Reputation

 

For many people, Taylor Swift has carried a reputation of relatable, inspiring, and dreamy. To many others, she has carried the reputation of a boy crazy girl who dates too much. To me, the best part of her reputation is that she turned country into her own genre. Then, she broke every record she possibly could! Her country crooning, singer of love songs reputation continued to flourish and grow throughout her next four albums. Then, she released 1989. It was a decent album, but it wasn’t the Taylor Swift her fans knew and loved. That didn’t stop us from buying the album and shouting the lyrics at the top of our lungs or using them as captions to our social media pictures though.

I have always been a hardcore Swiftie. I own every single one of her CD’s, including her EPs. I have a collection of Taylor Swift guitar picks and music books. I can even sing 98% of her songs perfectly as they play and a decent number of them from memory. Taylor Swift and her music got me through a very tough time in high school and I will forever be grateful for that. I even gained a dear friend because of a conversation we had about Taylor Swift. So to me, Taylor’s reputation has always been great!

When Little Big Town came out with “Better Man,” many fans had mixed feelings. It was exciting, because it meant Taylor Swift was still writing country music. But it also probably meant she wasn’t going to record country music for herself. Then, “Look What You Made Me Do” came out and we knew, at least for now, we won’t be getting any new country music from Taylor Swift. Personally, I was super bummed. I miss the Taylor Swift I know and love! Discouragement didn’t keep me from driving to Target and buying a physical copy of Reputation though!

“…Ready for It”
Actually, no, I wasn’t ready for it. What is this song even about? Is it like “I Knew You Were Trouble?” Is she falling for someone that isn’t the best for her? Is it like the counter reply to “Wildest Dreams?” Instead of begging him to remember her, is she telling him he’s the one she dreams of? I don’t know. By no means is it my favorite, but I do like it. I won’t listen to it in my spare time, but I won’t skip it. When I’m listening to my music on shuffle or when I’ve got this CD playing in my car I will listen to it. Who knows, maybe I’ll even dance to it every now and then. It’s got a nice beat and could be fun to jam out to when I’ve had a long day. And, in the middle of the night in my dreams, I’ve already found myself singing it when I wake up.

“End Game (featuring Future and Ed Sheeran)”
This song is kind of annoying, which is a bummer. I expect more from both Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. I love listen to “Everything Has Changed (featuring Ed Sheeran).” The lyrics have the potential to be a cute love song. Instead it’s poppy, loud, and not something that works well in a playlist of love songs. Some of the lyrics could be perfect as background music in a cheesy chick flick. The music doesn’t work, though. I suppose it could be a song playing in the background at a club when the main couple meets. Even then, it doesn’t quite work.

“I Did Something Bad”
I get that half the point in this album is to be petty, but I’m so over petty Taylor! On albums of Swiftness past, the best thing was listening to the petty songs between her cute, lovey songs, and her heartbreaking, sad songs. On this album, it’s all their is and it’s tiresome. The majority of the album is petty and meaningless. I know she’s trying to make a point, but she could make a point without having such annoying music and lyrics. They say Taylor did something bad? I know I did something bad! I listened to this song! **01/18 update** I still don’t like this song, but I don’t hate it as much as I did on 11/11/17 when I wrote this review.

“Don’t Blame Me”
I actually like this song. In general, I like music that compares love to addictions though, so that’s probably why I like it. But it also has a few old Taylor vibes. It’s barely there, but it’s like the haunting of a ghost; you can feel it when you’re not looking. It helps that it’s the first song on the album that uses real instruments for the music. Sure, you can still hear synthetic music, but at least some of it’s real.

“Delicate”

The song is far from being old Taylor. The lyrics are reminiscent of the young Taylor though. The old Taylor was always so cautious, yet fierce in her love. She wants to make sure she’s not coming on too strong, but she also wants to be the girl he remembers more than anyone else. This is the Taylor we know and love. The lyrics aren’t the cleverest or deepest lyrics she’s ever written. They’re relatable though, especially in the chorus. “Is it cool that I said all that?” Who hasn’t lain awake at night wondering if they said too much?

“Look What You Made Me Do”
Look what you, Taylor Swift, made me do! This was the first time that I’ve ever given a bad review for Taylor Swift. She’s had a few songs that I haven’t been the biggest fan of, sure. I haven’t been silent about it either, but I hadn’t ever actually disliked any of her songs. There’s a first for everything though. “Look What You Made Me Do” is a beyond annoying song. I thought it would grow on me, but I’ve only grown more annoyed by it.

“So It Goes…”
I’m kind of tired of Taylor Swift’s “I’m not a bad girl, but I do bad things with you” thing. At this point, I’m pretty sure if she does bad things with as many guys as she claims, then she’s either a bad girl or a poser. I do like the bit of the song where she sings about being his to keep or his to lose. She’s more or less telling him it’s his move. She’s decided what she wants; now he needs to decide.

“Gorgeous”

She’s having an internal battle with herself over how she feels about this guy. She wants him, but she can’t have him. She wants him to be single, but she’d rather he not be single. He makes her happy, and sad. And she’s arrogant about it. She thinks she’s worth it, but more than anything, he’s so cool, she can’t bear to look at or talk to him. I don’t hate this song. I don’t even dislike it. The lyrics aren’t my favorite, but I can relate to some of the lyrics on a personal level. Most of us have all had someone we both wanted to be with, but knew it we should be with.

