Updated: May 20, 2019
Growing up as a Swiftie and a P!ATD sinner, the collab between Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie (the frontman of Panic! at the Disco for all you young heathens) was a dream come true and a fusion of nostalgic bliss. BUT did the song live up to its expected ‘Reputation’ and ‘High Hopes’ from fans? Keep in mind that the bubblegum single ‘Me!’ dropped after Taylor’s dark and rebellious Reputation and Brendon’s Pray for the Wicked albums. I believe that I speak for the majority of us when I say that nobody saw this coming. Even though we’ve been literally told that "Reputation precedes me" in the lyrics of 'Endgame'.
From the start of the music video, we are launched into Taylor’s world. The snake, an obvious representation of Taylor created by the media, explodes into butterflies. The technicolour, rainbow shades shout that this is indeed Taylor’s seventh album. Metaphors and Easter eggs are scattered throughout the kaleidoscope of visual treats; some more literal than others. The stark contrast from her previous album proves more staggering as the video goes on. The last time the old Taylor hung up the phone, we knew it was “cause she's dead!”. Now, her comeback exclamation is “Spelling is fun!”. Is there an underlying sarcasm to the lyrics? Or were the hints at the Sesame Street theme intentional? All we know is that the Taylor Swift brand always presents captivating visuals at their finest.
Speaking about drama, the French dialogue and theatrical setting of this video sets the stage for a musical. Before Taylor jumped into the musical trend train - see the upcoming movie adaptation of the play, 'Cats' - let’s not forget that musicals are Brendon’s forte. Think: 'Kinky Boots'. His theatrical vocal runs, the 'Mary Poppins' scene of floating with an umbrella and his over-enthusiastic dance moves are so underrated in this video.
Brendon not only seamlessly fit in but his talents shone in this song. On the other hand, Taylor is setting a fresh, new look to her style. Or, perhaps, she is returning to the theme of her very first album from 2009 with its dainty butterflies on the cover. All in all, the sight of Taylor and Brendon with spinning umbrellas during their live performances is not a brash return to 1989's synth pop but its evolution to a sugary sweet bubblegum Taylor. When Brendon gushed over Taylor's lengthy text message asking him to collab; nothing could match my reaction better than his. And who’s hearts aren’t warmed by her newest kitten, Benjamin Button? (besides Olivia and Meredith)
We'll be on the lookout for more songs from Taylor and Brendon! Stay tuned for updates on her latest album.