Why Reputation Deserves Better

Reputation is the sixth album by global superstar Taylor Swift. With this album, Swift took a new turn on her image and music capability. Her previous album 1989 was critically acclaimed, won 3 Grammys, and had multiple platinum hits. However, shortly after her career and personal life would be torn apart due to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian leaking an altered phone conversation with Swift. She became known as a snake and the tabloids unleashed on her like never before. Due to this, Swift vanished from the public eye for over a year. She discusses this era in her Netflix documentary Miss Americana. “Nobody physically saw me for a year,” Swift described, “and that was what I thought they wanted. I had to deconstruct an entire belief system, toss it out, and reject it. It woke me up from constantly feeling like I was fighting for people's respect. It was happiness without anyone else's input."

After this hiatus, she released her sixth studio album. This album was a direct response to her critics and West. Swift embraced the villain the media made her out to be and marketed it to the biggest extent. Swift released the album's first single, "Look What You Made Me Do" on August 24, 2017. The song was a new point in Taylor's career. The song was inspired by electro-pop and was not received well by the general public. The concept is Swift killing off her old eras and personalities, becoming her new dangerous self. Swift was not subtle with this as there are so many direct references to funds, reputations, and milestones in Swift's life, but that is for another day and another article. 

Moving past "Look What You Made Me Do", which I believe was a good turning point away from 1989, but the song was just not her best on the album to push. The general public will know the radio-favorite "Delicate" which is one of the more subtle and gentler songs on the album. "End Game" featuring Ed Sheeran & Future was another radio-push that sadly gets hated on for little reason. When you listen to the album, there are so many iconic songs that deserve recognition. The bass booming intro "...Ready For It?" and "I Did Something Bad" will make anyone feel like a badass and confident. "Don't Blame Me" is a standout song, especially when performed live as seen in Netflix's Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour. "King of My Heart" and "Getaway Car" reflect on her relationships, and she does them so professionally. 

Honestly, I feel that the Grammys decision to not nominate reputation was wrong on all levels. Does it deserve Record of the Year, no but it deserves to be in Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Pop Solo, "Delicate", or even Best Pop Duo / Group Performance. Reputation is a solid album that allowed a woman to tell her own story. The album feels like her coming-of-age story where she finally is confident enough to make her own choices and not care about the critics. But, I do not think Hollywood was ready for this album. Reputation will be a standout album for years to come, and was a pivotal moment of freedom for Swift. As Swift says herself, "they say I did something bad, then why does it feel so good?". 

You can listen to reputation here