On Nov. 10, Taylor Swift released her sixth studio album Reputation. Swift made the album to respond to all the backlash against her persona and create something completely unlike her previous albums, especially the more recent 1989. It is safe to say that Swift is a controversial character in the media, due to past conflicts with Katy Perry, Kanye West and her formidable long list of ex-lovers. Nonetheless, the album has sold 1.2 million copies already, making it the best selling record of this year. Based on this, we can see that the End Game artist was able to have the last laugh.
Reputation is not simply a hate album, but an artist’s expression of how they have been orchestrated. It is assumed to be set in chronological order according to New Year’s Day, where she compares her life, albeit the romantic side, to a storybook. Towards the beginning, she is not quite at the peak of her reputation, although she is aware and preparing herself for what is to come, all the while looking for her “end game.” She eventually gets to a point where it is too much to handle and addresses the beef people have with her. Of this drama, relationships are involved and she chalks it up to giving too much of herself to her partner. It leaves her worse for the wear and in a “delicate” position. Swift decides that a change is needed and thinks herself to be an entirely different person, someone much stronger. She swears against men, but gets caught up in the moment with someone else with time. Although the previous relationships left her weary, a suitor (Joe Alwyn) comes in and does not care for what others may say about her. The final three songs on the album are perhaps the most important of all, because she gets closure and realizes that she should just hold on to the happy moments she has now.
Reputation was hyped up to a grand extent, drawing audiences in because of sheer curiosity. Her first single, Look What You Made Me Do, brought a wave of memes and critique, especially after she made the statement, “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now… Why? Because she’s dead!” Oddly enough, Reputation is a mosh-posh of both the old and new versions of Taylor Swift, not necessarily a whole new person. The idea is still the same; the songs are inspired by personal events, yet relatable enough to the public. The sound, however, is far different than her former styles, which originated in country, then transferred to a more popular appeal. The album comes with a variety of different genres from ballads to house music, but it ultimately falls under electropop.
Swift made it clear that she has dealt with her fair share of drama, which has both affected and been the effect of her love life. Her relationship with her current suitor was kept under wraps for about a year to escape the media circus. In any case, she alludes to her lover, Joe Alwyn, throughout songs such as Gorgeous and New Year’s Day. The references, however, are not in her typical sappy, hopeless romantic manner from 2008, but instead more panicked and cautious due to her mudslingers. Not all the songs involving love have to do with him, although Swift has clarified that the positive ones do.
Like any artist, Taylor Swift will continue to redefine herself, not only as an artist, but also a human being through her music. This “reputation” that she has currently may only be a phase that could fade thanks to her works. Her album is available for download as of Dec. 1.