The Eagle Edition

“reputation” album review

Samantha Homcy, Staff Writer

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It would be an understatement to say that the release of Taylor Swift’s sixth album was highly anticipated. The artist’s loyal fans, known as “Swifties”, generated a range of theories about her upcoming sixth album. Swift was aware of this and kept any details about the album hidden from the public for three years. When she did start promotion in August 2017, Swift kept it on the down low. She wiped her social media pages clean and uploaded three short videos of a snake hissing, leaving her fans confused and excited. She released the title of her album, the album cover and the date of its release without any premonition or warning and announced that her first single would be released at midnight later that day. This pronouncement sent the Taylor Swift fandom into a tailspin and catapulted “Look What You Made Me Do” to hit status almost immediately, reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Swift followed this pattern for three other singles- “Ready for It,” “Gorgeous” and “Call It What You Want”- leaving fans and haters alike curious about the contents of “reputation”.

 

The fifteen-track album itself is complex, notably different from its predecessors. Its opening track, “Ready for It,” plunges right into the whirlwind of an album Swift has in store with its loud opening and catchy chorus. The next few tracks, particularly “End Game” and “I Did Something Bad,”, reference the namesake of the album- Swift’s reputation, the rumors that have swirled around Swift, mostly about her sexuality and romances, since her career began in 2006. In “End Game,” she sings about a forbidden love that the media  would reject (“Big reputation, big reputation, ooh, you and me we got a big reputation,”),  then acknowledges that she doesn’t care (“I swear I don’t love the drama, it loves me”). “I Did Something Bad” draws from the satire which  made Swift’s song “Blank Space” a hit by combating the “innocent” persona she has created over the years (“They say I did something bad, then why’d it feel so good?). The rest of the album is turbulent- “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” is a powerful anthem against Swift’s ex-friends and haters, while “Don’t Blame Me” and “Dress” are passionate songs showcasing a“sexy” side of Swift – one listeners have never heard before. But the final song on the album, “New Year’s Day,” is a standout. It’s a beautiful song, reminiscent of the ballads in Swift’s albums “Red” and “Speak Now”, and it’s the perfectly calm ending to the upheaval that is “reputation”.  

 

Is “reputation” all over the place? Yes. But is that necessarily a bad thing? “reputation” isn’t for everyone; it all depends on the listener. That being said, if Swift’s goal was to ditch the “old Taylor” and start a new phase of her career, she succeeded. Swift is one of the few artists able to make the shift from country to pop music and keep her career intact. It’s safe to say that she has also made a shift in her “reputation”.

 

Thanks to MOXIE for providing the Eagle Edition with exclusive access to “reputation”! We appreciate all the support we have received from them and are excited to continue our partnership.

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