Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Her Campus as a whole.
Do you ever keep doing something even though you know it makes you a bad person?
That’s how I feel still listening to Taylor Swift in 2017. But since I couldn’t help myself, I’m here to break down Reputation for my fellow faint-of-heart, or for those of you who couldn’t bring yourself to listen to it (because your morals are stronger than mine) but you know you’re curious.
Here we go.
Tracks 1-6: …Ready For It?, End Game, I Did Something Bad, Don’t Blame Me, Delicate, and Look What You Made Me Do
These first tracks set up the rest of this album. They have a darker, edgier sound than her usual music, and they focus on her relationships with Calvin Harris, Tom Hiddleston, and Joe Alwyn and how they’ve been affected by the media spotlight.
She has a sexy vision of love as something precarious but hot as hell. Swift looks at the relationship through the media’s lens, reflecting on how he’s probably been “told that she’s crazy” and how her “reputation’s never been worse, so/You must like me for me”.
She also references her media presence, and how she’s been the villain in all the stories about her: “they’re burning all the witches/even if you aren’t one”. She’s not the sweet all-American girl that has everybody’s hearts anymore. She’s had enough of everyone’s bullshit, and she’s coming for them.
These first songs are about how Swift’s been crucified, and how that’s made it hard to start a relationship when first she has to dispel those preconceived notions about her.
Tracks 7-10: So It Goes…, Gorgeous, Getaway Car, and King of My Heart
These songs are simple: Her relationship with Alwyn is steamy. Right off the bat, she mentions scratches all over his back, and Gorgeous is about how her boyfriend is so hot that it’s insane and a little unfair.
Tracks 9 and 10 detail the wild ride but ultimately great path that their relationship has taken. Although it’s been a bumpy road between her bad reputation and the intense media spotlight on her, he’s definitely the one.
Tracks 11-15: Dancing With Our Hands Tied, Dress, This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Call It What You Want, and New Year’s Day
Rounding off the album, she acknowledges that although Alwyn’s definitely the beau she hopes will stay, they still have their troubles ahead—but together, they can overcome all of it.
He sticks around when it’s important, and although the media and public is going to be taking shots at her for a long time, none of that matters when he’s around. Their relationship is strong, and that’s all that counts.
Final verdict: Reputation is Swift’s best album yet. So buy it or stream it, and then act like you still hate her around all your friends.
And now that we’ve broken it down…