Mr. Perfectly Fine

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

"Mr. Perfectly Fine"
Taylor Swift - Mr. Perfectly Fine.png
Single by Taylor Swift
from the album Fearless (Taylor's Version)
Written2008
ReleasedApril 7, 2021 (2021-04-07)
Recorded2020–2021
Genre
Length4:38
LabelRepublic
Songwriter(s)Taylor Swift
Producer(s)
Taylor Swift singles chronology
"You All Over Me"
(2021)
"Mr. Perfectly Fine"
(2021)
"Renegade"
(2021)
Lyric video
"Mr. Perfectly Fine" on YouTube

"Mr. Perfectly Fine"[a] is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, for her first re-recorded album, Fearless (Taylor's Version) (2021), a re-recording of her 2008 album Fearless. The song was surprise-released as the third single from Fearless (Taylor's Version) on April 7, 2021, via Republic Records.[1][2] The song was released as one of six "From the Vault" tracks that were written in 2008 for the original album but scrapped before its release.

"Mr. Perfectly Fine" was written solely by Swift and was recorded sometime from November 2020 to January 2021, with production from Swift and Jack Antonoff. Lyrically, "Mr. Perfectly Fine" is a kiss-off track describing the tumultuous feelings experienced by the narrator after a derailed romantic relationship, using extensive wordplay. Musically, it is an upbeat country pop tune incorporating elements of rock and instrumented by energetic guitars and bass.

"Mr. Perfectly Fine" was released to critical acclaim, with many deeming it a classic Swift song and complimenting its witty lyricism and nostalgic breakup theme. "Mr. Perfectly Fine" peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 11 on the Rolling Stone Top 100, and number 2 on the Hot Country Songs chart, becoming the third consecutive top-10 single on the latter from Fearless (Taylor's Version). It also topped the Billboard Country Digital Song Sales and Streaming Songs charts, scoring Swift's 17th and 5th chart-toppers, respectively. The song also reached the top 30 of charts in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Its release was accompanied by a lyric video released to Swift's YouTube channel that has since amassed over 17 million views.[3]

Background and release[edit]

In 2019, American businessman Scooter Braun bought Big Machine Records, Swift's record label until November 2018, including the masters to her first six studio albums from Taylor Swift (2006) to Reputation (2017). Borchetta later re-sold the masters in October 2020, reportedly for over $300 million, to Shamrock Holdings, a private-equity firm owned by Disney.[4] Swift stated that she was forbidden from buying her masters unless she signed onto another ten-year contract with Big Machine, and while she knew Big Machine was up for sale, she was unaware Braun, who she described as an "incessant, manipulative" bully, would end up purchasing them.[5][6]

Swift later expressed the intention to re-record the albums to regain control of her work[7] and release them under her new label, Republic Records, which allowed Swift ownership of the masters of her albums distributed by them.[8] The first of these re-recordings, Fearless (Taylor's Version), a re-record of Swift's 2008 album Fearless and her 2010 single "Today Was a Fairytale", was announced on February 11. Alongside the announcement, Swift revealed she would release six songs, all dubbed "from the Vault" that did not make the 2008 album.[9] Swift explained several reasons for the scrapping of the vault tracks, including not wanting too many breakup or down-tempo songs on the album, and the limitations of how many songs could fit on CDs in 2008.[10][11] On February 12, "Love Story (Taylor's Version)", the re-recorded version of her 2008 hit "Love Story", was released as the album's lead single.[12] Swift originally wrote "Mr. Perfectly Fine" in 2008.[13] "You All Over Me" featuring Maren Morris was the first of these tracks; it was released as a single on March 26, 2021.[14]

On April 2, Swift uploaded a cryptic, golden-hued video to her social media accounts depicting a vault releasing scrambled words from it. Fans and new outlets decoded the scrambled letters to reveal the titles of the vault tracks.[15] Swift uploaded the official track list to her social media accounts, including the names of the five remaining "from the Vault" tracks, the next day.[16]

