Album Reviews Reviews

Album Review: An In-Depth Look at Taylor Swift’s “Reputation”

As many of you know, I have been a huge Taylor Swift fan for the past 11 years – starting when I was just 12 years old. I have seen Taylor Swift perform seven times and will be seeing her for the eighth time at B96’s Jingle Bash on December 7. I was lucky enough to meet her at her 1989 World Tour stop in Chicago at Soldier Field – click here to read about it.

While I have been extremely anxious about what her 6th album is going to bring, it has brought me a ridiculous amount of desire to write about the music she has been releasing.

This piece has been a work in progress – the content has been stirring in my head since the release of her first single back in August – and I sit here typing just two weeks out from the official release of the album.

This isn’t necessarily going to be a typical album review – I’m going to start from the beginning of the album announcement cycle (us in the fandom refer to this as her 6th era) and touch on the singles and music videos that will have been released before the album. All I have to say is if you actually read this all, I appreciate you SO much more than you will ever know!

A Social Media Blackout and Snakes

We begin Taylor Swift’s Reputation era on Monday, August 21, 2017 promptly at 10 A.M. CST. A mysterious video clip of what seems to be a snake appears on her social media channels following a massive blackout that resulted in all prior social media posts being deleted across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram over the weekend.

Pop culture junkies are left speculating what exactly is to come, die-hard Taylor Swift fans already know that the completed video clip would inevitably show a snake (the nickname that Swift famously adopted after her public feud with  the Kardashian Klan and Kanye West). The next clip is released on the 22nd at the same time, following the head of the snake on the 23rd – this time posted at 9 A.M. CST. Just minutes before noon on the same day, Swift has announced her sixth studio album, Reputation, along with the album cover and first single to be released the following day.

Look What You Made Me Do

The first single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” is not praised in regards of critical reception. Vulture said the song sounded like ““Disney-villain karaoke.” The Guardian questions Swift’s ability to shift to dark-pop, claiming it’s “a risky move in a pop market that seems averse to women who possess any sort of unique vocal personality.”

It seemed like Chris Willman, a writer for Variety, seemed to understand where Swift was headed, noting that Swift is having fun, despite “being legitimately angry” and that “The catharsis and playfulness are a little harder to pick out in this one, though they’re there, if you listen hard enough.”

Regardless of positive or negative views of new singles, one thing that Swift almost always manages to do is jump straight to number one on the charts.

  • Swift broke the record for first day streaming on Spotify, racking in 8 million plays in just 24 hours – which breaks down to an average of 333,333 streams per hour – which beat Ed Sheeran’s previously held record of 7 million streams in 24 hours.
  • The release of the single was accompanied by an animated lyric video which became the most-watched lyric video ever.
  • “LWYMMD” hit 19 million views in 24 hours – smashing the previous record for 9 million views for “Something Like This” by the Chainsmokers ft. Coldplay.
  • The song’s official music video broke records when it was premiered at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards – gaining 43.2 million views in the first 24 hours – beating Adele’s previously held record for 27.7 million views for “Hello.”

The music video – complete with jabs at Spotify, the media’s take on Swift’s infamous “girl squad,” and showing the viewer 14 versions of Taylor’s “old self” (which are in fact, dead), has continuously been analyzed for its hidden meanings and its very “meta” feel – indicating a concept which is an abstraction behind another concept. (That definition is taken from Wikipedia but I deem it as pretty accurate).

Avid fans of Ms. Swift understood this – whether this is universally understood by casual fans or those who dislike Swift – remains a mystery (in my personal experience, many non-fans that I know haven’t even bothered to watch the video). If you’re wondering what I think about the song – I will get there! Just be patient for now. This is a long read!

Where Is She Going?

