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Album Review: Reputation by Taylor Swift

As a fan of ‘the old Taylor Swift,’ who “can’t come to the phone right now”, to me, I expected Reputation to be a complete re-brand and reposition of Swift’s image and sound. With heavy bass poundings and an angry sounds on singles like “Look What You Made Me Do” and “Ready For It,” it appeared that the old Swift truly was dead. It foreshadowed the tone of her upcoming album to be filled with vengeance and her new carefree attitude.

Upon the release of her album Reputation, however, it became obvious that the old Taylor was still there — just with a louder persona.

Reputation resembled anything but​ 1989‘s quiet, soft and sweet pop — Swift holds nothing back with her new fearless confidence in both herself and her persona. Reputation is Swift’s response to critiques about her innocent and naive-yet-heartbreaking image.

Of all the accomplishments on Swift’s new album, her ability create a cohesive album using a diverse nature of songs stands out the most.

“End Game” is smooth pop hit, and Future’s rap verses gave it a hip-hop vibe. However, the song remains true to Swift’s singer-songwriter roots and entails sounds that resonates with Ed Sheeran’s style.

But then, we’re reminded of the dangerous sound Swift went for in songs like “Dress” and “I Did Something Bad.” For the first time, Swift sings of drinking and being promiscuous. It’s a reminder that Swift is no longer a 15-year-old country sweetheart, but instead a 27-year-old with a plethora of life experiences in the industry under her belt.

Despite Swift’s more dangerous image, she still grounds herself in songs such as “Delicate” and “New Year’s Day.” “Delicate” has the same feel as “Wildest Dreams” on her previous album, with a softer sound to tell tales of a romantic encounter. Swift’s choice to close the album with “New Year’s Day” shows her dedication and reverence to her original sound. The track reminds the listener of the singer Swift was one known as — a soft singer with humble roots.

Swift’s sixth album has balances her newfound edge with her familiar soft sounds. She shows a different, mature side that has been previously concealed to the public. Although it may be different, it’s nothing less than any of her prior works. Reputation will be pop album of the year, I can see it already.

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