Music Medley: reputation

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Music Medley: reputation

Lauren Toneatto ’21, Life & Style Columnist

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With a hip-hop inspired opening, a R&B middle and an acoustic ending, reputation, throws new sounds at listeners while still managing to stay a Taylor Swift album.

After the release of lead-single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” listeners were shocked, and many worried, that the album attached would share a similar resemblance. Luckily, despite this song’s declaration that the old Taylor is dead, she manages to make some appearances, which perhaps become the best songs on the album.

The introduction of reputation brings sex and swears in a way never seen before by Swift. “…Ready For It?” starts, but doesn’t set the tone for what’s to come. Bursting out with an unexpected rap, as the song progresses, a sweeter Swift emerges. The chorus juxtaposes the otherwise harsh, uncomfortable rap making the listener hooked by the end of the song. “End Game” and “I Did Something Bad” continue with a similar vibe. “I Did Something Bad” is particularly catchy and unexpected. The first swear word is spoken in Swift history, but not in a way to make a statement but rather to enforce a bigger point that she’s not going to back down even when she’s told to.

“Don’t Blame Me” takes a more soulful route and begins the transition from beginning to middle of the album. With a stand out chorus, “Don’t blame me / love made me crazy / If it doesn’t you ain’t doin’ it right / Lord save me, my drug is my baby / I’ll be using for the rest of my life,” it takes the song from being easily forgotten to becoming one of the most memorable.

“Look What You Made Me Do” comes as the sixth song, which makes for an awkward placement. This single is a work all it’s own, already provided an ill fit when listening to the album as a whole, in general. However, by placing it here, it disrupts the transition “Delicate” has set up, evolving from rap to more nuanced songs.

“Getaway Car” rises above and shines in the middle portion. Co-written by Swift and Jack Antonoff, it shows the shift from the previous songs heavily written by Swift, Max Martin, and Shellback. With Antonoff, lyrics become more prominent opposed to rhythm and beat. The lyrics of “Getaway Car” are carefully crafted and some of the best on the album. “The ties were black / The lies were white / In shades of gray / And candlelight” remind listeners of Swift’s roots as a master songstress.

Acting as a response to the what-feels-like-forever feud better Kanye West and Swift, “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” has a upbeat, head nodding tempo that can’t help but make you smile and sing along. After one listen, it’s almost a guarantee the chorus will be stuck in your head.

Rounding out the album is “New Year’s Day.” It’s the closest song to Swift’s previous sounds. Simple, subtle, but ultimately superior, this song couldn’t be a better close to reputation. It leaves listeners on a sentimental note, reminding them that sometimes the moments that are overlooked are the ones that mean the most.

Overall, Swift created an album that isn’t to be missed. Even if you don’t think you’ll be a fan of the direction she’s taken, it’s definitely worth a listen. Chances are you’ll actually surprise yourself with how much you like it.

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