Friday, April 2nd, 2021

Taylor Swift ft. Maren Morris – You All Over Me

Crate-digging or barrel-scraping? Or both?


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Even as Taylor’s fandom has largely supported her reasons for re-recording her first six albums, the elephant in the room has always been whether or not revisiting old material would feel like simply an exercise in rote muscle memory and cheap nostalgia. “You All Over Me,” hopefully, should dispel any of those fears. Written with the signature surgical precision that catapulted her to stardom, and emoted gorgeously with Maren Morris, the track sounds like revisiting your old childhood home years after you’ve moved away and smiling because of the warm, familiar memories, but also because of how joyfully the millions the imperceptible changes have added up to something new. “You All Over Me” is a treasure that we’re lucky to have found.

Katie Gill: I can 100% see why this is a ~from the vaults~ unreleased song. The chorus is solid enough, but all of the verses need another look or two. That first verse is especially awkward with some slightly dubious syntax choices and even more dubious turns of phrases (how the hell can rain stain a pavement, Taylor). Add in a criminal underuse of Maren Morris and I’m honestly coming away with the opinion that sometimes unreleased songs should stay unreleased.

Nortey Dowuona: Wistful guitar, shaky singing from Taylor, weeping slide guitar and tweaking harmonica add up to a rickety, yet still sturdy progession buoyed by Maren’s smooth croon as the drums are poured into the foundation and solidify the structure as Taylor and Maren gently build upon it, slowly and patiently, knowing what they will ultimately build is more important.

Samson Savill de Jong: Competent in all the most boring ways possible; gets in, does its job, leaves again before overstaying its welcome. Swift is obviously a talented songwriter, and there’s nothing in this song that I can criticise exactly. But I just find this kind of song exceedingly dull, and because this isn’t trying to break its genre, it isn’t even attempting to try and change my mind. Almost a textbook definition of a song that I can recognise has quality, without having any personal interest in listening to it again.

Ady Thapliyal: I really love this Windows Movie Maker lyric video. What a bravura defense of YouTube aesthetics circa two thousand and nine! I don’t love “You All Over Me,” though, which lacks the scene-setting of great country balladry and lacks the catchy quips of great Taylor balladry. Taylor has a Proustian madeleine moment as she looks at muddy tires and bathroom graffiti, which is silly, though I guess not uninspired. I can’t help but think Kacey’s take on involuntary ex recall in “Keep It To Yourself” is what this song could’ve been with a bit more polish.

Michael Hong: More than ten years down the line, Taylor Swift thankfully addresses a failed relationship the same way she would have when Fearless was released, with the same wide-eyed innocence and a lack of scorn or cheese. I wish time would have let her expand more on her background — that the ambient pulse opening the track did something or that Maren Morris wasn’t pinned behind her — but “You All Over Me” plays out serenely, like opening a yearbook, reminiscing on the good, while  simply taking the bad as lessons.

Alex Clifton: The Swift Re-Recording Project is an interesting exercise in writing and revising. “You All Over Me” existed on the internet in a different form leaked from the Fearless sessions, but now Taylor has given it a life with her matured voice. It’s an odd, yet pretty, disconnect: it’s classic country Taylor in all the right ways, but feels more like she is covering an older version of herself. As with most of her features, I wish Swift gave Morris a verse of her own rather than relegating to backing vocals; I think this would have been really lovely as a duet. Still, it’s a cool concept. 

Edward Okulicz: Taylor Swift’s voice is such an indelible part of culture that even a kind of average, nondescript song does grab the attention — it’s a superstar’s privilege. But I use the word nondescript for a reason; the song is nothing special, Maren Morris is a little underused, and it still sounds unfinished and in need of a bit more tinkering. It’s nice to have it out of the vault for people to hear, but it’s still a good 3-4 points worse, and 3-4 points less inventive, than anything off Fearless.

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