Message in a Bottle (Taylor Swift song)

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

"Message in a Bottle"
Cover of "Message in a Bottle" showing Swift in a beret and trench coat; behind her is a red convertible
Fat Max G remix cover
Single by Taylor Swift
from the album Red (Taylor's Version)
ReleasedNovember 15, 2021
Studio
  • Kitty Committee (Belfast)
  • House Mouse (Stockholm)
Genre
Length3:45
LabelRepublic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Taylor Swift singles chronology
"I Bet You Think About Me"
(2021)
"Message in a Bottle"
(2021)
"The Joker and the Queen"
(2022)
Lyric video
"Message in a Bottle" on YouTube

"Message in a Bottle"[a] is a song by the American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. It was her first writing collaboration with Max Martin and Shellback. The song was intended for but excluded from her fourth studio album, Red (2012). Shellback and Elvira Anderfjärd produced the track for Swift's re-recorded album, Red (Taylor's Version) (2021). "Message in a Bottle" is a 1980s-influenced dance-pop and electropop song with lyrics about the anxiety from falling in love.

Republic Records issued the song to the US hot AC and mainstream radio formats as a single following the album's release in November 2021. Music critics generally praised the song's production as catchy, although a few found it underwhelming. The song peaked at number 50 on the Billboard Global 200 and charted in Australia, Canada, and the United States, among other countries. It also peaked in the top 20 on three Billboard airplay charts.

Background[edit]

After ending her 13-year contract with Big Machine Records and signing anew with Republic Records in 2018, Taylor Swift began re-recording her first six studio albums in November 2020.[2] The decision followed a public 2019 dispute between Swift and the talent manager Scooter Braun, who acquired Big Machine, including the masters of her albums which the label had released.[3][4] By re-recording the albums, Swift had full ownership of the new masters, which enabled her to control the licensing of her songs for commercial use and therefore substituted the Big Machine–owned masters.[5]

In April 2021, Swift released her first re-recorded album: that of her 2008 studio album Fearless, subtitled Taylor's Version. In addition to the re-recorded tracks, it contained several unreleased "From the Vault" tracks that she had written but left out of the original album.[6] On November 12, 2021, she released her second re-recorded album: that of her 2012 studio album Red, also subtitled Taylor's Version.[7] As with its predecessor, Red (Taylor's Version) includes "From the Vault" tracks.[8]

Composition[edit]

"Message in a Bottle" was the first song that Swift wrote with the Swedish producers Max Martin and Shellback.[9] The two produced three songs for the original Red album: "22", "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", and "I Knew You Were Trouble".[10][11][12]

"Message in a Bottle" is an uptempo dance-pop[13] and electropop tune[7][14][15] produced by Shellback and Elvira Anderfjärd.[16] According to the album's liner notes, both Shellback and Anderfjärd played the keyboards; the former played guitar and the former played the bass and drums.[16] Some critics commented that "Message in a Bottle" could have fit in Swift's 2014 album 1989, which she described as her first official pop album.[17][18][19] NME's Hannah Mylrea said the 1980s-influenced production evoked the music of Carly Rae Jepsen's 2015 album Emotion.[20] Meanwhile, Laura Snapes from The Guardian said that the production evoked "tropical house via Coldplay".[21] The lyrics are about the anxiety ensued from falling in love with somebody ("But now/You're so far away and I'm down/Feeling like a face in the crowd/I'm reaching for you, terrified").[22][18]

Release and commercial performance[edit]

"Message in a Bottle" is one of the vault tracks on Red (Taylor's Version), which Republic Records released on November 12, 2021; it is number 26 on the track listing.[23][8] Republic released it to US hot adult contemporary radio on November 15,[24] and the following day the song also impacted contemporary hit radio format, making it an official radio single.[25][26] A remix by Fat Max G was released to digital and streaming services on January 21, 2022.[27] Swift performed "Message in a Bottle" as a "surprise song" outside the regular set list at the Seattle concert on July 23, 2023, as part of her Eras Tour.[28] She sang it again on the tour's Stockholm stop on May 19, 2024, as part of a medley with her songs "New Romantics" and "How You Get the Girl".[29]