The internet became a monsoon of conspiracy theories, with fans offering their take on what the album was actually going to be like. The most promising theory that has continued to make waves on the web is that Swift will be taking 14 songs to address facets of her reputation – the 15th song being who she “truly” is. Here’s a theory from a Buzzfeed article – take it at face value. Regardless if what ends up actually happening (again, I’m currently writing this two weeks out from the album release), it’s safe to say that Swift is doing a phenomenal job at circulating interest and curiosity around this album release.

“….Ready For It?”

Swift released her second single, titled “…Ready For It?” on September 3 – a teaser of the song was featured in a broadcast for Saturday Night Football during a Florida State vs. Alabama game.

The song received mixed reviews in a critical sense – although Spin Magazine applauds the single as a step up from “Look.” The writer notes that “…Ready For It?” is “melodically rich and, when it all comes together, far more coherent,” but still questions Swift as an artist, who “gets lost in a jumble of metaphors, involving killers and ghosts and ransoms and thieves and islands and jails.”

Billboard says the lyrics are “unmistakably Swift” and that the song is Swift’s way of “confessing that she’s a man-eater” while simultaneously “mocking her public image,” – stating that the jabs are layered sneakily in this song compared to the winks and wit of 1989’s single “Blank Space.”

After the release of “RFI,” there was a lot of silence in regards of promoting the album, until Swift held the first “Secret Session” for Reputation. For those unfamiliar with what a Secret Session (AKA “SS”) is, Swift started hosting intimate listening parties for her albums for hand selected, super fans back in 2014 for 1989. It was up in the air as to whether or not she would do this again for Reputation, considering it is heavily rumored Swift will not be doing interviews or talk shows during this era – letting the project speak for itself. However, after lots of speculation, Swift held the first SS for Rep in London, England on Friday, 10/13. Swift went from London to Rhode Island for her second SS which was held on October 18, 2017, a third SS on October 22 in Los Angeles, and one in Nashville on October 25.

Fans have obviously been holding back hints about the album like lyrics and song titles (I have been told that fans who attend have to sign an NDA) but every fan who has experienced a SS for Reputation have raved about the album as a whole. Of course, one would assume that after a mega-fan of Swift’s had this SS experience – meeting their idol, being in her home, listening to the album ahead of release, etc., they would never actually share negative reactions to the album on the internet – most likely leave the experience on cloud nine. Honestly, who can blame them?

Regardless of how these fans have been responding to the album, there’s a huge part of the world questioning where the album is going to go sonically. This will continue to be speculated until release day – (and like I said before, by the time this piece has been posted, the album will have been released).


Honestly, I don’t want to waste a lot of time talking about this song because of how much I hate it. I have circled back to this section of this piece after I have heard Reputation in full and I’m genuinely confused as to how it ended up on the album because not only is it the weakest song but it also doesn’t sound like anything else on the album AT ALL. 

“…Ready For It?” Music Video

Swift released the official music video for “…Ready For It?” on October 26. The music video has virtually nothing to do with the lyrical content of the song and was immediately analyzed by fans as a comment on Swift’s personas in the public eye. I won’t waste too much time on this – you can click
here, here and here to see how Twitter users and journalists alike have been dissecting the hidden meanings in the video.

There have been hints floating around the internet that the album will be a visual one – with music videos completing each song. Since the plot for the video above has nothing to do with the song, this seems more and more plausible as we approach Reputation’s release.

“Call It What You Want”

Right when you think that there’s a calm before the storm…Taylor announces that there’s another single being released on Thursday, November 2 – titled “Call It What You Want,” with this accompanying image:

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By going off of this small piece of information, I automatically had hopes for the song and was judging that based on the lyrics she was giving away that the song would be more lyrically T.Swift than the other three singles. I knew that this was a crucial time for me, if I wasn’t thrilled with the fourth song released – out of 15 total tracks (27% of the album) – that Reputation probably wouldn’t be the album for me. I waited nervously all day but was actually really surprised and relieved once the song was finally released (again, I will get to a more in depth analysis of each song later in this piece).

