Taylor Swift’s Reputation Review: Song-by-Song

Talk about a Metahuman undertaking! After months of secrecy, Reputation, Taylor Swift’s sixth studio album, has finally landed and we have a lot to say. 

Shall I go song-by-song?

Funny enough, I’ve heard a taste of this type of music before by Taylor which may have been a foreshadowing of what Taylor Swift fans could expect with Reputation’s release.  

The moment began when she paired with former One Direction singer Zayn and did a soundtrack duet of, I Don’t Wanna Live Forever for the movie 50 Shades Darker.

Surprisingly, this was Swift’s first attempt at breaking into the Hip Hop genre, as we find out in later interviews.  

After hours of listening to Reputation, I composed a breakdown of each single on the album and personal thoughts on how I felt while listening to each song.  

If you’re looking for a little social proof on why it should be appropriate that I review this already pre-sold 400,000 unit album and 700,000 albums sold on its first day, note that I have been a Taylor Swift fan since her humble country beginnings and enjoyed seeing her evolve as an artist.  

With that, I’ve also put out the predictions on her 1++ million first week album sales for Speak Now, Red and 1989

So, here we go!

…Ready for It? – The 2nd single release of Reputation prior to the album drop date, this song has a heavy backbeat. Once hearing it, the reverb catches you off guard.  I have to admit my first listen, I was not absolutely in love with the song.  I listened to the song a few times and then once the video came out.  BOOM! I was hooked.

It didn’t explain much but as with this album, there have been videos with a lot of Taylor personal life symbolism.

 …Ready for its music video does not shy away from the personal references that other bloggers love to interpret and point out.

Overall, Taylor’s vocals here are solid and will definitely be in the top 10 of the Billboard HOT 100 charts, if it hasn’t hit there already from its initial single release.  

 

End Game ft. Ed Sheeran & Future

If there were any questions that Taylor was going to have a straight up Hip Hop sound on this album then this song puts those questions to rest. On top of that, she features…, of all people, Future, which makes this center-of-attention song undeniably Hip-Hop.  

As with most of Taylor’s sixth album follow up, the lyrics are simple, very rhymey in this heavy bass lyrical composure of a person wanting to be the love interest’s one and only. The heavy beat and Taylor’s rapping feels off for me (as with a lot of the songs on the album) but she definitely makes it work (or covers it up with heavy production…you be the judge) to compose another potential #1.

Oh yea…and then there’s Ed Sheeran. Why? I’m not sure.  He doesn’t add anything to the song and although both are lyrical geniuses, it doesn’t shine through in the collaboration.  The title of the song with featured artists got my hopes up, but even listening to the song multiple times, for me personally it’s forgettable.

 

I Did Something Bad

The only glaring point of this song is that Taylor actually swears!  Is that too immature? She says the s-word. It has a slamming beat and portrays Taylor as the person doing “something bad” to her love interest in the song.

The song continues with her saying she did something bad and it was the most fun she had and that it feels so good. Again, not my favorite song but it is a song you can get into after a few listens. Symbolism-wise my feelings are that she more than likely was accused of “something bad” but in reality, it was only that, being accused.

 

Don’t Blame Me

It sounds like a “Take Me To Church” adaptation. It has that heavy reverb feel.  The lyrics talk about a person so in love that it makes them crazy and that the love is so strong it’s like doing an actual drug.

My drug is my baby” talks about how the love drives her to be crazy and if it doesn’t FEEL it’s like a drug then they’re definitely doing it WRONG. LOL

The song was…listenable. 5 out of 10. I know I may be a little harsh and I’m hoping my feelings will change in the months to come like it has with her earlier releases.

 

Delicate

The song Delicate grows on you. For me, it is not the typical catchy song with Taylor’s continually used electronic voice (maybe she got that from Calvin Harris).  This is obviously an autobiographical song by Taylor as the situation seems extremely specific and descriptive.  This is a safe 3rd favorite for me outside of the already released singles before Reputation’s drop date.

If you were to take the song out of context, it is about a relationship where you’re not sure how far you should go. Lyrics such as, “Is it cool that I said all that? Is it too soon?…because it’s delicate.”  

We’ve all been there. Think of a friend you like and find attractive – we know you’ve thought about it.  Too Delicate?  I agree.

 

Look What You Made Me Do

The very first song release from the Reputation album. More than likely this song has been played to death, so much so that it doesn’t really matter what I say.  

However, I will tell you my thoughts on day 1…

Hated it…

Saw the lyric video…Hated it…

Saw the regular video…Loved it…

Listened to it on repeat 100 times since it was the only new material from Taylor Swift since her 1989 album. This catchy slam song against haters made news for listeners to talk about for more than a month until the next single release.

 

So It Goes…

A very haunting song. The song is a dark portrayal of what seems like an encounter that happens in the moment. Getting caught up with one other having “lipstick on your face” an experience that can only be described as a high-tempo relationship and whatever happens you go with the flow…

Melodically it has that metallic sound that Taylor uses often in this album…the song itself…is OK.

