In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This Love Week, we’re talking about some of our favorite kiss-off cuts.
Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (2012)
Taylor Swift gets a lot of shit for writing about her love life, but what else does a fairly blessed and incredibly rich 25-year-old really have to talk about? And beyond that, are people just giving her shit because she’s a woman? (Answer: Yes, of course.) Regardless of whether she’s singing about John Mayer, Jake Gyllenhaal, Harry Styles, or that Kennedy kid, though, Swift has the proverbial goods when it comes to radio-friendly pop kiss-offs.
Take, for example, 2012’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Co-written with Max Martin and Shellback, the track was the lead single off Swift’s 2012 smash LP Red and marked Swift’s first appearance atop the Billboard Hot 100—something that’s hard to believe given how long she’s seemed commercially dominant. Reportedly about the aforementioned Gyllenhaal, the track tells the tale of an on-again/off-again romance that Swift has finally soured on. As she sings, “I say, ‘I hate you,’ we break up, you call me, ‘I love you.’” It’s a universal tale of young, irresponsible love, especially when tinged by Swift’s little digs at her onetime boyfriend’s “indie” record taste. She’s exhausted, full of “likes” and asides, and just over it. For once, she wasn’t the one who got wronged, and she’s glad to let everyone know about it.