swift single around the vocal is like building a hamburger around the bun.
On some of her most successful recent singles, Swift had mastered the art of not getting in the way of the song. Alternating between sparse productions like on “Ours” and creative ones like “Mean”, Swift’s songwriting was showcased in the best possible light, and her limitations as a vocalist didn’t work against her.
“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is a huge step backward. It makes two critical errors. The first and most fatal is it’s far too dependent on coos and ooh-ooh-oohs, and Swift is simply terrible at singing them. Not satisfactory, not mediocre. Flat out terrible. Then there is the further error of alternating the singing with her talking like a snarky teenager, which is irritating in its juvenility.
It doesn’t help that she’s not working with a strong composition to begin with, but if she’d downplayed the sarcastic delivery and grating vocal runs, this would be a decent record. As is, it’s only listenable for its sheer audacity, a novelty that wears off quickly after a handful of listens.
Written by Taylor Swift, Max Martin & Johan Shellback
Listen: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Country Mix)