 

Gorgeous

Out of the four initially released singles prior to Reputation’s drop date, this is my favorite.  

Although it looks like fans are not for this simple lyric pop song (I know you can all kill me later about this statement).

The lyrics lend itself to be so basic that I feel I could’ve written it myself.  However, I like the beat and the baby saying “Gorgeous” in the beginning was classic. Again, caught me off guard.  

Like I said out of all the four singles released, this is definitely my favorite even with the basic lyrics. I mean c’mon if Rihanna can sing a song with 3 words and make it go to number one, then this song has the potential to do the same.

 

Getaway Car

By far my favorite song on the album (post single release), much deeper lyrics and the melody is outrageously catchy.  A very dynamic song that paints a very vivid picture.  It leans more toward a pop feel.  So the synths and background vocals with “ohhhs” & “ahhh” and the symbolism of her relationship, dare I say with…Calvin Harris? Makes this a masterpiece.

Lots of feelings.

Lots of emotions and the progression of the song is just great. The reference to Bonnie and Clyde is a nice touch and she continues to talk about how she gets away from a bad relationship by backstabbing her partner in crime.

Put aside the autobiographical references for a second and put yourself in the shoes of the person in this single and you’ll feel what the message is all about.

 

King of My Heart

I don’t know if this is just me but when Taylor says, “Range Rovers and their Ja-gu-ars”. Sounds strange.  I’m sure other Swifties can agree with me that this song is not her best work.  

I think after a few listens it does sound like a potential song that will grow on you similar to “Long Live” on Speak Now.

Taylor Swift will find a way to make it popular. I’m sure.

 

Dancing With Our Hands Tied

This is my 2nd favorite song on the album.  The melody really creates an emotional connection and builds a gradual almost cinematic feel right from the beginning.

The song seems like a hidden love that although she was together with this person, “she loved him in secret” and then was kept going on and dealing with the type of relationship it was with her “hands tied”.

Dancing with Our Hands Tied is all symbolic lyrically, it has dark undertones that mirror, “50 Shades of Grey.”

 

Dress

I enjoy this song as a whole.  The heavy breaths and sexual insinuation is very playful.  I feel the song is very relatable in the sense that if you tried to impress someone that you like and then having that one night where you have that “wow” dress but the other person just thinks of you only as a friend, a best friend at that.  

The girl in the relationship seems to want way more from this interaction.  No real build up of the song just melodic layering and lyrics that talk about a night where someone wants much more.

My favorite part is the bridge where Taylor talks about the other person saying her name and everything, “Stops” which in the song, it actually stops. Nice touch!

 

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I heard this song late, but I already know that this is a fun revengeful song targeted to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.  

The title is laid out exactly what to expect in the song.  Everything starts as fun, then obviously Kayne messes up and betrays Taylor Swift trust.

She gave him in a second chance and then got her on the phone and “Mind twisted” her.  It reminds me of Better Than Revenge, which I ended up listening to last night.   Makes me so happy to hear!

That being said, please be a single and be #1.  

 

Call It What You Want

Another autobiographical song about new boyfriend which apparently according to news sites she’s been talking with for about a year.  Yes, confirmed Taylor dates a lot of famous guys to write her songs.

The lyrics talks about the haters and how just being with this one person all of that doesn’t matter.  So she tells people to “Call It What You Want” in terms of their relationship because who cares right? You’re dating Joe Alwyn and she’s happy…so call it what you want.

 

New Year’s Day

This is classic Taylor and one of the only ballads in Reputation.  The lyrics are very descriptive, evokes emotion and although it isn’t my absolute favorites (because there are definitely better songs in 1989 or Red, its on here. 

This song is light-hearted and really allows the person feel the experience of New Year’s Day.

I think people can relate to this whether you’ve had a love on New Year’s or not. The song is easy to listen to and the piano accompaniment feels like it can be a New Year’s anthem.   The song is not overproduced and has nice vocal layers as the climax leads to a nice finish.

 

Overall Thoughts

Overall, reading reviews on the web, critics feel that this album is a diverse collection set of songs.  I would say 8 out of 10 that I’ve read were positive. 

As a die-hard fan, it is difficult to hear a new side of Taylor Swift.  I miss the catchy single days of “You Belong With Me”, heck even “Mine” – it was a catchy song even with heavy country overtones.  

For me, I honestly want to just be able to listen to an album and just sing along (not hit skip so often), which Taylor has always been able to do. 

However, these songs make it almost impossible to do.  Hip Hop beats need electronic accompaniment along with backline sounds and vocal layering.  Don’t forget the vocal editing that’s required to pull these songs off in such a way for it to sound good.

Artistically, Taylor has never looked stronger.  Let’s see how these songs perform and how album sales progress through the first month of Christmas and 2018.

If you’d like a copy of the album, we’re selling Reputation through Amazon for you to give us your own thoughts!

Comment on the article below and let us know what your overall thoughts are on each of the songs.

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