Review: Taylor Swift — Reputation

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Wednesday, November 15th, 2017 at 3:40 PM
Review: Taylor Swift — Reputation by Dakota Palmer

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Pop-diva Taylor Swift released her latest album, "Reputation" on Nov. 10, and it is...not as bad as I anticipated it would be. Typically, I've found that artists that release a lot of their singles before the album is actually released turns out to be pretty bad (cough cough, Weezer).

But, Swift's newest Jack Antonoff-produced LP is the exception to the rule. "Reputation," named for her poor reputation regarding her love life, mainly, is a refreshing exception to the former albums that merely trash her ex-boyfriends.

When she released "Look What You Made Me Do" as a single over the summer, many people assumed her album would be full of revenge songs about her hatred for Kanye West. This is actually quite the opposite. Most of the album is about her relationship with her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn.

While the songs "Look What You Made Me Do," "I Did Something Bad" and "This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" reference West and Kim Kardashian-West, the record truly puts its focus on Alwyn and Swift's relationship.

The first track, "...Ready for It?" Is about when she first met Alwyn. In the first verse, she sings, "Some boys are tryin' too hard, he don't try at all though / Younger than my exes, but he act like such a man, so," referencing her relationships with Tom Hiddleston and Calvin Harris, who were 32 and 35, respectively, when they dated Swift.

This song has a dark, intimidating beat that could make one think it's a diss track at first, but the song's lyrics are actually pretty positive, describing how she fell for Alwyn. The second verse lyrics, "Every love I've in comparison is a failure / I forget their names now, I'm so very tame now," makes fun of how the public sees her love life. It's no secret Swift has dated a lot of people in the public eye, but it seems as though she thinks this love will hopefully work out for her in the long run.

One of the better songs on the album, "Delicate," actually is a little sad. Again referencing her love life, the song opens with, "This ain't for the best / My reputation's never been worse so, you must like me for me." These lyrics are sad in that she's been in all of these relationships, causing her reputation to be poor, but Alwyn doesn't care about what her exes have said about her. He likes her for her.

This song is one of the softer ones on the record, and it certainly reflects the way she feels about Alwyn.

Finally, Swift wrote "King of My Heart" for Alwyn. In the first verse, Swift sings about how she's content being single, and then the chorus says, "Sing to me, I'm your American Queen." Alwyn is British, so this is a direct reference to his nationality and the way he treats her. How cute.

While she dedicated a lot of the album to Alwyn, it wouldn't be any fun leaving Kanye out of this. In "I Did Something Bad," she says, "I never trust a narcissist, but they love me," which is potentially a direct hit to West, who is widely described as narcissistic.

Toward the end of the song, she sings, "They're burning all the witches even if you aren't one / They got their pitchforks and proof, their receipts and reasons," which also addresses West and Kardashian-West. When Swift and West were feuding about whether or not she gave permission and told West she could use her name in his song, "Famous," Kardashian-West backed West up and said there was a video of West and Swift on the phone.

And of course, we have “Look What You Made Me Do,” which, in the second line of the song, makes a jab at West: “I don’t like your little games / Don’t like your tilted stage.” West used a tilted stage on his 2016 “Saint Pablo” tour. Then, in the second verse she says, “maybe I got mine, but you’ll all get yours,” possibly implying this song is about both West and rival Katy Perry.

The song was pretty annoying when it was first released, but it’s grown on me and now it’s just kind of a fun song to listen to. The angriness of Swift’s lyrics are somewhat comical, but the beat (Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy”) is fun and energetic.

This album is unlike any of its predecessors. Its darker undertone makes for an interesting narrative, even if about half of the songs are simply mediocre. The other half could make up a pretty gnarly EP, though. 

Standout tracks: “…Ready For It,” “I Did Something Bad” and “Delicate.”

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