Saturday, September 23, 2023

Review: Taylor Swift alters her ‘Reputation’ with new album


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Story by Altima Sisavad / Contributing Writer

Pop sensation Taylor Swift put her “Reputation” on the line with the release of her highly anticipated sixth album, and it’s unlike anything she’s ever done before. The 15-track project includes influences from many genres, including pop, rock, R&B and hip-hop.

The madness all began on Aug. 24 with the release of “Look What You Made Me Do,” the first single. And in true Swift fashion, it debuted with a bang. It’s safe to say that the speculations of who Swift was singing about and the inevitable wonder of what the rest of the album would be like only intensified upon the single’s release. It was not what fans expected.

Swift also released “Ready For It,” “Gorgeous” and “Call It What You Want” prior to the full LP. Upbeat with a taste of her new style, each contributed to the tease of how the remaining tracks would differ from the Swift fans are familiar with.

“Ready For It,” the album’s opening number, is a personal favorite. Not only does Swift rap and sing along to a smooth, high-note chorus, but the hard beat kicked off by massive drums, entices listeners to vibe to the song about lovers who are as much heartbreakers as they are reckless.

“In the middle of the night/In my dreams/You should see the things we do baby (Mmm..)/In the middle of the night/In my dreams/I know I’m gonna be with you/So I take my time/Are you ready for it,” Swift sings. If you’re in a dancing kind of mood, this is the track for you.

The second track, “End Game,” is the only collaboration on the album, and it features Ed Sheeran and Future. Swift and Sheeran have a history of collaborating with “Everything Has Changed” on Swift’s “Red.” “End Game” has hip-hop influences and is about wanting to feel important in a relationship.

“I wanna be your end game/I wanna be your first string/I wanna be your A team/I wanna be your end game/End game,” Sheeran, Future and Swift sing.

“Delicate” is the fifth track and sounds exactly like the title. This song has a soft beat and allows Swift to almost whisper the lyrics that revolve around not wanting to rush love.

“Is it cool that I said all that?/Is it chill that you’re in my head?/’Cause I know that it’s delicate/Isn’t it, isn’t it, isn’t it,” Swift sings. It’s both mellow and relatable.

By the time you reach the 12th track, “Dress” stands out because of its R&B sound. Although it starts off particularly soft, the overall beat makes you want to snap and move your shoulders from side to side.

“Say my name and everything just stops/I don’t want you like a best friend/Only bought this dress/So you could take it off/take it off,” Swift sings in the standout track.

“This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” is the 13th track, a pop-rock song about a ruined friendship.

However,  it might also be a diss track to a certain rapper: “It was so nice being friends again/There I was giving you a second chance/But you stabbed me in the back while shaking my hand/And therein lies the issue/Friends don’t try to trick you/Get you on the phone/And mind-twist you.” Swift addresses her infamous squad as well with these lyrics, “Here’s a toast to my real friends/They don’t care about the/He said she said.” Its jaw-dropping lyrics definitely spice up the album.

“New Year’s Day,” the closing  track, is more of the Swift that fans already know and love. It’s a sweet love song that preaches the importance of being there for someone.

“Don’t read the last page/But I stay when it’s hard/Or it’s wrong or we’re making mistakes/I want your midnights/But I’ll be cleaning up bottles with you/On New Year’s Day,” Swift sings in the throwback track we were all hoping for. It even has a country feel with piano and guitars to back her.

This album is pure magic, and it lives up to all the hype. After all, the songs are Swift’s genius way of telling her stories, as if she’s an open book allowing us to memorize every word.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email

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