Will David be a fan of the new Taylor Swift album ‘Reputation’? Or now that the old Taylor is dead, will his review be scathing?
Best you read on and find out here;
I know I might face the wrath of Taylor’s dedicated fan base, but I have to be honest with what I think of this album… It’s a bit underwhelming and pretty lacklustre overall.
Now before you think I’ve gone crazy, hear me out.
For what is meant to be this year’s biggest album, there isn’t anything particularly innovative with the content here. If this was meant to create the best cake, the ingredients are all here but they haven’t quite come together the right way. Put plainly… it’s been over baked.
After what was a pretty spectacular album campaign for ‘1989’ and a major shift in musical style from previous albums, whatever followed was always going to be a challenge. So Taylor did the smart thing and took a breather.
When she was ready, she involved some pop powerhouse writers in the form of Max Martin and Shellback. She also used all the dramas over the past few years to fuel some songwriting fires.
‘Reputation’ is all about what the title says, Taylor’s reputation; our perception and her’s.
Sonically this album is the complete opposite of ‘1989’ and quite dark and moody.
‘I Did Something Bad’ is a really enjoyable listen, particularly turned up loud. It’s that feeling when you just want to get nasty instead of being nice all the time. And you know what, I love it. Taylor going a bit bad is quite fun and it feels real.
This feeling was also there on lead single ‘Look What You Made Me Do’, though that was a far more direct song lyrically (Kanye, we think it’s a bit about you…).
To balance these darker tracks out, there are some softer moments too. ‘Delicate’ is one of those and sits among my favourites on the album. There’s something about the overall composition that just makes it a great track. It has that certain “je ne sais quoi” about it.
I really wanted to hate a few of these songs too based on the info on paper.
‘End Game’ just sounds like a train wreck but ends up being really enjoyable to listen to. The same goes for ‘This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’ because of its super cheesy title, but it ends up being one of the more fun songs here.
Lyrically though, the content lacks any real depth beyond “look what someone said – I don’t care – I’m an empowered woman – you’re a mean person”. While this might seem relatable for the younger of her audience members, the rest of us should be able to see this is just the surface. How does this make Taylor vulnerable?
Back to my analogy on baking a cake – she had all the ingredients but failed to mix them together to get a perfect result.
Where ‘1989’ was real and engaging, ‘Reputation’ is soulless yet catchy pop music.
I desperately wanted to like this album but it falls short of delivering on what it promises.
Fans deserve better if they had to fork out for the whole album (since it wasn’t on streaming platforms the week of release) and I think this was a missed opportunity.
Thankfully there are some good songs, so if you can hold out to be able to get individual songs, I’d recommend it.
VERDICT : 3/5.
MUST LISTEN : I Did Something Bad, Delicate, …Ready For It?.