As I type, the song has been out for 41 hours and is just about to hit 3 million streams on Spotify. The song is also #1 on iTunes and is Swift’s fifth song to get to Number One in 2017 thus far. Vulture comments on its “airy production” and that it “attempts to evoke, a sense of radiant, protective romance in the wake of a devastating social debacle.”

Reputation‘s Arrival

Congratulations if you got to this part of the post! I appreciate you for sticking through it. Now that we’ve gone through the moments leading up to Reputation’s release, I’m ready to start breaking down each song!

While most reviews touch on highlights of albums and discuss the overall concept of an album, I have to go all out because I love Taylor…obviously.

Here’s a blurb that is featured in the 72-page magazine that you can purchase from Target that I think is important to read to understand the album:


In Chronological Order:

1.…Ready For It?”

I did not like this song the first time I heard it. At all. It really confused me and it’s a little too aggressively synth for me. After a couple listens, I very much became intrigued with each of the verses and felt that the chorus did not belong in the song. I do really enjoy the lyrics of each verse and I think that she’s touching on similar concepts that were alive in “Blank Space,” referring to herself as a man-eater, a robber, a thief, etc.

There are also interesting moments in this song where she hints at this mystery man forever having to deal with the repercussions of dating her – “Touch me and we’ll never be alone” and I think that’s a really interesting idea to explore. I now understand it in the perspective that she’s asking the guy she is singing about (her current boyfriend), if he’s ready to deal with everything that comes with dating Taylor Swift – one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, pop star in the world.

Obviously this can be understood after hearing the song a couple times, but hearing it in the album’s narrative, it is a song that is explaining reoccurring themes in the rest of the album, which is super cool to see – the second song released as promotional single for Reputation gave us a sneak peek of what was coming.

Favorite Line: “Knew I was a robber first time that he saw me / Stealing hearts and running off and never saying sorry / But if I’m a thief, then he can join the heist And we’ll move to an island-and / And he can be my jailer, Burton to this Taylor / Every lover known in comparison is a failure / I forget their names now, I’m so very tame now / Never be the same now”

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2.”End Game”

Taylor Swift really likes to chant. That’s what we learned on Red’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” 1989’s “Shake It Off,” and now in the opening lines of “End Game,” a song featuring Future and Ed Sheeran that sounds like it was crafted to be the next overplayed song on every contemporary radio station across the country. I was insanely interested in seeing what was going to come from this song – and I hate to say that I ended up underwhelmed with the result. I think part of it is because I really don’t enjoy rap music and since I generally stay away from Top 50 Radio, I just didn’t really love this song.I think it sounds a little too much like a Selena Gomez song.

I think it’s one of my least favorite moments off of Reputation even though there are some really great, classic T.Swift lyrics embedded in this song. I worry that listeners will be too distracted with everything that’s going on that they will just breeze over the lyrical content.  I’m not going to lie, I will definitely sing along to this song whenever I hear it (and when I get to the point where I’ve memorized lyrics), but I wish it sounded different – maybe like Rihanna and Future’s “Selfish?”

Favorite Line: “I bury hatchets, but I keep maps of where I put ’em / Reputation precedes me, they told you I’m crazy / I swear I don’t love the drama, it loves me”

3. “I Did Something Bad”

Ladies and gentlemen: Taylor Swift swore in a song. It happened. I instantly fell in love with this song because it sounds like a continuation of her character that was introduced on “Blank Space,” a woman who jets around the world with a new guy (in this case, a narcissist – cough cough, Calvin Harris), and lets them think they’re swooping in saving the damsel in distress. I freaking LOVE that this is a f*** you song to everyone who has caused issues to Swift while she simultaneously owes up to her mistakes – how many songs can actually do both of those songs at once? I think this song creeps up on this idea that Swift gets high off of these dramatic relationships (“Most fun I’ve ever had and I’d do it over and over again if I could.”) It’s up to you to determine if she’s playing a self-absorbed character or showing apart of her true identity.

