Previously Published in THE DAILY IOWAN on November 16, 2017.
Image Credit: taylorswift.com
Written By Rhiana Chickering
After a three-year break from the release of 1989, Taylor Swift released her sixth studio album, Reputation Nov. 10. The album features a different sound for Swift as she incorporates more synthetic pop into her music. Current music staples Ed Sheeran and Future make an appearance in “End Game,” which flawlessly integrates Sheeran’s and Future’s rap vocals with Swift’s pop chorus. Overall, reputation is a brilliant surprise.
Reputation encompasses a more mature Swift, as she sings about the emotional stakes and aftermath of relationships, sex, heartbreak, revenge, and backlash from her foes. Her beautifully worded lyrics convey that even the world’s largest pop star can’t escape heartbreak, rumors, or cruelty.
Reputation, Swift intimately addresses what has been going through her mind for the past three years, during which she discretely slipped out of the public eye for the first time since she was 15.
Swift’s sonically cohesive album provides a variety of themes and melodies. In “Call It What You Want,” Swift’s feuds with “drama queens” and “jokers” fade away as she indulges herself in a relationship with a man who loves her for who she is without listening to how others are defining her.
Conversely, in “New Year’s Day,” Swift steps back from the synthetic pop to sing a slower, gentle song, piano being the most prominent instrument. “New Year’s Day” is a captivating and relatable love letter to a love who she not only wants a midnight kiss from, but also wants to wake up with the next day — when they clean up after the party.
Throughout Reputation, Swift takes control of her reputation and stops letting others define it for her.