Reputation album review

Reputation album review

Will Sieracki, Reporter

     Before this album review starts, I’m gonna clarify a couple of things; I don’t like Taylor Swift. Didn’t like her music when she was a country singer, and after her feud with Kanye and Kim, my opinion of her became even worse. However, I listened to her new album, titled Reputation, with an open mind. I thought to myself that maybe, just maybe, this would be the one that made me like her music, if not her in general. After all, it was a huge departure from her previous material. But when the final track finished, I’m really not sure why I thought this would be any more listenable than four of her last five albums. I enjoyed 1989. But it’s her only good work.


     On 1989, there were seven singles released that were actually really good, and the song New Romantics eventually made it onto the Billboard Hot 100. After the album’s release, Swift really had nowhere to go but down. But even with tempered expectations, Reputation is a disaster. In the first single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” Swift attempts to shock her audience yet again, only this time it seems desperate. And when it comes to the lyrics, it serves well as a comment on cultural capitalism. The world expected more from her post-1989 when there was nothing more to give, there was only an oversaturated market due to fall hard. It actually makes me wonder whether “Look What You Made Me Do” was designed to be an awful song.


     The album’s second single, “…Ready for It?” is another disappointment. Swift is clearly out of her element. She tries to rap, she decides to adopt an African-American vernacular, and for some reason collaborates with Future, who probably couldn’t get his check cashed quickly enough. She says, “I see how this is gonna go,” like a stereotypical white girl who uses “dat” and “doe” in her Instagram captions and tweets. Swift tried to copy black culture, and it failed. Remember, Reputation received promotion when Swift attempted to sue a relatively unknown blogger for calling her a white supremacist. And that wasn’t the worst decision Swift made when it came to the album and the events surrounding it.


     The song “End Game” is bizarre. It’s Swift’s second collaboration with Future, but this time Ed Sheeran is in the song with them. He also tries to rap, which was the aforementioned worst decision.


     The album’s one saving grace is “Gorgeous,” because it offers something more refreshing and different compared to the soulless production of the rest of Reputation. It has sort of a 1980s sound to it, and a chime sound is used to announce what is almost certainly the best song on the album. Although that isn’t saying much.


     Reputation shows that Swift’s mentality is that bigger is better. On songs like “So It Goes” or “I Did Something Bad,” when she tries to reach for the top, she falls short. They aren’t good enough to be hits, leaving the listener to find individual shining moments among tons of garbage.

     Compare 1989 with Reputation. 1989 is like a totalitarian regime, but it’s pleasant. Reputation is like a dictator that’s too stupid do authoritarianism right. The album is embarrassing as it is flashy and garish, expensive yet empty. Reputation ends with a paradox; an album that will do anything to be liked winds up being disliked.