Taylor Swift owns her bad “Reputation”
Ugh, Taylor. Look what you made us do: Buy your new album “Reputation” rather than stream it on the day of its release. In fact, according to your Twitter stans, I hear that we will not have the option of streaming the album for at least one week. A great business move for you, sure, but was the album actually worth the $13.99 charged to my mother’s iTunes account? Eh. I’m not sure.
Prior to Taylor Swift’s return to her Instagram account three months ago, where she fully embraced the snake title given to her by Kim Kardashian West, Swift had fallen off of the face of the earth. For about a year, Swift disappeared from the public eye. The paparazzi couldn’t keep track of her. She deleted all of her social media posts. She was even rumored to be travelling inside of suitcases! And so, the parties celebrating her demise commenced.
Unbeknownst to us, she was spending that year painting (as those rediscovering themselves often do), travelling with her English boyfriend Joe Alwyn, and writing songs about the very narrative she “never asked to be a part of.” What resulted was an album centering around fame, finding herself and of course, her new love interest Joe.
Prematurely judging the album by the first two singles, “Look What You Made Me Do” (LWYMMD) and “…Ready for It? ,” one would believe that Swift’s album is full of petty bops, promising to unleash her wrath on Kanye West and the rest of her haters. And that’s partially true.
The first half of the 15 track album is the better half. “… Ready For It?”, “End Game” and “I Did Something Bad” make the listener feel like the old Taylor can’t come to the phone (or sound booth) because she really is dead. We’re meant to believe that new Taylor is an intense and spiteful badass who can curse and rap alongside Ed Sheeran and Future as heard in “End Game,” the only song with featured artists on the album. Shockingly, the song is not as awkward with the trio as one might guess.
In “End Game,” I can’t tell if Swift is mocking the nosy media or if she is really concerned about the inevitable increase in attention that comes with a new lover, but I like it.
The lines “Big reputation, big reputation/Ooh, you and me would be a big conversation,” show Swift’s reservations and awareness about stepping into a new relationship, but as we all know, she ends up disregarding that in the end, which one can also tell from later songs.
My favorite song on the album “I Did Something Bad,” where gun shots can be heard sporadically throughout as Swift sings about how she has been the player in all of her relationships. This song is for the girl who is bouncing back from a bad relationship who wants to play the field (with liars, narcissists and playboys in Swift’s case) with the understanding that “you gotta leave before you get left.” Take notes, ladies.
After that, the album gets pretty boring, especially a second and third time. Instead of keeping the momentum that the first three songs achieved, the album begins to slow down with “Don’t Blame Me” and “Delicate” where she raves about how enamored she is with her latest crush. They’re the predictable, catchy love songs we expect of Swift.