11:30 pm, Thursday, November 9th
The email arrived thirty minutes earlier than I expect. My iTunes pre-order of Taylor Swift’s sixth studio album, Reputation, was available. At first, I think it must be a mistake, but as I timidly open Apple Music, I’m shocked to find the album waiting for me. Tracks previously hidden are now ready for me to listen, and as I pour over the track list, I am briefly overwhelmed.
That night, I listened to every track, secretly harboring fears that Reputation will be a disappointment, but those fears were never realized. Little did I- or my poor roommates- know that I would proceed to listen to the album the entire weekend, and by the Monday morning, I could fully appreciate the genius that is Taylor Allison Swift.
Undoubtedly, Taylor Swift’s fifth studio album, 1989, was a success. Sales were impressive. Single after single topped the charts and the tour made headlines as celebrities lined her stage. So, as the 1989 era ended, many wondered what came next. Swift herself even said “How could the next [album] be as big?”
When she announced her break from music (and an end to the biannual release of albums), it only gave fans more time to theorize. But, it turns out that Swift gave us the answer in a 2015 interview when she told Billboard, “Maybe the [next] album will be a bridge to somewhere else. Or maybe I’ll just go ahead and change everything.” And change everything she did.
In case you haven’t heard, the Old Taylor can’t come to the phone, but the New Taylor has a lot to say. The last three years have changed the charming Taylor Swift we adored in 2014’s 1989. From #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty to intrusive paparazzi, Swift has transformed into the badass cat mama we always knew she could be.
Track after track impresses and fights for dominance as your new favorite. From romantic ballads like “New Year’s Day,” to tea spilling bops like “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” Taylor Swift has reached a new level of icon. In songs like “I Did Something Bad,” she embraces her heartbreaker reputation, but in songs like “King of My Heart,” she gushes about love. Homage to previous albums, she seems to reference her past relationships in ways that intrigue Internet sleuths with “Getaway Car” and “Dancing with Our Hands Tied.”
In addition to blowing our minds, Reputation is out there shattering records. The first single, “Look What You Made Me Do” came out swinging. It broke the record for the most viewed video in twenty-four hours with 43.2 million plays, a record that previously belonged to “Gentleman” by PSY. Furthermore, the single broke a Vevo record for the most plays on the first day of release. If that wasn’t enough, “Look What You Made Me Do” became the most streamed song in one day since Spotify’s launch.
So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Reputation is following the lead of its first single. Despite her songs dropping on the radio charts, the sales have been phenomenal. As of November 14th, Reputation has sold 1.05 million copies after it’s November 10th release and it’s expected to sell more than 1989’s first week sales of 1.29 million. These sales also make her album the bestselling album of 2017, surpassing squad member Ed Sheeran’s “÷”.
All fifteen tracks of Reputation have quickly become favorites and many fans can’t wait for the newly announced stadium tour. To ensure fans get tickets instead of scalpers, Swift and Ticketmaster collaborated and this website allows fans to complete activities such as watching music videos, ordering the album, or buying merchandize to gain a higher priority when the tickets go up for sale. Every album purchase comes with a code that gives you a high boost, but they can only be used up until November 28th.
Some die-hard fans proclaim that this album has replaced the treasured Red as their new favorite. Clearly, the album is something special for Swift too. Over the last few months, Taylor Swift has personally invited fans to Secret Sessions where fans could listen to the entire album and connect with their favorite popstar.
Taylor Swift attached an open letter to her album where she says, “we think we know someone, but the truth is that we only know the version of them that they have chosen to show us.” She points out the reputation she’s earned by saying, “my mistakes have been used against me, my heartbreaks have been used as entertainment, and my songwriting has been trivialized as ‘oversharing.’” Swift knows that “gossip blogs will scour the lyrics for the men they can attribute to each song… there will be slideshows of photos backing up each incorrect theory, because it’s 2017 and if you didn’t see a picture of it, it couldn’t have happened, right?”
But, most notably, Taylor Swift told us something very important about her album: “There will be no further explanation. There will just be Reputation.”
So let Reputation stand on its own and watch it thrive just as Swift does in this era.
P.S. If you have an extra promotional code and don’t plan on using it to get priority ticketing for the Reputation Tour, let a girl know.