Album Review: Reputation by Taylor Swift

WRITTEN BY: Monica Mellon

Nov. 10 brought the highly anticipated release of Taylor Swift’s sixth album, reputation. After Swift’s three-year hiatus, she came back with a completely revamped image, sporting an all black and white album cover, a tight choker necklace and dark lipstick.

Since Swift came to fame when she was 15, she has constantly been scrutinized by the media, claiming she’s constantly playing the victim, being too kind, being fake, dating too many men, etc. In a surprise drop of her first reputation single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” Swift addresses her critics and the flow of rumors that circulate about her. “Look What You Made Me Do” was the invitation to reputation and it did not disappoint.

Whatever Swift does has the inevitable ability to grab the attention of just about everyone, regardless of personal opinions of her. reputation is Swift’s way of telling critics, fans, enemies and the media that she knows we’re watching and she knows what everyone has said and will say about her, but she doesn’t care anymore.

As told by her first four singles, “Look What You Made Me Do,” “…Ready for It?,” “Gorgeous” and “Call It What You Want,” the reputation era will reflect upon Swift’s passionate love of her current boyfriend and her newly renovated disregard of the media and her critics.

As a continuation of her Grammy-award winning album 1989, Swift holds onto her new pop sound and continues to explore new music styles, especially in “End Game,” featuring Ed Sheeran and Future. The song captures the feeling of wanting to be “the one” in the eyes of a love interest, while testing out a rap sound.

reputation continues to push boundaries for Swift, reminding everyone of the new era of Taylor. For the first time in her career, Taylor sings about drinking (“Whiskey on ice”// “I’m spilling wine in the bathtub”) and sex (“scratches down your back”// “only bought this dress so you could take it off”). Her boldness continues to make strides musically and now completely fits with her current mantra.

Of course, reputation doesn’t let Kanye West off the hook, with a few jabs at him in “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.” The song allegedly frames Swift shaming West for destroying their newly reformed friendship. The song praises Swift’s friends, boyfriend and family for disregarding the drama and name-calling from the media. Swift ends the song with a sarcastic toast to “you,” of whom could be Kanye, or the media, “because forgiveness is a nice thing to do,” and a cute cackle, laughing at the attempted friendship.

reputation has paved the way to be Swift’s best album. It allows for the recognition of Swift’s happiness after pushing critics and negativity aside and appreciating everything else life has to offer. She’s used reputation to point out everyone’s obsession with her reputation while failing to see who she really is.

It’s easily Swift’s most intimate album, making it all the more special and significant. It’s real and it’s raw and it paves the way for the “New Taylor” we’ve been waiting for.  Swift proves to be confident, fearless and ready to take on the world with a completely new contagious perspective.

Track List:

Ready for it

End game

I did something bad

Don’t blame me

Delicate

Look What You Made Me Do

So It Goes…

Gorgeous

Getaway Car

King of My Heart

Dancing With Our Hands Tied

Dress

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Call it What You Want

New Year’s Day