Taylor Swift's new blast-an-ex single is called We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, and it's generating an online tweenado about who's she's ripping.
Jake Gyllenhaal? Joe Jonas? That dastardly John Mayer?
Who knows? Despite her 22 years, the romantically unsound Swift keeps secrets better than Carly "You're So Vain" Simon, so let the so-called mystery be.
What's far more interesting about this insta-hit — which I have to admit is pretty darn catchy — is that it's a thoroughly pop-slick affair, lurking in the cotton-candy midway between Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne. It has a chant, and a spoken-word riff, and an infectiously strummy summertime hook.
What it doesn't have, however, is a speck of country music.
Not a twang or a teardrop.
That's not a crime. On Oct. 22, Swift will release Red, her fourth full-length studio album. And for all we know, it's overrun with banjos and pink cowboy boots.
But We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together — her first single, her return to the charts, her major attention grab — makes a curious statement about her artistic mindset. Has she moved on from country music?
You may say "Who cares?" but Taylor Swift is arguably the biggest, most consistent musical star on the planet. She generates great gobs of money for all manner of corporations. She both starts, and ends, trends.
Swift matters, boys and girls.
And on her new song, the ex she's snubbing her cute nose at just might be named Nashville.
Sean Daly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @seandalypoplife on Twitter.