Let’s face it. I haven’t always loved Taylor Swift. None can deny though that her 1984 Album was phenomenal, raising that Crossover-Pop bar so impossibly high that there only should realistically be room only for disappointment come any follow-up. We weren’t wowed particularly by get-even-with-Kanye lead Single Look What You Made Me Do and even more so the dark Electro-Synth of follow-up … Ready for It?. We like Swift when she’s lovelorn and melodic, maybe a bit melancholic too like on Style and You Belong to Me and we kinda wanted her to stay that way forever.
Now comes the moment that we must admit Swift thoroughly has won us over on her latest effort and sixth studio disc, reputation. It took a few listens but we really wanted to enjoy it and found a way to be hypnotized by her introspective Lyrics and still-catchy Hooks despite the black canvass on which she paints. reputation doesn’t feel like a standalone album, it feels more like a continuation of an ongoing Diary she is writing. It feels personal, honest and while we can’t help at times judgmentally roll our eyes at her revolving door of famous lovers, there is a deeper sense of maturity, that she is growing and learning from betrayals and mistakes.
Producers Max Martin, Shellback and Jack Antonofflend a hand again, crafting a new evolution to Swift‘s sound. While the first half of the Album certainly has a bit more of an edge to it with the former two overseeing Production, the latter half with Antonoff feels more familiar, softening a bit of that angry edge with that mid-to-late ’80s Synth-Pop we adored so much on 1984.
Gems on the first-half include ..Ready for It? which we’ve decided we actually like finally and Alternative R&B-esque Ed Sheeran/Future pairing End Game. Delicate recounts the headspace she was in when meeting current partner, English Actor Joe Alwyn who accepted her even at her worst.“My reputation’s never been worse/So you must like me for me”, shesings.
I am head over heels in love with Antonoff contribution Getaway Car on the second-half, sounding single-worthy and taking us away with Swift a la Bonnie & Clyde from the chaos of the every day. Not that we can even fathom the daily tumult which Swift knows. Something can be said about much of the Album being maybe too focused on getting-even, but whimsical This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things tells us that Swift is ready to close the past dramatic chapter in her life and move forward and this is redeeming. New Year’s Day is a thing of beauty and a reminder that ‘old Taylor’ might not actually be dead after all.
Once a year that Blockbuster album comes out around American Thanksgiving and this is that standout in a year of several lackluster releases.
Sample some of the Tracks off reputation.
…Ready for It?
New Year’s Day
Look What You Made Me Do
Universal Music Canada release reputation, in-stores now and available soon on streaming services.