There's been a lot of hubbub Friday morning about song stealing, so I just want to let you know that a real pop culture detective is on the case of whether Taylor Swift's "Style" and One Direction 's "Perfect" are the same song. (It's me. I am that detective.) "Style" was, of course, released in October 2014 with the rest of Swift's album 1989, while "Perfect" was released a year later, on Oct. 16, 2015, so, if there does turn out to be a similarity, it's the boys of 1D who will be getting the side eye, not Tay-Tay.
But part of the reason I'm uniquely suited for the job of pop culture detective in this particular situation is because I don't care about one of these artists or groups more than the other. I'm an adult woman who I will freely admit that they both figure heavily on my running mixes, but I have about the same level of affection for the Lads and the Queen, so I promise to come at this unbiased. Which is what this pickle needs, honestly.
Swifties and Directioners are the epitome of passionate when it comes to defending their artists of choice, and I want to get in there before they start squaring off on social media with either "OMG these songs are identical" or "how dare you the boys would never steal smdh." I've seen things get heated over less before. So, let's take a listen here and see what the two have in common, if anything. Here's "Perfect," sung by Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, and Harry Styles of 1D.
My first inclination is to say nope, no way no how are these the same song. Even listening for similarities, all that stuck out to me was some backing track stuff. Like the beat is vaguely the same, but the singing doesn't sound similar to me at all. It's in a different key, right? Here's "Style" by Taylor Swift, a song universally accepted to be about Harry Styles.
Yeah, I guess now that I'm listening to it, and know what I'm supposed to be hearing, I can sort of see it. But this isn't anything I would've pulled out on my own, so I think it's safe to call it a coincidence. But, wait, what's this? Someone spliced the two songs over each other and played them at the same time? Might as well give that a listen.
OMG, I was wrong about everything, I'm so sorry, you guys are right.. Everything fits together. The phrasing, the vibe, the beat, the tone — it sounds like these songs were made to play at the same time, with Harry Styles singing the harmony while Taylor Swift takes the melody, or vice versa. And it works with "Out of the Woods" as well, another of Swift's songs that is purported to be about Styles.
I started out skeptical, but now I'm utterly convinced that these two songs are not only similar, but that it's intentionally so. I think "Perfect" is about Taylor Swift, and the boys designed the song to match up with Swift's "Style" as a clue, so we'd put it all together... and, in the meantime, give them a whole bunch of publicity with all the speculation. Honestly, I wouldn't even be surprised if Swift was in on it, given how similar the songs turned out to be.