Monday, November 13, 2017

Taylor Swift's Newest Album, reputation, Is So Good I Own Four Copies


You are here because you want to read my thoughts on Taylor Swift's new album, reputation. These are my opinions and my opinions are the only true Taylor Swift opinions.

I believe this is her best album to date. And I did not say that about 1989. In fact, I thought parts of 1989 were weak — All You Had To Do Was Stay and I Wish You Would being the weakest. I stood by that Red was her best album. Even though it was looked down on by music critics for not being sonically cohesive, that is what I loved about it. We got the signature Taylor ballads and the dance bops she is now known for.

But even Red had its weaknesses. The first half of Red is flawless and the second half starts to go a little off the tracks — the biggest error is Begin Again.

But reputation might be flawless. Here's why.

I love this album because when she broke up with Calvin Harris, we were thrilled. Finally, she would cut the 1989 bullshit and sing about something meaningful, like heartbreak. But reputation completely skips over that. Hell, it pretty much skips over Tom Hiddleston, and when we do get a glimpse into that relationship, we learn she didn't even really like him. I mean, Getaway Car isn't exactly a glowing review. And even though I'm convinced Gorgeous is about Tom, Taylor claims it's about Joe.

I also love this album because we didn't think Taylor was capable of writing interesting and complex lyrics about being in love. We thought her best belonged to the loss of a scarf and innocence. I also love the sultry sound of it. The entire album sounds like a follow-up to I Don't Want To Live Forever with Zayn, which was a great song. In fact, where Red sounds like a brisk fall day and 1989 sounds like an anxious New York day, reputation sounds like the feeling of being drunk in a New York bar with a hot guy you're trying to impress.

I also love this album because it perfectly captures how Joe loved her at her worst. If you really, really sit and think about it, the entire world was against Taylor at one point. Hell, even I thought she lied and wondered how she would bounce back. But through it all, she sings about Joe loving her at her worst — even with her bleached hair. Even after flying around the world with Tom, acting almost as performance art, Joe loved her.

The sex references took me aback at first, but really they shouldn't. Taylor has been referencing sex since her second album, when she told the world Abigail gave it up when she was 15. Then for her third album, she sang "You touch me once and it's really something/you find I'm even better than you imagined I would be" in Sparks Fly. Then on Red, her fourth album, we got a line about his hands in Treacherous and her innocence in All Too Well. Then on 1989 in Wildest Dreams, she sang, "His hands are in my hair/his clothes are in my room." And then finally on reputation, sex references seem to be everywhere, but the biggest one on Dress: "Only bought this dress so you could take it off."

But really the drinking references are the biggest shock to me. Never has there been an alcohol reference — to me, the wine-stained dress in Clean doesn't count just because that seems more like a metaphor. But on reputation, we have Old Fashions, beer in plastic cups, drunk in the bathtub, drunk making fun of the way he talks, cleaning up bottles on New Years Day, a champagne sea, and so so much more. I'm half convinced Taylor doesn't love her boyfriend, Joe, as much as she's just drunk and wants him v bad. There is a drinking reference on almost every song.

This album is her best. It's so good I own three CDs of it and one digital copy.

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