After Red (Taylor's Version) was released, "Message in a Bottle" debuted and peaked at number 45 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart dated November 27, 2021.[30][31] The single also charted on three Billboard airplay charts. On Adult Pop Songs, it debuted at number 36 on the chart dated November 20, 2021, after three days of tracing, marking Swift's record-extending 36th entry,[32] and peaked at number 10.[33] It peaked at number 11 on Adult Contemporary and number 17 on Pop Songs.[7] The track peaked at number 50 on the Billboard Global 200[34] and the singles charts of Australia (33)[35] and Canada (32).[36]

Critical reception[edit]

"Message in a Bottle" received generally positive reviews. Mylrea called the song a "effervescent nugget of pure-pop".[20] Paul Bridgewater of The Line of Best Fit labeled the track "A-grade Swift",[17] while Beth Kirkbride of Clash thought that the electronic soundscape contributed to the diverse musical styles of Red (Taylor's Version).[37] Ranking "Message in a Bottle" third among the nine vault tracks on the album, Billboard's Jason Lipshutz described the track as "compact, propulsive" with "the same energy (and crackling charm)" as the songs that pushed Swift's artistry towards the album 1989.[19] Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine said that "Message in a Bottle" had a catchy hook as Swift's singles "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "Shake It Off", but he said that it did not have "the self-conscious repetitions of those hits".[38]

Variety's Chris Willman gave the song a four-star rating; he opined that the "thoroughly infectious" track had "a strong shot for hit single status" but added that "as good as it is, you can imagine almost anyone in pop singing it".[39] Josh Kurp of Uproxx placed "Message in a Bottle" fifth on his ranking of Swift's 26 vault tracks on her Taylor's Version re-recordings; he predicted that it would become one of Swift's most memorable tracks thanks to its earworm quality.[40] Time's critics ranked it 13th out of 25 vault songs; Annabel Gutterman described it as "upbeat, punchy", and "fun".[41]

Pitchfork's Olivia Horn gave a lukewarm review, complimenting the production but criticizing its "dearth of personality".[42] Snapes deemed "Message in a Bottle" generic and inferior compared to "22", another pop song that was included in the original 2012 album.[21] Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone agreed that "Message in a Bottle" sounded too similar to "22", which made it understandable that Swift left it out of the original Red.[43]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are noted as "Taylor's Version".

Digital download and streaming[44]

  1. "Message in a Bottle" (Fat Max G Remix) – 3:45
  2. "Message in a Bottle" (From the Vault) – 3:47

Digital download and streaming[45]

  1. "Message in a Bottle" (Fat Max G Remix) – 3:45
  2. "Message in a Bottle" (From the Vault) – 3:46
  3. "Message in a Bottle" (From the Vault) (lyric video) – 3:46

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits are adapted from the liner notes of Red (Taylor's Version).[16]

Fat Max G Remix[46]

  • Taylor Swift – lead vocals, songwriting
  • Shellback – songwriting
  • Max Martin – songwriting
  • Fat Max Gsus – production, remixing, bass, drums, percussion, programming, synthesizer, vocal production
  • Randy Merrill – masters engineering
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • John Hanes – immersive mix engineering
  • Christopher Rowe – vocal engineering

Charts[edit]

Certification[edit]

Certification for "Message in a Bottle"
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[57] Platinum 70,000

Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Release dates and formats for "Message in a Bottle"
Region Date Format(s) Version Label Ref.
United States November 15, 2021 Hot adult contemporary radio Original Republic [24]
November 16, 2021 Contemporary hit radio [25]
Various January 21, 2022 Fat Max G remix [27]
Italy Radio airplay Original Universal [58]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Subtitled "(Taylor's Version) (From the Vault)". The song is officially titled "Message in a Bottle (Taylor's Version) (From the Vault).[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Red (Taylor's Version) (+ A Message from Taylor) by Taylor Swift". Apple Music. November 12, 2021. Archived from the original on October 28, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  2. ^ Melas, Chloe (November 16, 2020). "Taylor Swift Speaks Out about Sale of Her Masters". CNN. Archived from the original on November 18, 2020. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  3. ^ "Taylor Swift Wants to Re-Record Her Old Hits". BBC News. August 22, 2019. Archived from the original on August 22, 2019. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  4. ^ Finnis, Alex (November 17, 2020). "Taylor Swift Masters: The Controversy around Scooter Braun Selling the Rights to Her Old Music Explained". i. Archived from the original on February 12, 2021. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  5. ^ Shah, Neil (April 9, 2021). "Taylor Swift Releases New Fearless Album, Reclaiming Her Back Catalog". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on October 8, 2021. Retrieved September 25, 2022.
  6. ^ "Taylor Swift Remade Fearless as Taylor's Version. Let's Discuss". The New York Times. April 9, 2021. Archived from the original on April 9, 2021. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Lipshutz, Jason (July 6, 2023). "7 Key Stats Proving That Taylor Swift's First Two Taylor's Version Re-Recordings Have Been Dominant". Billboard. Archived from the original on July 7, 2023. Retrieved July 7, 2023.
  8. ^ a b Sager, Jessica (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift's Red (Taylor's Version) Is Here—Get All the Details On the Re-Release, Vault Tracks and More". Parade. Archived from the original on March 8, 2023. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  9. ^ Willman, Chris (August 9, 2023). "Taylor Swift's 25 Best Bonus Tracks, Ranked". Variety. Archived from the original on November 6, 2023. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  10. ^ Dickey, Jack (November 13, 2014). "The Power of Taylor Swift". Time. Archived from the original on August 19, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  11. ^ McNutt 2020, pp. 77–78.
  12. ^ Perone 2017, p. 46.
  13. ^ Sheffield, Rob (November 12, 2021). "Red (Taylor's Version) Makes a Classic Even Better". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 12, 2021. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  14. ^ Weiner, Josh; Elyasi, Nasim; Schaarschmidt, Nina; Mosk, Mitch (November 29, 2021). "Roundtable: A Review of Taylor Swift's Red (Taylor's Version)". Atwood Magazine. Archived from the original on January 12, 2024. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  15. ^ Kaplan, Ilana (November 15, 2021). "Taylor Swift's Red Rerelease Proves What Fans Always Knew". Slate. Archived from the original on November 15, 2021. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  16. ^ a b c Taylor Swift (2021). Red (Taylor's Version) (digital media liner notes). Taylor Swift / Republic Records.
  17. ^ a b Bridgewater, Paul (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift's reworking of Red finds even more magic in her pop blueprint". The Line of Best Fit. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  18. ^ a b King, Ariel (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift Bridges Between Red & 1989 With 'Message In A Bottle'". iHeartMedia. Archived from the original on November 13, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  19. ^ a b Lipshutz, Jason (November 12, 2021). "Every 'From The Vault' Song Ranked on Taylor Swift's Red (Taylor's Version): Critic's Picks". Billboard. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  20. ^ a b Mylrea, Hannah (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift – Red (Taylor's Version) review: a retread of heartbreak". NME. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  21. ^ a b Snapes, Laura (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift: Red (Taylor's Version) review – getting back together with a classic". The Guardian. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  22. ^ "The Best Taylor Swift Vault Songs, Ranked". Time. October 25, 2023. Archived from the original on November 5, 2023. Retrieved January 11, 2024.
  23. ^ Mamo, Heran (August 5, 2021). "Here Are All the Decoded Red (Taylor's Version) Bonus Tracks". Billboard. Archived from the original on November 17, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  24. ^ a b Cantor, Brian (November 15, 2021). "Taylor Swift's 'Message In A Bottle' Ranks As Hot Adult Contemporary Radio's Most Added Song". Headline Planet. Archived from the original on March 3, 2024. Retrieved March 3, 2024.
  25. ^ a b "A Recap of Radio Add Recaps". Hits. November 16, 2021. Archived from the original on November 20, 2023. Retrieved November 20, 2023.