On April 7, Swift surprise-released "Mr. Perfectly Fine" alongside a lyric video.[17][18] In the video, the lyrics appear over a man in a tuxedo enveloped in fog. The video has since amassed over 16 million views as of June 2021.[3]

"Mr. Perfectly Fine" was also included in Fearless (Taylor's Version): The Halfway Out the Door Chapter and Fearless (Taylor's Version): The From the Vault Chapter, streaming compilations released by Swift released on May 13, 2021, and May 26, 2021, respectively, each featuring five other songs from Fearless (Taylor's Version).[19][20]

Composition and lyrics[edit]

"Mr. Perfectly Fine" is a midtempo[21] country pop[16] song with elements of rock[22] and rock and roll.[23] It runs for four minutes and 38 seconds. Musically, the song is set in the key of D major with a tempo of 136 beats per minute (BPM). Swift's vocals span from G3 to D5.[24] Lyrically, Swift navigates the tumultuous feelings surrounding breakup compared to her "perfectly fine" estranged lover, using wordplay.[16] The first verse recalls the seemingly perfect relationship, narrating "a man who says all the rights things at the right time" before progressing into the chorus, which describes the turbulent emotions Swift faced while the subject remains unscathed.[21][25] Several media outlets and fans alike pointed out the lyric "Mr. casually cruel", resembling the lyric "So casually cruel in the name of being honest" in Swift's song "All Too Well" from Red (2012).[17][26] There was also significant media speculation regarding who the subject of "Mr. Perfectly Fine", with many commentators theorizing it was about singer and actor Joe Jonas, who dated Swift from July to October in 2008 before the release of Fearless.[25][27][28]

Critical reception[edit]

The song received critical acclaim. Vulture's Zoey Haylock wrote that "Mr. Perfectly Fine" brings back memories of "your high-school heartbreak", boasting a "classic T-Swift bridge and a final, soaring chorus". Haylock dubbed the song "a 2008 time capsule" and praising the "magic and curiosity" reminiscent of the original Fearless.[29] Similarly, Madeline Crone of American Songwriter applauded the collaboration with Jack Antonoff as "breath[ing] life into a new classic" and recalled the "age-old feelings" its country-pop production provokes. Crone opined that "Mr. Perfectly Fine" reflects the skill that paved the way for the sophistication of her indie folk record Folklore and alternative rock Evermore (both 2020).[30] Writing for Rolling Stone, Claire Shaffer noted Swift's "clever wordplay", and described its sound as "a classic Swift mix of country and pop with an added rock edge".[16] Jess Cohen of E! News opined that the lyrics "don't disappoint".[17]

Billboard critic Gil Kaufman defined it as a "dreamy, mid-tempo acoustic track" and a "classic Fearless-era Taylor tale of romantic woe". He also pinpointed the wordplay—where Swift dubs the subject as "Mr. perfect face," "Mr. here to stay", "Mr. looked me in the eye and told me you would never go away", and "Mr. change of heart", painting a "portrait of a man who says all the rights things at the right time".[21] Kitty Empire of The Guardian similarly described it as a "stone cold classic Swift song" and praised its blend of the "brighter, more direct songcraft" of the Fearless era and the more subdued production of Folklore.[31] Alexis Petridis, also of The Guardian, highlighted the "relish" in Swift's voice expressed a satisfaction that mitigates her anger.[32] Billboard's Jason Lipshutz ranked it as the second-best of the six Vault songs, praising the back-to-back references to "All Too Well" from Red (2012) and "Dear John" from Speak Now (2010) as "pay[ing] homage to her grandest breakup songs."[33] In Hannah Mylrea's review of the album published in NME, she identified "Mr. Perfectly Fine" as a standout, "stuffed with swooning melodies and typically Swiftian lyrics."[34] Dani Blum's Pitchfork review of Fearless (Taylor's Version) pointed to "Mr. Perfectly Fine" as a "delightful, strumming takedown" and a highlight among the Vault tracks.[35]

