In February, Taylor confirmed the rerecorded version of the album would include six tracks ~from the vault~ that she’d written during the making of Fearless but hadn’t originally made it onto the record.
“I’ve decided I want you to have the whole story,” Taylor wrote in her announcement. “See the entire vivid picture, and let you into the entire dreamscape that is my Fearless album.”
In many ways, 2017’s Reputation was the beginning of the complete upheaval of Taylor’s persona, and it’s only continued since then. Her 2020 albums, Folklore and Evermore, were her least autobiographical ever, with Taylor choosing to draw from the experiences of fictional characters and fabricate new ones entirely in her songwriting rather than putting her own most personal moments on a platter for public consumption.
“There was a point I got to as a writer who only wrote very diaristic songs, that I felt it was unsustainable for my future moving forward,” she told Zane Lowe in an Apple Music interview around the release of Evermore. “It felt like too hot of a microscope. On my bad days, I would feel like I was loading a cannon of clickbait, when that’s not what I want for my life.”
“Life is chill, writing songs based in fiction to avoid drama, feeling pretty grown up,” Taylor wrote of her 2020 self in her tweet announcing the track’s release.
And then she acknowledged — in a goblin voice — that her 2008 music goes against that new, chill outlook entirely.
Posting a link to the song on her Instagram story just a few hours after it was released, Sophie made sure to tag Taylor directly, and wrote, “It’s not NOT a bop.”
“Forever bending the knee for the 👑of the north,” Taylor wrote in response.
(Joe has been silent on the matter, but his blessing matters less. If the “Drivers License” debacle taught us anything, it should be that even if a girl writes a song about a boy, people will find a way to turn it into a feud with another girl.)
And so great tweets were born, beef was preemptively squashed, and lessons were imparted: There doesn’t always have to be drama. There can just be bops.
By releasing “Mr. Perfectly Fine” just a couple of days ahead of Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Taylor Swift anticipated and shut down any overused and outdated criticism that may come about as a result of her revisiting her older eras.
She’s telling the world that she’s both aware of and laughing at the possibility of tabloids attempting to stoke decade-old drama, that not only does she own her music, but she’s in on any of the deprecating jokes you may want to make about it. And you know what that is? Growth.