Calling ‘Reputation’ what it is


Rhaya Truman

‘Reputation’ was instantly a favorite for many and sold out quick in stores around the country.

America’s now not-so-sweetheart, Taylor Swift, has released her sixth studio album “Reputation” and it has left a lot of people with all types of emotions. Some people adore it, some hate it and some find it nothing special but nothing worth hating on.

I have been interested in figuring out how I truly felt about this album since I have always had a neutral stance with on Taylor Swift and her music. A lot of people judge her music off of her personality and the scandals she has been involved with but at the end of the day, that has nothing to do with the music.

Good music is good music and that is the only thing that matters. So is the long waited “Reputation” album something that is worth all of the hype? Let’s find out.

One thing I could automatically say about this album after listening to singles “Look What You Made Me Do” and “…Ready For It”, was that Taylor had gone into the production of this album with the idea of doing something completely unexpected.

Her previous album “1989” was solely based off of pop beats, happy love, rainbows and heartbreak and it was something expected because of her already established image. But she wanted to challenge exactly what everyone was expecting and I respect that.

Her title song “Look What You Made Me Do” immediately gave me old Britney Spears vibes. The verses have a nice build up to them and the song is packed with iconic lines, which Swift is known for.

But when I heard the bass drop, I was utterly confused and disappointed. To me, it sounds like a bunch of sounds pushed together and it didn’t flow well. The creepy vibe of the song makes you intrigued but the chorus completely ruined it. It sounded rushed and under produced.

A few songs on the album like “End Game” and “I Did Something Bad” hold an alternative R&B sound that I really enjoy. Swift’s voice is soft enough to make it smooth and simple. Both of these songs have a laid back vibe that adds a type of calmness to the album, creating a nice balance.

A few songs on the album feel like holes in the project. Songs like “Dress,” “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” and “New Years Day” don’t add anything to the point she is trying to make and they make the album feel incomplete. They are not bad but, for me it does not fit the persona of the “new Taylor” she now refers to.

Swift seems to go back to her roots with songs like “Gorgeous” and “King of my Heart” which remind me of her old sound. “King of my Heart” has the lyrics of her old music but then a beat that resembles the new sounds she is going for.

My least favorite song on the album would have to be “Gorgeous”. The lyrics are very typical and not unique at all, ‘You are so gorgeous it makes me so mad, You make me so happy, it turns back to sad’. Although this might be cute to some, this is just basic to me and does not make my heart swoon. A lot of the lyrics do not flow right for me or make sense.

My favorite song on the album is “End Game” which features Ed Sheeran and Future. When I saw those features, I was very curious because that seems to be a weird collaboration but it worked out beautifully.

The lyrics of “End Game” are very unique and the beat is something I adore so much. It is a song that you can just play in the car and drive for hours with it on repeat. I loved the decision to add artists Future and Ed Sheeran because it provided a soul background that truly complemented the beat.

One thing I do have to mention is that Swift’s voice has stayed mediocre throughout all of her albums – and this one is no exception. Swift does not hold any special authenticity that is distinctly her. I have never been blown away by her vocals, but I also think vocals are not her main focus so I can let it slide.

Overall, I think one of the most important aspects that go into making a statement album is fluidity and a togetherness that encompasses all of the songs. When you want to make people believe you have moved from an old sound, it is important that you do that the whole way through with no hesitation.

So, here are my final thoughts on “Reputation.” It is good. That sounds kind bland but that is how I feel. Once in awhile I will bop to a few songs if I am feeling it but it won’t be one of my holy grail pieces. If Swift was able to keep the sounds of “End Game” embedded in each song, this album would have totally beat my expectations.

Coming from someone who is not completely into the mainstream music industry, this album isn’t the worse thing to be released. There is a lot that can be done better but some things that are done well. If you are a Swift fan, then I can see you loving this album and if you are not a fan, I can see you hating it.

But above all, I think Swift will take this concept and run with it and her next album will totally blow us away. For now, I will enjoy my very few favorites and wait for the delivery of her follow up to the ‘new Taylor’ and hope that i’m ready for it.