Buckle up betches, because I’m about to offer a hot take on Reputation that you likely won’t find anywhere else on this site: It’s good. Feel free to light me up in the comments.
Full disclosure: I’m a Taylor Swift fan. Have been since Fearless. It’s a dangerous stance to take these days and one that I don’t generally discuss, unless I’m drunk and yelling at someone in a bar about Red’s tragic Grammy snub, something that happens far more often than I’d care to admit.
That being said, I was skeptical when it came to Reputation. The singles, while enjoyable in their own ways, hadn’t reached the caliber of what I’ve come to expect from Taylor. If I’m being honest, they are some of my least favorite songs on the album, which I’m starting to think was purposeful.
Say what you will about Taylor Swift, but she’s smart. No move she makes is without meaning, without intention. The singles painted a picture that the internet relished in mocking: Perpetual snake and die-hard romantic Taylor Swift has decided to become a bad girl in the way that you did after one trip to Hot Topic in 7th grade. It was laughable, predictable, and, what I’m now realizing after one listen through of the entire album, 100% planned.
Maybe this new Taylor isn’t the one we needed, but it’s the one we deserved: darker, sultry, kinda pissed off, synth heavy, unapologetic af, and most importantly, honest. She’s open in a way that she never was before, and it’s provided me with something I never thought I’d get: Taylor Swift songs that I can pregame to. God bless.
Sure, the old Taylor drank, and had sex, and made mistakes, but the new Taylor actually talks about it. At 28, Taylor Swift has finally cursed in a song. She’s finally talked about intimacy. She’s not only recognized her reputation, but owned it.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in the Hiddleswift songs (“Getaway Car” is a BOP), which offer up a side of Taylor that we haven’t really seen: one who has fucked up and doesn’t give a shit. She’s open about the fact that maybe she didn’t treat Tom the best, but what’s important is that she’s not apologizing or asking for forgiveness. It’s a refreshing stance for her, and one that I want six more albums of.
Reputation represents a new era for Taylor Swift, that’s been clear from the start. But it’s so much more than just an “edgy” image and some questionable fonts: It’s extreme character development. After being nonstop shit on for a year (or if we’re being honest, her entire career) Taylor has stopped defending herself. She’s stopped trying to win people over and, ironically enough, that might be what actually does it in the end.
You can mock Reputation all day long, but at the end of the day you’re still talking about it. Hate her, love her, make money by talking shit about her on the internet—it doesn’t matter, because she’s already won. Now excuse me while I spend the rest of the weekend listening to this shit on repeat.
Peace and blessings.