Taylor Swift's largely delightful comeback record
has been out in the world for nearly three months now. Which means it's remix time, baby! In the age of Lil Nas X and Lizzo — who've perfected the art of nuking a song back to the top by cutting fresh versions with a big name — was Taylor just gonna sit there and let
drift down the charts?
She was not. Swift shared the first addition to the
universe today, featuring coiffed crooner and Camila Cabello's
better half, Shawn Mendes.
and its title track see Swift fully own the whimsical, romantic side to her work, which has previously been leveraged against her by critics — promising that this glittery, rainbow explosion is her final form, take it or leave it. Mendes is a logical addition, and his brand new second verse ("We can could sit on the stoop/ I'll sing love songs to you when we're eighty") brings the song's sugar factor up to about a million, particularly when Swift and Mendes cutely trade off lines on the iconic "Ladies and gentleman, will you please stand…" bridge. Here, Mendes also delivers fresh lyrics, promising in a honeyed falsetto warble: "Look in my eyes/ They will tell you the truth/ The girl in my story has always been you/ I'd go down in the Titanic, it's true for you, loverrrrrrrrr."
"Lover" somehow manages to be both enjoyable and cloying, with or without Mendes' extra glucose. It remains to be seen if this new concoction will have the desired result on the song's chart spot — or who else might be invited into the
universe to add a fresh sugar-coat and a streaming boost.