Favorite Line: “I never trust a playboy, but they love me / So I fly ’em all around the world / And I let them think they saved me / They never see it comin’, what I do next / This is how the world works / You gotta leave before you get left”

4. “Don’t Blame Me”

I think we can all agree that Taylor collaborating with Zayn for “I Don’t Want to Live Forever” earlier this year was a great step for her musically and that it totally influenced “Don’t Blame Me,” which I personally think is one of her best pieces of work to date. We all have been guilty of calling Swift love hungry, obsessed with love, etc. – so of course she’s going to write a song about being willing to do anything for love (and make it freakin’ amazing).   

I think there are some PHENOMENAL influences on this track that sets it apart from the other tracks: I hear so much soul and gospel influence on this song and I just imagine Taylor singing with a chorus of 100 people standing behind her. It’s so unique stylistically yet absolutely belongs on this album and wouldn’t fit in with any of her other albums.  If you follow me on Twitter, I started talking about how I LOVE when Swift sings in her lower register and this song is a perfect example of the magic that comes from low notes! I love the vocal power that Swift shows in this song – did you hear that note she belts out at the bridge? OMG!!!

Favorite Line: “My name is whatever you decide / And I’m just gonna call you mine / I’m insane, but I’m your baby (your baby) / Echoes, love your name inside my mind / Halo, hiding my obsession / I once was poison ivy, but now I’m your daisy”

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Taylor really must have enjoyed working with Imogen Heap on “Clean” from 1989 because the first moments of the song – along with most of it – is so airy and light and Imogen Heap-esque. This song is one of my favorites off of the album because I feel like it’s the most unique sounding song she has ever released. I am obsessed with the bounciness of the rhythm and the speediness of the lyrics, like she’s trying to get words out before she loses her courage to say them. I think this was a strategic production choice, of course, because when does Taylor ever release anything that’s not thought out?

Swift sings about the fear that she’s spilling too much of her soul in the initial stages of a relationship, worried that she will reveal too much, too soon. This is one of the few moments where she actually addresses that a relationship may be in jeopardy before it’s even begun due to her reputation – a super intimate songwriting choice that is probably one of the most authentic she’s ever made.

Favorite Line: “My reputation’s never been worse / You must like me for me… / Yeah, I want you / We can’t make any promises now, can we, babe? / But you can make me a drink…”

6. “Look What You Made Me Do”

Okay, I’m pretty sure everyone I know dislikes this song and has from the beginning, but I still love it. I’m still wondering if people understand that she released this song to COMPLETELY lead us in the wrong direction in regards to where this album was going. I personally think that the song is clearly satirical, ironic, sarcastic, and intentionally dramatic to cause a stir with the release of her album: which is exactly what she accomplished! Even I was a little worried that Taylor was going to try to create some sort of meta concept album where she addresses every one of her controversies while simultaneously trying to make them successful songs lyrically and production wise.

I am HAPPY that this is not the case, but I am still beyond fascinated with the drama that ensued after this song was released – how can anyone actually think she’s being serious on this track? She even used the title to her advantage of playing the victim – blaming others “look what you made me do” – guys – she’s literally saying in the song that she will “be the actress starring in your bad dreams” – and people bought into it!!!!!!!!! I think it’s honestly one of the best strategic moves she’s ever made. AND THE SONG IS CATCHY.

Favorite Line: “I don’t like your kingdom keys / They once belonged to me / You ask me for a place to sleep / Locked me out and threw a feast”

7. “So It Goes…”

I think that this album is so lyrically and sonically cohesive that it would be impossible for listeners to like every single song – which is how I feel about this song. I don’t necessarily dislike it, but it doesn’t really do anything for me. It’s a little boring and it makes me wonder if it was a filler song – which is something that I tend to avoid saying when I’m discussing a Taylor Swift album because she’s so notorious for writing SO many songs for each album and scrapping the majority of them when deciding the final track list.

Lyrically, I really enjoy this song and I am interpreting it as the moment where Taylor and her man finally realize that they are in it for the long run and that they’re finally falling into place in their relationship. This is an interesting take compared to how a lot of Taylor’s music is written about past and failed relationships, where this one highlights the emotional and physical connections with someone and how they are elevated once a romantic feeling is solidified for both people involved. And I now see that I might like the song more than I realized since I think writing out my thoughts helps me understand her POV more!

Favorite Line: “I’m yours to keep / And I’m yours to lose / You know I’m not a bad girl / But I do bad things with you”

8. “Gorgeous”

I don’t want to go on too much of a rant with this song because I already stated how much I dislike it. I do wonder why Taylor decided to include this song on the album because I think that it sticks out like a sore thumb on an otherwise very cohesive album and I still think it’s one of the worst songs she’s ever decided to release. Guys, she rhymed “face” with “face” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Favorite Line: The only one that I think is decent is “You should think about the consequence of your magnetic field being a little too strong.”

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9. “Getaway Car”

Let’s stop joking that the old Taylor is dead because I think she is alive and well on this song! Immediately after this song started I started crying because I was reminded of “Out Of The Woods” – which is my second fave T.Swift song of all time. I think that this was so successful because of her collab with Jack Antonoff – it sounds like a Bleachers song! As we continue to go through this album, you can hear where Taylor is sharing more and more intimate details of her life and reflecting on her previous decisions she has made – good and bad.

The song is referring to Taylor leaving a guy (Calvin Harris) for a new guy (Tom Hiddleston). She first met Hiddleston at the Met Gala in 2016 – who was essentially a rebound to her very serious relationship with Harris (they broke up a couple months after the Met Gala)…and that she fled the party with him (Hence the GETAWAY CAR!!) If they have to leave a party in a secret speedy mode of transportation of course it was doomed from the start!!!!!!!!!!

“The ties were black / the lies were white / …I wanted to leave him, I needed a reason.”

Taylor and Tom then have a very publicly documented fling…Taylor meets his parents…Tom wears a “I <3 Taylor” shirt…then she leaves him in the dust soon after.”Don’t pretend it’s such a mystery / think about the place where you first met me” (MET – Met Gala). Sneaky work.

She is otherwise saying “Of course I was going to leave you…think about the first way we met – I left him for you.”We have seen Swift talk about her mistakes in love (of course) in ways like this before: i.e. “Back To December,” but nothing where she basically admits to dating someone as a rebound knowing that he was taking it more seriously than she was.

This sort of honesty has not existed on many of Swift’s previous songs – and the self-reflection on this track is SO important to take note of. One of her best she’s ever done.

Favorite Line: “It was the great escape, the prison break / The light of freedom on my face / But you weren’t thinking / And I was just drinking’ / Well, he was runnin’ after us, I was screamin’, “go, go, go!” / But with three of us, honey, it’s a sideshow / And a circus ain’t a love story / And now we’re both sorry / X marks the spot where we fell apart / he poisoned the well, every man for himself / I knew it from the first Old Fashioned, we were cursed / It hit you like a shot, gunshot to the heart”

10.”King Of My Heart”

It took a few times for me to be on board with this song, but now it’s one of my favorites. I hear a lot of Stevie Nicks influence on the lyrical content of this song – despite the heavy EDM influence that’s embedded in the song. It goes without saying that this track is about her current beau and the realization that he is everything she’s been searching for in a lover – swoon. Pretty unoriginal storyline but I think this is one of the most different styles of songs she’s ever done.

I think that you can understand the sort of man that she is dating and how he has shown her that happiness and living well doesn’t equate to spending thousands of dollars on cars and fancy dinners – Taylor throws some shade at Harris and Hiddleston in this song when she hints at “All the boys and their expensive cars / with their Range Rovers and their Jaguars” (both of these boys – love that she says boys and not men – drive those cars, respectively) and that they “Never took me quite where you do.”

I find the bridge of this song to be SO lyrically and sonically satisfying. I think it sounds SO interesting and different and it’s just so UNIQUE to anything I’ve heard her do. I love it!

Favorite Line: “Is the end of all the endings? / My broken bones are mending / With all the nights we’re spending / Up on the roof with a school-girl crush / Drinking beer out of plastic cups / Say you fancy me, not fancy stuff / Baby, all at once, this is enough.”

11. “Dancing With Our Hands Tied”

Something about this song still throws me off a little bit, but the more I listen to it, the more I enjoy it. I get some serious HAIM vibes from this song and I think it’s super cool that they are influencing Taylor’s style of music! I want to dance to this song under a disco ball. How I am trying to understand this song is the development of a relationship and wanting to explore it while simultaneously trying to keep it under wraps so there’s no outside forces influencing it. Like, “We’re having fun…but we can’t have too much fun because we don’t want anything bad to ruin this.” After all, how fun can dancing with your hands tied actually be? I think this song would be SO incredibly beautiful to hear stripped down on a guitar.

Favorite Line: “I loved you in spite of / Deep fears that the world would divide us / So, baby, can we dance / Oh, through an avalanche? / And say, say that we got it / I’m a mess, but I’m the mess that you wanted / ’cause it’s gravity keeping you with me”

12. “Dress”

THE SONG. Taylor Swift talks about sex. I had heard rumors of this MYTHICAL experience…a line that goes “I only bought this dress so you could take it off…” Ah. The luxury of being able to afford dresses you want to buy solely to remove them from your body. Glad to see what my money goes to when I buy Taylor Swift content! Ha. But in all seriousness, I am all for this Taylor Swift who is comfortable and honest with talking about attraction and sex and all that jazz.

This is a topic that has been visibly absent from her songs for the majority of her career and if she’s confident sharing these details from her love life – I am here to support it! I love the low, raspy quality to her voice that’s on this track. Let’s get this track on the next 50 Shades movie.

Favorite Line:  “Inescapable / I’m not even going to try / And if I get burned, at least we were electrified / I’m spilling wine in the bathtub / You kiss my face and we’re both drunk / Everyone thinks that they know us / But they know nothing about us”

13. “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”

I think we could have done without this song. That doesn’t mean I hate it, but I think it takes away from the overall message of the song. I was worried that we would be getting an entire album of songs about Taylor’s public feuds – and we strayed away from that for the most part – so if these issues are truly still bothering her, I guess that I respect her desire to want to write about them and express feelings about them.

I do think that this song explores interesting topics – like how Taylor felt welcomed into this super elite clique of some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities – and how she had such a public falling out with – of course – Kanye West. I’m done speculating what actually went on between the two of them – but I think we can all guess as to who I will defend in these scenarios.

This song sounds like old school Avril Lavigne and I still can’t decide if that’s good or bad. Also – just read that she wanted the chorus to have a child-like sound to it because she felt like she was dealing with children during these feuds. Not going to lie, that made me laugh. I just have mixed feelings because I feel like the rest of the album explores similar themes without it sounding immature and I’ve already seen a million articles highlighting this one song as Swift calling out West where this is absent for the most part on the rest of the album.

Favorite Line: “Here’s a toast to my real friends / They don’t care about that he said, she said / And here’s to my baby / He ain’t reading what they call me lately / And here’s to my momma / Had to listen to all this drama”

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14. “Call It What You Want”

The MOMENT I heard this song when it was released as a promotional single, I felt so relieved. Like I said before, I knew that this was an important moment for me in this timeline: if the 4th song out of 15 was one I wasn’t excited about, I was worried that the album wouldn’t be for me. But after hearing the entire album, I would say that this song encapsulates everything about Reputation PERFECTLY.

