By Ajaden Welter
“Sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, cause she’s dead.” This is what Taylor Swift proclaims in the lead single “Look What You Made Me Do” from her newly released Reputation. The old Taylor just might be dead, but what the old and new Taylor have in common is the ability to craft state-of-the-art pop music that everyone can enjoy.
Reputation released on November 10th and has already broken pre-existing pre-sale records. It’s poised to debut at number one on the charts globally. (Which isn’t quite a shock considering the impact of her last three albums: 1989, Red, and Speak Now, which all sold over a million copies within the first week.)
This intensely hyped album, her first album after a series of scandals and feuds that kept Taylor out of the public eye, is determined to break the pop star free of all previous molds that confined her to certain images made up by the public. On Reputation, Taylor is out to show the public that no matter what you’ve thought of her before, no one knows who the true Taylor is.
Swift, who co-wrote all fifteen tracks on the album, toys with the fans minds in her songwriting throughout the album. She plants seeds of intrigue of whom she may or may not be talking about concerning the private matters of her life, from exploring her more sensual side in the track “Dress,” to calling out backstabbing ex-best friends in the vengeful track “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.”
Swift, as usual, tackles a number of storylines throughout the album that will undoubtedly fulfill all her fans fantasies, each song embedded with hinted dirty little secrets to keep the fans theorizing about her life for years to come.
Musically, the album differs from anything Taylor has done before. With many songs encompassing an electronic homage to the synth-pop of the 80’s mixed with trap-lite beats to match the sound of contemporary music today. The electronic sounds of the album build upon the heavily synthesized power pop sounds of her last album 1989 to create a sharper more sophisticated sound.
With a new sound, Taylor is also expanding on her look through her music videos for the album. Shredding the girl next door image in favor of a look dedicated to being a tough and edgier Taylor. She can be seen sporting black ripped fishnets with thigh high boots in a heavily choreographed dance sequence in the “Look What You Made Me Do” video and embodying a naked cyborg robot in the “…Ready For It” video.
While her new image and sound might be polarizing for older fans who’ve aren’t used to the “new” Taylor, what new listeners and fans can expect from Reputation is a solid album that delivers in consistent production value with deeply personal lyrics that discuss Taylor’s struggles in the last few years. She’s also, of course, hinting at what she’s withholding for the future. While her personal reputation might not be what it used to, her reputation for making classic pop albums is still highly esteemed.
What’s your favorite song from the album? Let us know in the comments!