The song: Taylor Swift is back in the news, and this time it's not for romancing a Kennedy. The pop-country crooner dropped the first single from her forthcoming album, Red, on Tuesday during a web chat with fans and, within 50 minutes, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," a breakup anthem, shot straight to the top of the iTunes Top Songs chart, breaking an iTunes record previously held by Lady Gaga's "Born This Way." Still, Swift has never actually clinched the top spot on Billboard's Hot 100. Will "Together" be her ticket to the top?
The reaction: Hard-core fans might notice that this even-catchier-than-usual single is a little different, says Jocelyn Vena at MTV. That's because Swift joined forces with Top 40 super-producer Max Martin, the evil genius behind a slew of hits from Britney Spears, Katy Perry, and Justin Bieber. The song's "Avril Lavigne-like sing-a-long hook" definitely delivers, says Andrew Unterburger at Popdust, but fans needn't worry that Swift has abandoned her roots; "Together" is "about the Swiftiest of song topics." "This thing has instant 'Since You've Been Gone' status," says Rich Juzwiak at Gawker. "Like it or not, you will be hearing this song everywhere for the next six months at least." Listen for yourself: