Reputation: A Review

Once again: Taylor Swift is back.


The highly anticipated 6th studio album, Reputation, was released on Friday (Nov. 10th) and it is expected to smash records all around. The album has sold over 700,000 copies in the United States alone on it’s first day, making it the biggest selling album of 2017 – with an expectation of 1.5 million copies to be sold worldwide in the first week.


Critics are calling it her best album yet. They say it is cohesive, strong and controlled. And to that, I agree.


The songs found on Reputation are proud and fierce. This album takes on the 21st century music scene as she delves into electronic pop.


The use of vocal effects add to the sultry ‘Delicate’ and the ode to modern fairy tales ‘King of My Heart,’ give the album extra layers and concepts that are usually unheard of from Swift.


But what really makes this album unique to her previous five, is that she truly has found her sound.

Reputation is Swift’s most successful album. Source: Kendal Dick


Lead single, ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ informed us that the “old Taylor is dead.” Though met with a mix of admiration and secondhand embarrassment – it is very true.


This album is introducing a Taylor we have never met. Though she is still singing about love, betrayal and break-ups, she is exposing more than ever before.


Reputation is intimate and passionate, and it is clear she has matured since the release of 1989. ‘Dress’ is her most explicit song yet – full of innuendos and a chorus that reads “I only bought this dress so you could take it off.”


And though I admire that Taylor has grown up and is taking control of her own narrative,  I can’t help but despise just how petty she can be. ‘This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’ almost sounds like she and her friends are chanting at a boy who was mean to her. She also regularly mentions “shade” and “receipts” at points throughout the album, and honestly, it’s time to get over it.


The album as a whole starts off strong with fast paced lyrics, strong beats and a collaboration with Future and Ed Sheeran thrown in at the start on ‘End Game.’ The second half of the album is calmer as it draws to an end with ‘New Year’s Day’ – the simplest song on the record.


On a first listen, I felt this song did not belong on this particular album. It is stripped back to vocals, piano and strings – there is no sign of computers. It initially sounds like it should belong on her 4th album Red, but the more I listen, the more I understand how it fits on Reputation.


The song is a reflection on a magical NYE party. There is a huge sense of nostalgia as Swift tells us to hold on to the memories. And though the old Taylor may be gone, she is still remembered and she played a very big role in the creation of this electric record.

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