Credit: Getty and Meeno
As was evident during her CMA Awards acceptance speech, everyone effing loves Taylor Swift. And now let us add The All-American Rejects to Taylor’s beyond-giant list of admirers. In a tribute to Taylor during last night’s CMT Awards, rockers AAR put their own pop/rock spin on Taylor’s country-pop hit “Mean.” Instead of twinkling acoustic piano melodies, AAR kicked things up a notch with thudding drums, grimy electric guitars and a driving bass line. And not only did Tyson Ritter’s powerful pipes transform “Mean” into a bona fide rock song, but they helped to reinvigorate the record’s important message of anti-bullying.
In his own words, lead singer Tyson Ritter explains: “It’s special. We have a special performance for Miss Taylor Swift. We’re performing her song ‘Mean.’ We definitely sort of took a country song and made it not anything like what it was. It’s going to be a tribute to the fact that any song can stand in any genre, and we definitely brought it into ours. We’re like the Osmonds, except we’re the side that’s a little more rock and roll.”
Then, as if watching The All-American Rejects rock out to a Taylor Swift song wasn’t ridiculously awesome enough, AAR slickly transitioned into their own hit “Gives You Hell” only to then jump back into “Mean” and finally create a medley of the two. In short, you should probably send both Taylor Swift and The All-American Rejects a bedazzled thank-you note for creating the best mashup of your life.