[Album Review] Taylor Swift – ‘Reputation’

Three years after her hit album, 1989, Taylor Swift has unleashed one of her most raw and passionate albums yet Friday, November 10th titled reputation. Kicking the rules to the side, Swift takes us through a rollercoaster of reasons why happiness is better than revenge. Setting off fireworks in the albums beginning, “…Ready For It?” and “End Game” show off Swift’s breakaway from her innocent reputation into a polished more confident and powerful version of herself.

Pushing the album in a darker direction with “I Did Something Bad” Swift tells the tale of how she’s choosing to call it quits with her good girl image. Repeating “Why’s it feel so good?” to elevate the emphasis on how good it feels not to adhere to her known reputation. She continues this narrative in “Look What You Made Me Do,” alerting the media of their key role in the new version of her.

Not only to stray away from her reputation itself, but Swift has strayed away from her usual acoustic-pop sound. Merging into synth-pop— impeccably produced genius. Leaving us with our jaws dropped and minds anticipating what each song is going to sound like.

Putting safe love songs on hold, Swift introduces a series of grown-up vulnerable love songs like “Delicate” about her her current boyfriend Joe Alwyn. She explores her lyrical flow more than she ever has with lyrics that align perfectly with each other, placed delicately on top of electronic beats. But not for long, Swift returns to her happy go lucky love song technique for “Gorgeous,” taking us back to songs like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” with playful lyrics.

Swift is no novice when it comes to storytelling, and “Getaway Car” takes us on the journey of a movie-like romance without a happy ending. Feeling unreal and magical, the melody takes you to a place of astonishing yet comfortable nostalgia.

Confidence bursting through the seams, Swift declares that she is a queen worthy of the love she has finally found in “King of My Heart.” Proclaiming that her broken bones have mended, and what she feels right now is finally enough. Breaking through with one of the best choruses on the album, “So It Goes…” mirrors “King of My Heart.” Lyrically getting rid of the world and isolating the story to just her and her lover. Not telling us what happens when the pieces fall apart, but instead the beauty in when they are falling back together.

Unsettling thoughts, bad feelings, unclear emotions, and the world at her fingertips, Swift gives us a revamped taste of 1989 in “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” – a high-speed techno-infused recollection of how scary falling in love really is. With Swift’s good girl image now a distant memory, she explores what its like to write more sensual lyrics in “Dress.” Daringly giving the entire world an eye into her private universe she has kept secret for so long while leaving no room for anyone to try to fill in the blanks.

A sly continuation of “Look What You Made Me Do,” “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” is a fairytale-like, explosive pop song packed with irony, sarcasm and annoyance with all the recent drama Swift has found herself involved in.

Swift brings the album to a show stopping close with “Call It What You Want” and “New Year’s Day” – two beautifully written soft-pop love songs detailing her infallible happiness and secure attitude towards herself, her idea of love, and the right now.

From warm to tear-induced to gut-wrenching to confidently bad ass to ridiculously sarcastic to every single thing in between, reputation is Swift’s most remarkable album yet. Leaving not one emotion out of the mix, Swift recounts a painful recovery from her lowest point to a blossomed and beautiful finish.

There will be no further explanation. There will just be reputation.

Alexis Hinnant

Alexis Hinnant

Alexis is an enthusiast of music, writing and photography. She’s obsessed with trying new things and has probably already binged every show on Netflix.

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