I know it’s not the last song on the album…and New Year’s Day is nice…but I just think that this would have been the PERFECT end song. I think that she’s discussing her relationship, of course, in the song, but I also think it’s saying “Here is my body of work. I had a bad couple years. But I know what this is and I believe in it. But you can say whatever you want about it – I know what’s real.”

This is SUCH an important moment on this album because Swift has been so SO so SO so SOOOOOOO caught up in her reputation (obviously) and I think she’s finally just over it now. She won’t ever be able to change the world’s negative opinions on her but she is finally secure with herself and her love and her talent and her LIFE that she’s just ready for people to say whatever they want to say. I think that it’s SUCH a powerful statement and I still think this could have been the perfect end song. I LOVE THIS SONG!!!!

Favorite Line: “Nobody’s heard from me for months / I’m doing better than I ever was” and “And I know I make the same mistakes every time / Bridges burn, I never learn / At least I did one thing right”

15. “New Year’s Day”

This song is sweet and I enjoy it and I teared up the first time I heard it. I think it’s such a classic Taylor moment –  it’s going to be a timeless Taylor Swift song and I love the sentiment that she has found the person she will always be excited to do mundane tasks in life with (i.e. cleaning up the bottles after a party). I just read that she’s been saving specific lyrics for the perfect song and knowing that she’s been wanting to use these lyrics for the perfect person just makes my heart BURST out of my chest!!! I’m still going to hold onto the the idea that “Call It What You Want” would have ended this album better for me.

Favorite Line:  “You squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi / I can tell that it’s gonna be a long road / I’ll be there if you’re the toast of the town, babe / Or if you strike out and you’re crawling home / Don’t read the last page / But I stay when it’s hard, or it’s wrong / Or we’re making mistakes / I want your midnights / But I’ll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year’s Day”

If you’re still reading, I love you.

My favorite songs (as of right now):

– Getaway Car
– I Did Something Bad
– Delicate
– Don’t Blame Me
– Call It What You want

I did a little experiment where I searched some of the concepts I heard the most through this album. The two concepts I heard repeated the most:


  • “End Game” – “I don’t wanna hurt you, I just wanna be / Drinking on a beach with you all over me” and “It’s like your eyes are liquor / it’s like your body is gold”
  • “Delicate” – “But you can make me a drink…”
  • “Gorgeous” –  “You should take it as a compliment / That I got drunk and made fun of the way you talk” and “Whiskey on ice / sunset and vine”
  • “Getaway Car” – “I knew it from the first old fashion, we were cursed” and “But you weren’t thinkin’ / And I was just drinking'”
  • “King Of My Heart” – “Drinking beer out of plastic cups”
  • “Dress” – “You kiss my face and we’re both drunk”
  • “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” – “Everyone swimming in a champagne sea”

Gold / golden

  • “End Game” – “It’s like your eyes are liquor, it’s like your body is gold”
  • “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” – “My, my love had been frozen / Deep blue, but you painted me golden”
  • “Dress” – You made your mark on me, golden tattoo” and “Gold cage, hostage to my feelings”

I’m going to take this information and make the assumption that Taylor Swift drank a lot over her break and that she views Joe Alwyn as golden. CUTE!!!!!!!!!!

If you’re still not convinced of Tay’s superstardom, Reputation nearly shut down iTunes the moment it was released last night because 800,000 people – yes – that many – were trying to buy the album / access their pre-orders. The album sold 1.5 million copies in the first FEW HOURS of its release. (1989 sold 1.287 million in its first WEEK). This sort of reception is unprecedented.

Reputation is projected to hit over 2 million sales in its first week alone. Buckle up, guys!

So What Exactly Is This Album About?

Not about Taylor’s reputation – but what happened when she stopped trying to change people’s minds about it. Like the image I posted from the magazine she’s releasing, we as a society only show people versions of ourselves that we want on display. Taylor is no exception.

