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Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant Calls Taylor Swift’s Music ‘Disappointing,’ Can’t Name Any ‘Famous Songs’

Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant Doesn t Think Taylor Swift Has Famous Songs
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Taylor Swift’s success has continued with the release of her latest album, The Tortured Poets Department, but not all celebs are catching the Swifite fever.

“I was looking at the chart today and it is all Taylor Swift,” Neil Tennant, one half of the pop duo the Pet Shop Boys, stated during The Guardian’s event, “An Evening with Pet Shop Boys,” earlier this week. “Taylor Swift sort of fascinates me as a phenomenon because she’s so popular. And I sort of quite like the whole thing. But then, when I listen to the records … for a phenomenon as big [as she is], where are the famous songs? What’s Taylor Swift’s ‘Billie Jean?’”

Someone in the panel’s audience suggested Swift’s equivalent to Michael Jackson’s 1983 hit “Billie Jean” is her track “Shake It Off.” For Tennant, 69, there is no comparison between the two songs, telling attendees, “It’s not ‘Billie Jean,’ it’s not.”

Tennant did offer Swift, 34, some praise, stating that she has a “great voice” and the production of her music is “beautiful,” despite it not being his cup of tea.

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“I like the fact that [her music] brings people together, even multigenerational, but I just think the one disappointing thing is the music,” he said. “Not the lyrics, the music.”

Tennant’s comments come not long after fellow musician Courtney Love made headlines for saying Swift is “not important.” Love, 59, told The Evening Standard earlier this month: “[Taylor] might be a safe space for girls, and she’s probably the Madonna of now, but she’s not interesting as an artist.”

Swift’s new album has also been hit with a handful of mixed reviews, with outlets like The Atlantic and The New York Times describing TTPD as “a dreary muddle” and “unnecessarily verbose,” respectively.

Pet Shop Boys Neil Tennant Doesn t Think Taylor Swift Has Famous Songs
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Several celebrities have come to Swift’s defense amid the backlash, including Heart’s Nancy Wilson.

“I watched the Eras Tour and I really love the fact that she does an acoustic bit all by herself,” she gushed in a Tuesday, April 23, interview with the Tampa Bay Times. “It’s such a global event, her show, but to make a point of doing that inside of her show was actually really amazing and cool of her to do. She’s a great songwriter.”

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In response to the New York Times stating Swift could have “use[d] an editor” while writing TTPD, Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski commented via Instagram, “Oh no what u doing.” He went on to share his favorite songs from the record via his Instagram Story, listing “Down Bad,” “Florida!!!,” “loml” and “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart” as his top tracks.

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When dared to say three negative things about Swift during the Wednesday, April 24, episode of Hot Ones Versus, Machine Gun Kelly chose to praise the pop star instead. “Ladies and gentlemen, you have got to be out of your motherf—king mind if you think I want any smoke with that fanbase,” he answered. “Also, Taylor is a saint and very nice to me. And [her boyfriend] Travis [Kelce] is my bro.”

TTPD has broken several records since its April 19 release, including making history as the first album to reach 300 million streams in a single day on Spotify.

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