BY MEGHAN RICE
“My reputation’s never been worse, so you must like me for me,” sings singer-songwriter Taylor Swift in her most intimate album yet, “Reputation.”
The album dropped on Friday, Nov. 10 and has proved that Swift’s talent has not gone anywhere.
The 15-track album consists of passionate ballads, redemptive love songs, and new beat drops.
“Nine of the 15 new songs [were]written and produced for the most part by Swift with superstar producers Max Martin and Shellback, the other six in tandem with indie band Bleachers frontman Jack Antonoff,” said contact reporter Randy Lewis in his article for the Los Angeles Times.
These songs show a side of Swift that is ready to come back into the limelight after a long break from the media. She is not afraid of the reputation she has been given, and this album shows that she is moving into a better, new era of her life.
“The bombastic, unexpected, sneakily potent ‘Reputation’ is many things. It’s the first album on which Ms. Swift has cursed, it’s the first time she has sung about consuming alcohol, and it’s the vehicle for her most overt songs about sexual agency,” said Jon Caramanica in his article for the New York Times. “Ms. Swift is 27 now, and the things she used to deny herself—in song, at least—are no more.”
The first track on the album, “End Game,” features singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and rapper Future. “End Game” sets a powerful tone for the album as a strong track that has the ability to create a “big reputation.”
“Delicate,” “Dancing with our Hands Tied,” “New Year’s Day,” and “Don’t Blame Me” are some of the stand-out tracks on “Reputation.” Swift takes her vocal ability to the next level in these four tracks and invites a unique sound to each tune.
“New Year’s Day” is the only slow ballad on the album. Real Swift fans will recognize the soft tone of her voice and identify with the love story she is telling throughout the song, like she would do in her earlier albums. This track sounds the most like the old Swift, while showing that she is still growing up.
In comparison to her other albums, “Reputation” stands out because it shows the edgy side of Swift. Her first album, “Taylor Swift,” turned her into country music royalty, and 2015’s “1989” was her transition into pop stardom. “Reputation” launches Swift into a league of her own, with songs that are both focused and irresistible.
“Taylor Swift’s talent remains intact on ‘Reputation;’ her most focused, most cohesive album yet,” said Lewis. “I’d also say that in many ways ‘Reputation’ echoes one of Bob Dylan’s greatest lines of the last two decades: ‘I used to care…but things have changed.’”
Swift continues to bring the surprises for her fans with each coming album and likes to keep the media on their toes. Her sixth album, like past albums, has secret messages for fans to decode and wonder who or what she’s singing about.
“Over the course of ‘Reputation,’ Swift takes ownership of her narrative in a way listeners haven’t heard before,” said Maeve McDermott in her article for USA Today. “She’s the predator, the person holding all the control, the gatekeeper to her own heart… flipping the script of one of her famous songs from her long-ago ‘Red’ era, ‘I Knew You Were Trouble.’”
On all of her social media accounts, Swift has been sharing exclusive sneak peaks and inside looks behind the creation process—all the while showing love to her dedicated fans.
“‘Reputation’ is out now,” said Swift. “Let the games begin.”