There will always be perceptions of her (and us) that will never go away – and it gets to a point where you can no longer obsess over trying to win everyone over and simultaneously be happy. That will never bring you true happiness and security with yourself. As long as you find people who know you for you and don’t care about the noise, you will be just fine.

We haven’t seen Swift THIS honest and raw – I don’t care what you say about the multiple love songs we’ve heard that she’s beautifully crafted – these are songs about her public downfalls, her feuds, her screw ups, her wins and losses, and how she has chosen to deal with them – in the most honest, authentic way we’ve seen her. I don’t think I can ask for anything more as a fan.

Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone nailed it for me here:

“From the sounds of her excellent sixth album, Swift spent that time going into deeper, darker, more introspective places. Reputation is her most intimate album – a song cycle about how it feels when you stop chasing romance and start letting your life happen. As one of the all-time great pop masterminds, she’s trying something new, as she always does. But because she’s Taylor Swift, she can’t stop being her own turbulent, excessive, exhausting and gloriously extra self.”

The lyrical content in this album is strong – at least I find it to be. We don’t have anything par with “All Too Well” or “Dear John,” but that’s not what the album calls for. This is Swift’s most sonically different album she’s ever done – she has successfully catapulted to country –> pop country –> 80’s pop –> full on 2017 contemporary pop. I don’t think that 1989 was influenced by the sounds of 2013 and 2014 nearly as much as Reputation is clearly influenced and inspired by 2016 and 2017 pop.

It personally doesn’t bother me but it’s interesting to see whether or not this will distance long time fans. I think Swift is so genius and meticulous at her craft, she knew that she could succeed doing the work in current pop music and do it the best. She will continue to challenge herself in creating different sounds and I think the growth is really interesting to watch.

Where’s she going next? Who knows. I hope that she explores the sounds we heard in “State of Grace” from Red – sounds like The Cranberries meets HAIM meets Stevie Nicks – but obviously I’m not the one who will dictate where she decides to go next.

Have you listened to the album yet? I WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE THINKING! This is the first Taylor Swift release where I have my blog. This is exciting stuff and I never get sick of talking about it. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

– Kristin


3 comments on “Album Review: An In-Depth Look at Taylor Swift’s “Reputation”

  1. i also loved her album she has matured if you compare her starting songs from album like fearless and taylor swift she has matured as a writer and singer and as a human being people want the old taylor but no one remains 16 forever , my fav song was dress,dancing with our hands tied and getaway car ,gorgeous ,call it what you want , look what you made me do songs and yea she is awesome

  2. plus your post was well written and detailed

  3. Hey Kristin! I’m not a diehard Taylor fan, but I would say she’s one of my guilty pleasures (as I listen to more punk-rock music) because of her emotionally complex lyrics and concepts. I know most of her songs and listen to them to be inspired for my own songwriting because I aspire to create catchy rock bangers that also have a meaning and depth. Once I started listening to her promotional singles again (me, being freshly in love and relating to ALL the love songs), I couldn’t resist buying the album.
    I was like, “This album better be worth my $20, it better sound like those songs or I swear to God,” because I rarely buy the latest music – I usually go to thrift stores and find my old-school Avril CDs for like, a dollar. Let me tell you, I think the album was worth most of my money. Basically:
    My INSTANT favourites were
    – Call It What You Want
    – King Of My Heart
    – I Did Something Bad
    – End Game
    – Delicate
    Songs that grew on me were
    – Don’t Blame Me
    – DWOHT
    – Dress
    – Getaway Car (although I just hang on for the bridge)
    – New Years Day (I didn’t really get the fuss around it, and I still don’t????)
    Songs I never wanna hear again are
    – Gorgeous
    – LWYMMD
    – …Ready For It
    and ‘So It Goes’ still has to grow on me… or it’ll remain my least favourite on the album. Anyway I know this was long but thank you!!! YFL XXX

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