A few months ago, as you are likely well aware, Taylor Swift released a new album called Lover. It’s a very good record and, in a lot of ways, a return to form. But while it’s a huge album, it hasn’t quite been the dominant commercial force that past Swift albums have been. For example, it’s the first Taylor Swift album this decade that has not (yet) yielded a #1 single. (“ME!” and “You Need To Calm Down,” Swift’s first two bad-choice singles, both made it to #2, both blocked by the “Old Town Road” juggernaut.) And maybe that’s why we’re now getting a new Swift remix with Shawn Mendes, the hunky Canadian pop star who did what Swift could not do in 2019.
This year, Shawn Mendes has a #1 hit. This didn’t initially look like it would happen. Mendes’ single “If I Can’t Have You” was the first song to debut at #2 during this year’s Lil Nas X-mania; it suffered the same fate as both of Swift’s singles. A little while later, the same thing happened with “Señorita,” Mendes’ duet with his reported girlfriend (and Taylor Swift’s former tourmate) Camila Cabello. But when “Old Town Road” finally fell from #1, “Señorita” was still hanging in there, and Mendes got his first #1.
Point is: It’s probably not an artistic decision for Swift to put Mendes on a remix of “Lover,” the pretty almost-country song that she released just before the album. It’s pretty clear what this remix is supposed to do. Mendes adds an anodyne verse to the song and doesn’t exactly make it better. But if you want to hear what “Lover” sounds like with bonus Shawn Mendes content, it’s below.
The “Lover” remix is out now on the streaming services. “Lover” peaked at #10 on the Hot 100, and it’s currently sitting at #43, so I’m not really expecting a sudden commercial resurgence from this remix. It would’ve been cooler if she’d put Lil Nas X on the remix.