Reputation is Taylor Swift’s sixth studio album and it is lit af. It is 1989’s sexy older sibling, drinking alcohol and having sex. Reputation has a new, distinct sound. It is significantly different than the composition of 1989, but it is a clear evolution of that same “poppy” sound. It is nuanced, with every song exploring different formats under the same style.
“Don’t Blame Me” brings a Gospel sounding pop ballad that is reminiscent of “Don’t Take Me To Church” by Hozier. “End Game” and “I Did Something Bad” are bangers that are just fun to listen to. There are plenty of slower songs, like “Dress”, “Delicate”, and “Call It What You Want” that brings a new evolved sound of what we heard on “Wildest Dreams” and “You Are In Love”.
Taylor has given up on the theatrics of a personal image for a more honest, lay-it-all-out format, and this is evident in her lyrics. “This Is Why We Cant Have Nice Things” is the diss track that “Bad Blood” should’ve been. No petty name drops & fake facade, just pure sass and cynicism.
Reputation tells a love story, just like everyone other Swift record. But this one is nuanced, complicated, and grown up. “Gorgeous” tells the story of falling for someone while in a relationship when you know you shouldn’t. But you can’t stop yourself. And these honest feelings are what makes this album great. It doesn’t preach the bible of good moral judgement, it tells the story of Taylor’s life and feelings. And the honesty (not good moral character) is what makes it interesting.
“Getaway Car” (undoubtably the best song on the album) is a 80’s pop masterpiece with clear influence from Jack Antonoff’s production. “It hit you like a shotgun SHOT IN THE HEART”. And there are more Antonoff produced songs on here, which makes me very happy. These are some of the strongest tracks on the album.
Taylor isn’t scared to embrace adult topics and experiences this time, getting rid of her “good girl” persona put on in the past. With lyrics like “Only bought this dress so you could take it off” on “dress”, something which would’ve been scandalous if featured on 1989.
Reputation is longer and has more songs than 1989. It is a more substantive album, and it really feels like she took the extra time to fill it with more content. I think it hits a sweet spot on length. It is cohesive in sound and composition.
Reputation will always be compared to 1989. Is it better than 1989? I’m not sure, only time will tell. Is it the best album of the year? No. But regardless of comparisons, Reputation is a damn good album that will stand the test of time. Taylor Swift has once again proved her skill as a musician and song writer by being able to evolve her style once again and produce and stylistically cohesive album that is fun to listen to.