Music album review: Taylor Swift’s “reputation”
Taylor Swift’s latest album, “reputation," dropped on Nov. 10. Editors Ryan Jones and Lauren Fischer reviewed their top three songs from the album.
November 15, 2017
After almost a year of silence, Taylor Swift dropped her latest and most introspective album yet: “reputation.” After teasing the album release through “Look What You Made Me Do”, fans were split over their feelings for the “new Taylor.” However, this one single shouldn’t deter anyone from listening to the album, as the 15 songs provide something different for each listener. Through “reputation,” Swift takes her listeners on an intimate journey, telling of the highs and lows of her career, and how they affect her reputation. Editors Ryan Jones and Lauren Fischer reviewed their top three songs from the album.
“End Game (feat. Ed Sheeran and Future)”
This song is a bop. A definite transition from her opener, “…Ready For It?,” “End Game” dives into Swift’s more playful side as she experiments with Hip Hop. The line “Big reputation, big reputation/Ooh, you and me, we got big reputations” immediately became stuck in my head with its catchy melody. However, while the song may seem light and romantic (I wanna be your end game), Swift makes sure to emphasize the all-time low of her reputation (Aah, and you heard about me/Ooh, I got some big enemies) and wrestles with whether it will affect her relationship with a future lover (I don’t wanna touch you, I don’t wanna be just another ex-love you don’t wanna see). Featuring Ed Sheeran and Future adds another layer of catchiness to the song as the rap element allows End Game to appeal to more mainstream music listeners and Ed Sheeran’s mix of lightly rapping and singing creates a perfect transition between Swift’s sharp chorus and voicing her true intentions behind the song.
“Don’t Blame Me”
In “Don’t Blame Me”, Swift begins with light, rich, electropop sounds. Compared to previous albums, “reputation” seems to introduce its listeners to all that she is capable of doing with her voice and “Don’t Blame Me” is a prime example. The song soon turns dark, even relating her love to an addiction to drugs (Lord, save me, my drug is my baby/I’ll be usin’ for the rest of my life). Swift urges listeners to forget everything they know about her as they simply, well, cannot blame her for falling in love with somebody. Taylor even pokes fun about her previous dispute with Kanye West and his song, “Famous,” with “I would lose my mind/ They say, “She’s gone too far this time.” While not as sharp cutting and derisive as “I Did Something Bad”, Swift continues on her path to show both fans and enemies her side of the story.
From the title of this track, it is clear of Swift’s intentions. With soft electric vibes, Swift makes sure her listeners know that even though her reputation is at an all-time low (My reputation’s never been worse so, you must like me for me), she questions if it was the right thing to release “reputation.” However, Taylor also uses “Delicate” to emphasize even she sometimes questions her love life and if she did the right thing. Swift shows that even though she is a popstar, she still has her doubts like a normal person. Her voice is not heavily altered and creates a sense of trust between the listener and Swift. The end of the song leaves listeners a little bit more understanding of Swift’s situation but is immediately cut short by the revenge thirsty “Look What You Made Me Do.”
“This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”
Swift is at peak pettiness in “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” calling out all of her “friends” who stabbed her in the back. The songs starts out fun, with Swift saying she was “feeling so Gatsby for that whole year” by hosting multiple parties, full of these fake friends. But when Swift is stabbed in the back, no one is safe from her passive aggressive lyrics and scolding through song. Swift writes that these backstabbers can’t have nice things “because you break them/I had to take them away,” scolding them like children. With all this savagery and calling out her haters, Swift, later in the song, thanks those who’ve stood by her through all the drama, showing that she’s in a better place now, with friends who aren’t just in it for the Gatsby-like parties. Swift almost thanks her fake friends for the sake of forgiveness, but breaks the song with sarcastic laughter, saying “I can’t even say it with a straight face!” Similar to “Shake It Off,” in this song Swift shows us she can move on from all the feuds and use all the conflicting drama to make herself a better, stronger person, and I’m beyond impressed and proud of her ability to do so.
“Gorgeous” offered me a break from the more intense songs on “reputation,” with its upbeat sounds and light hearted, playful lyrics. It tells the story of Swift seeing a random guy at a party and immediately crushing on him, mostly due to his fun personality and “ocean blue eyes.” The lyrics are playful and hilariously honest, with Swift mentioning her beloved cats, all the while describing her feelings towards this guy she just meet. These lyrics are something everyone who’s ever had a crush on someone can relate to. Swift writes “you make me so happy it turns back to sad,” knowing that this crush will never be more than that, yet it gives her a chance at fun, simple love, something she’s clearly been missing.
Taylor Swift has always been a storyteller through her music, some of her most famous songs, such as Love Story being about her real relationships and feelings depicted through a made-up story. This story, however, is a bit more intense than than the old Taylor’s Romeo and Juliet fantasies. “Getaway Car” tells the story of two fugitives on the run, Swift being one of them. Swift knows this relationship is doomed from the very first line, “No, nothing good starts in a getaway car…” Despite this, the song kept me on the edge of my seat, with the suspenseful lyrics and catchy beat, plus a total plot twist at the end (you’ll have to listen to find out what happens). This song takes all the drama in a relationship and puts it in this getaway car within this “great escape.” The end of the song exposes what all went down within this setting, “I was crying in a getaway car/I was dying in a getaway car/Said ‘goodbye’ in a getaway car.” Swift again puts a different twist on the average love story, and left me dangling on every word.