In Billboard's ranking of the 50 best songs of 2021 so far, "Mr. Perfectly Fine" placed 46th, with critics from the magazine applauding its lyrics and describing the song as "vintage Taylor Swift that still feels fresh in 2021."[36]

Commercial performance[edit]

"Mr. Perfectly Fine" debuted at number one on the Billboard Country Digital Song Sales chart dated April 17, 2021, marking Swift's 17th number one entry on the chart and replacing Swift's own "You All Over Me" from the top spot.[37][38] Upon the release of Fearless (Taylor's Version), "Mr. Perfectly Fine" skyrocketed to number two on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart from its debut at twenty, scoring Swift her 26th top-10 entry on the chart. The song drew 14.2 million streams in the US and topped Billboard Country Streaming Songs chart, marking Swift's fifth chart-topper. On the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, "Mr. Perfectly Fine" rose to number 30 from its debut of number 90, becoming Swift's 80th entry inside the top 40 of the chart, extending Swift's record for the most top-40 entries among women.[39] It debuted at number 78 on the Rolling Stone Top 100, a competitor to the Hot 100,[40] collecting 4.4 million streams and selling 42,700 units in less than two days of tracking.[41] In the next week, following the release of Fearless (Taylor's Version), the song jumped to number 11, selling 106,800 units and garnering 12.7 million streams.[42]

On the Canadian Hot 100, "Mr. Perfectly Fine" debuted at 82 on the issue dated April 17, 2021,[43] and rose to number 23 in the next week,[44] ultimately spending 4 weeks on the chart.[45] Similarly, on the Billboard Global 200, it jumped from its debut of number 114[46] to its peak of number 19.[47] It debuted at number 11 in Singapore, 15 in Ireland, 19 in Australia, 24 in Belgium, 25 in New Zealand, and 30 in the United Kingdom.

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal.[48]

  • Taylor Swift – vocals, songwriting, production
  • Jack Antonoff – production, acoustic guitar, backing vocals, bass, electric guitar, keyboards, percussion, programming, recording, synthesizer
  • Mikey Freedom Hart – 12-string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, guitar, pedal steel
  • Sean Hutchinson – drums
  • Michael Riddleberger – percussion
  • Evan Smith – saxophones, synthesizer
  • Randy Merrill – mastering
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing
  • John Hanes – engineering
  • Laura Sisk – recording
  • John Rooney – assistant recording
  • Jon Sher – assistant recording
  • Christopher Rowe – vocal engineering

Chart performance[edit]

Chart performance for "Mr. Perfectly Fine"
Chart (2021) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[49] 19
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[50] 24
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[51] 23
Global 200 (Billboard)[52] 19
Ireland (IRMA)[53] 15
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[54] 25
Singapore (RIAS)[55] 11
Slovakia (Rádio Top 100)[56] 78
Sweden Heatseeker (Sverigetopplistan)[57] 7
UK Singles (OCC)[58] 30
US Billboard Hot 100[59] 30
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[60] 2
US Rolling Stone Top 100[61] 11
Venezuela (Record Report)[62] 49

Release history[edit]

List of release dates and formats for "Mr. Perfectly Fine"
Region Date Format Label Ref.
Various April 7, 2021 Republic [48][63]
Australia April 9, 2021 Contemporary hit radio Universal Music Australia [64]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Alternate versions of the title include "Mr. Perfectly Fine (from the Vault)" and "Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor's Version) (From the Vault)".

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Wang, Steffanee. "Taylor Swift Shares New 'Fearless' Track, "Mr. Perfectly Fine"". Nylon. Archived from the original on April 7, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2021. The generous queen and pop star has unleashed another single from the album called 'Mr. Perfectly Fine'...
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