“Getaway Car”
This might be my favorite song on the album. She says the old Taylor is dead, but that can’t be 100% true. She’s resurrected her for the writing of some of the best lyrics on this album. None of the songs on this album are Taylor Swift’s best work, but some of them are reminiscent of her best work. This is one of those songs. It takes me back to the era of Red. It was still poppier than her first three albums, but still country enough to play on y100 and KJ97. This song isn’t country, but the lyrics could be.

“King of My Heart”
Thanks, but I’ll stick with the worship song by Bethel of the same title. It’s not that this song is bad. It’s not even that if I’m going to have a king of my heart then it’s going to be the Lord. It’s just that it’s yet another annoying song. Taylor Swift is too talented to have everything synthetically programmed. I don’t even know if the lyrics are good, because I don’t want to listen to it long enough to decide. **01/18 update** I still agree with my original review, but I like the lyrics a little more than I thought.

“Dancing with Our Hands Tied”
Why does Taylor Swift feel the need to repeat herself so much? Why on this album does she feel the need to reference sex and drinking so much? What many of her lifelong fans have loved so much about her in the past is that her lyrics make no reference to any of these things. I get that this is what normal twenty-somethings do and talk about, but what about the fans who don’t? What about the young fans? The references are subtle and easy to miss, I’ll give her that. I still miss the Taylor who sang about fairy tales and dreams though.

“Dress”
Here it is; the song inspired by endless desire. It equates to the songs of Swiftness past that I want to listen to while feeling a longing desire to find true love. or that is appropriate for young fans to listen to. I get it, I’m weird. I’m an almost twenty-four-year-old girl who doesn’t want to listen to love songs about sex and lust, but is that so wrong? Why does every artist my age have to reach a point in their career where they stop singing cute love songs and start singing lusty sex songs? It’s ridiculous! **01/18 Update** Okay, I confess. I love this song! And that’s exactly why I hate it! I’m an old-fashioned Christian girl who believes sex is for marriage. This song goes against everything I believe in as a single twenty-four-year-old, and yet… I can’t help but love it. Stupid Taylor Swift! I hate you for writing such a good song about a topic I disagree with!

“This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”
Okay, we get it! You’ve got beef with several artists, especially Kim and Kanye! You don’t have to sing about it so much. Your fans used to come running to your defense, because you didn’t run toward the drama, but instead away from it. You would write one song about the situation, but it was also subtle enough, that it left us guessing. Is this song about who it seems to be about? *shrugs shoulders* We don’t know, but that makes it better. Now, we do know what these songs are about and it’s tiresome. **01/18 update** I still agree with what I wrote before, but I also kind of like this song. It’s fun to listen to, because it’s so ridiculous it puts a smile on my face.

“Call It What You Want”

Yes, Taylor! Yes! More old school Taylor vibes! Again, it’s not country and that’s what I want, but at least it’s got some vibes! You reference the drama briefly, but otherwise, this is just a cute song. I’ve got to ask though. What the heck is “it?” What “it” are they calling what they want? I’m so confused! Are they calling the relationship something that it’s not? I don’t know, but I like this song!

“New Year’s Day (Secret Session Version)”

Ah, Taylor’s natural voice! This is the Taylor we all know and love! This is the Taylor we miss! When 1989 came out, my best friend pointed out that she sounds a lot better acoustic. I hadn’t thought about it until she said it, but now I realize that, as usual, she’s totally right! Taylor needs to stick to what she’s good at! She needs to be the girl with the guitar or the girl at the piano! She sounds so much better and her songs are so much more enjoyable! So much so that listening to a piano performance can transform my opinions for her music. “Out of the Woods” was my least favorite song from 1989, but it became one of my favorites after she explained it and performed it on piano. I watched the secret sessions video before buying the album, and now I can’t listen to the album version without wishing it was the acoustic version. Why, oh why, Taylor must you edit your songs so much now?

“New Year’s Day (Album Version)”
Even on the album version, this song is the closest thing to the old Taylor that we get from this album! When played acoustically, it might be my favorite song from the album. More than any song on the album, it’s the rawest and truest recording. It’s the most stripped down and enjoyable to listen to. It’s the song that I will listen to over and over again and I’ll it sing with glee. I might even actually decide to cover this song on my YouTube channel! I don’t know, but I’d at least consider it! Listening to her harmonize with herself is a little odd though. *shrugs shoulders*

As I write this review on 11/11, I wish that the album had been recorded without so much heavy editing. I wish that it hadn’t been so petty. I wish that it had at least one or two inspiring songs like the songs of Swiftness past. But if I wish in one hand and spit in the other, guess which one will fill up faster! So, I’ll let go of my wishes. This is by far my least favorite Taylor Swift album and I only like a small portion of it. Still, I’ll always be a Swiftie, even if the old Taylor really is dead and gone. If nothing else, at least I’ve got the songs and albums that helped me get through the toughest years of my life—high school. If this new Taylor is going to be the forever Taylor, then I’ll wear out my old Taylor Swift albums. And I’ll keep listening to the new country music princess, Kelsea Ballerini, because I definitely won’t be listening to this album over and over again! **01/18 update** At the end of the day, whether I love or hate this album, one thing is true. It’s actually a pretty great album to listen to in the car. It’s not about much and that makes it perfect for a car ride to work or road trip to somewhere fun.

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