  26. ^ Zellner, Xander (December 14, 2021). "Here Are the Answers to the Latest Billboard x VersusGame Matchups: Taylor Swift's 'Message in a Bottle' & More". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 12, 2024. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  27. ^ a b "'Message In A Bottle (Fat Max G Remix) (Taylor's Version)' - Single". Apple Music. Archived from the original on January 21, 2022. Retrieved January 21, 2022.
  28. ^ Ruggieri, Melissa (July 24, 2023). "Taylor Swift is adding surprise songs to every Eras tour stop. See the list so far". USA Today. Archived from the original on March 25, 2023. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
  29. ^ West, Bryan (May 19, 2024). "Taylor Swift Performs 'Max Martin Medley' in Sweden on Final Night of Stockholm Eras Tour: Watch". USA Today. Archived from the original on May 20, 2024. Retrieved May 20, 2024 – via Yahoo! News.
  30. ^ Zellner, Xander (November 22, 2021). "Taylor Swift Charts 26 Songs From Red (Taylor's Version) on Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Archived from the original on November 24, 2021. Retrieved January 13, 2024.
  31. ^ a b "Taylor Swift Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  32. ^ Asker, Jim; Trust, Gary (November 16, 2021). "Taylor Swift Debuts These Two Songs From Red (Taylor's Version) on Airplay Charts". Billboard. Archived from the original on November 17, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  33. ^ a b "Taylor Swift Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  34. ^ a b "Taylor Swift Chart History (Global 200)". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  35. ^ a b "ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart". Australian Recording Industry Association. November 22, 2021. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  36. ^ a b "Taylor Swift Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  37. ^ Kirkbride, Beth (November 12, 2021). "Taylor Swift - Red (Taylor's Version)". Clash. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  38. ^ Keefe, Jonathan (November 17, 2021). "Review: Taylor Swift's Red Redux Flaunts the Singer's Refined Pop Instincts". Slant Magazine. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  39. ^ Willman, Chris (November 11, 2021). "On 'Red (Taylor's Version),' Taylor Swift's Vault Tracks Are All Too Swell: Album Review". Variety. Archived from the original on November 13, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  40. ^ Kurp, Josh (October 27, 2023). "Every Taylor Swift 'From The Vault' (Taylor's Version) Song, Ranked". Uproxx. Archived from the original on November 4, 2023. Retrieved January 13, 2024.
  41. ^ "The Best Taylor Swift Vault Songs, Ranked". Time. October 25, 2023. Archived from the original on November 5, 2023. Retrieved January 13, 2024.
  42. ^ Horn, Olivia (November 15, 2021). "Taylor Swift: Red (Taylor's Version) Album Review". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  43. ^ Sheffield, Rob (October 28, 2023). "'Message in a Bottle' (2021)". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on May 20, 2024. Retrieved January 12, 2024.
  44. ^ "Message In A Bottle (Fat Max G Remix) (Taylor's Version)". Tidal. January 21, 2022. Archived from the original on March 3, 2022. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  45. ^ "Message In A Bottle (Fat Max G Remix) (Taylor's Version)". Tidal. January 21, 2022. Archived from the original on March 3, 2022. Retrieved March 3, 2022.
  46. ^ "'Message in a Bottle' (Fat Max G Remix) (Taylor's Version)". Tidal. January 21, 2022. Archived from the original on April 4, 2022. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  47. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Canada AC)". Billboard. Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  48. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Canada CHR/Top 40)". Billboard. Retrieved March 21, 2022.
  49. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Canada Hot AC)". Billboard. Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  50. ^ "Billboard Japan Hot Overseas [2022/02/02 公開]". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Archived from the original on February 2, 2022. Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  51. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. January 31, 2022. Archived from the original on January 28, 2022. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  52. ^ "Official Audio Streaming Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  53. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
  54. ^ "Taylor Swift Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  55. ^ "Adult Contemporary Songs – Year-End 2022". Billboard. Archived from the original on December 1, 2022. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  56. ^ "Adult Pop Airplay Songs – Year-End 2022". Billboard. Archived from the original on December 1, 2022. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  57. ^ "Jan 2024 Single Accreds". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on September 22, 2018. Retrieved April 4, 2024.
  58. ^ "Taylor Swift 'Message in a Bottle' | (Radio Date: 21/01/2022)". radiodate.it (in Italian). Archived from the original on January 20, 2022. Retrieved January 19, 2022.

Sources[edit]