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Taylor Swift rewrites her Reputation

FILE - This Jan. 9, 2013 file photo shows Taylor Swift at the People's Choice Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. A new girl is coming to Fox's “New Girl”: Taylor Swift. A representative for the Grammy-winning singer said Thursday, March 28, 2013, that Swift will appear on the May 14 season finale of the hit show. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, file)

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

FILE - This Jan. 9, 2013 file photo shows Taylor Swift at the People's Choice Awards at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. A new girl is coming to Fox's “New Girl”: Taylor Swift. A representative for the Grammy-winning singer said Thursday, March 28, 2013, that Swift will appear on the May 14 season finale of the hit show. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, file)

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Everyone knew something was up when Taylor Swift wiped everything off of her social media history. She had been in hiding for months and even though it seemed like she could escape the media, theories seemed to rise about her whereabouts. “She has a new boyfriend,” “she’s travelling in a box,” “she can’t drop a new album after the Kanye West drama,” tabloids shouted from their headlines. What the media didn’t understand was that sometimes you need to go back to your roots and figure out exactly what it is that you want. Swift has been tormented and chased by rumors and accusations of her being a serial dater, has been sl*t shamed, and has had her personal life publicized and broadcasted much more than any person would need. She needed to go in hiding and let everyone wonder where she was. For once, none of our questions were answered because there was no one to answer them. It was the silence Swift needed in order to build up her voice, her reputation.

The last time Swift dropped an album was October 27th, 2014. Three years ago, swifties were dancing to songs like “Style” and pouring their hearts out to “You Are In Love,” but now, they question if they can relate to this new Taylor who was introduced in her first single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” off of her new album, Reputation. Some would say she lost it, but I think quite the opposite. She has found something very important: the truest version of herself.

Swift has already released “…Ready For It,” “Look What You Made Me Do,” “Gorgeous,” and “Call It What You Want,” to give the eagerest of fans a taste of TS6 (fan name for her sixth album,) but after listening to each song, it is clear that every song has its differences. She has clearly ditched the original country Taylor, and she is no longer “playing the victim.” She is owning up to mistakes and is done hiding. Although some may dislike her new songs, it has a voice of its own, a voice that entirely belongs to Taylor and a version of her that the media cannot take away from her. She has been broken and bruised, but is standing up taller than ever before and is proving to the world that she is not done doing what she loves, despite the extra year’s wait for the latest album.

1. “…Ready For It?”

This song was the second single released from this album. At first, I hated this song! I didn’t like how in each verse she had a weird track in the background as she half sang and half rapped. If I wasn’t a big fan of Taylor Swift, I would not have listened to it again, but because all good art cannot be judged by first glance (or in this case listen,) I listened to it again… and again… and again. The second time I listened to it, I focused more on the chorus, and wow. That was where the Swift I knew and loved came shining through.

Quote Analysis:

“Every love I’ve known in comparison is a failure, I forget their names now… I’ll never be the same now…” hit me a little hard because I don’t want her to forget about her exes just because the media ostracizes her for dating around. Writing about her past relationships is what makes her so relatable and so authentic. It’s stories like those that allow listeners to put our trust in her. I can’t help but wonder if she will ever be the same, if she will return to the girl of “it was enchanted to meet you,” and “the story of us looks a lot like a tragedy now,” from past albums. Change is good, but this song raises questions about what exactly she is going to change about herself.

2. “End Game” (feat. Ed Sheeran and FUTURE)

I am a die hard Ed Sheeran fan, so when there were theories that the best friends would be collaborating, I tried hard not to get my hopes up in case the rumors weren’t true. When Swift released the tracklist, I screamed for joy thinking that I no longer have to live in the days of “Everything Has Changed,” which was the only other collaboration of the two singers. In addition to Sheeran being a part of this song, the second rapper to ever be featured in a Swift song is FUTURE. Although I am not a huge fan of him, he adds a new flavor to the song. I got so excited when Swift sang, “I wanna be your A team,” because it refers to Sheeran’s hit “A Team,” but my excitement was quickly diminished by Swift’s sad attempt at rapping. Then, FUTURE joined in and I continued to dislike it for how different it was. The chorus was ok, and then Sheeran joined in the second verse and my heart skipped a beat at his voice. I really only wanted to listen to the song for his part.

Quote Analysis:

“I bury hatchets but I keep maps of where I put ‘em”

Ever heard of “bury the hatchet?” It is said over the years that Katy Perry and Swift have buried the hatchet of their problems, but the past couple years, the pair has proven that their rocky friendship is no longer worth mending. They have not buried the hatchet, and Swift knows this because she will never give up fighting for what she believes is right versus what Perry thinks is right between their long feud.

3. “I Did Something Bad”

I read this title and freaked out. You know that this song is talking about all the drama circling around her in 2017. The beat drop in the chorus is EVERYTHING! It definitely resembles the new Taylor first introduced in “Look What You Made Me Do.” The song is better the second time you listen to it, and it reminded me of “I Knew You Were Trouble,” a little bit. Both are great songs about trouble (obviously) and how Swift deals with it. In this song, she says “it feels so good,” and it’s because she is growing up and building a more powerful voice. Everyone assumed that she was a “snake” for her drama with Kanye West, but this song confesses that she has nothing to regret.

Quote Analysis:

“They’re burning witches, Even if you aren’t one, So light me up, light me up.”

“They” refers to the media and tabloids for picking on her every move and turning it into a story. She does one thing, and all of a sudden she’s evil and mean and doesn’t care about anyone. She is tired of being labeled and is so fed up. People didn’t realize who she really was until it was too late and she got burned.

4. “Don’t Blame Me”

This reminded me of an old folk type of song. Honestly it wasn’t my favorite. It’s different from the other songs she’s written, but I didn’t hate it for its differences. It just didn’t sound like the right style for Swift.

Quote Analysis:

“I been breaking hearts a long time and toying with them older guys, Just playthings for me to use,” reminds me a little of “Blank Space” because it addresses what the media sees her as: a serial dater.

5. “Delicate”

This song made me really happy because it reminded me of 1989. It is more upbeat and makes you a little happier than “Don’t Blame Me.” I probably liked it more because I didn’t like “Don’t Blame Me” that much. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the auto tune in the beginning, but that was about the only complaint. Overall, it’s an enjoyable song, but there are definitely better ones.

Quote Analysis:

“My reputation’s never been worse so you must like me for me”

This refers to Swift’s new boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, who started dating her after everyone started attacking her with snarky comments and she went into hiding. Her reputation was tarnished, but that didn’t stop him from courting her.

6. “Look What You Made Me Do”

This song is iconic! It was the first single to be released from this album and will be talked about for years on end. It was the perfect splash Swift needed in order to rewrite her reputation and show people that she is not the same person she used to be. Originally, I hated this song. I tried so hard to like it, but I couldn’t. The chorus was horrible and completely not her style. It was repetitive and a little annoying, so I stopped it and waited a whole hour before I decided to listen again. The part that really got me excited was in the bridge when she says “Sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ‘cause she’s dead!”

Quote Analysis:

“I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red underlined. I check it once, then I check it twice.”

Swift has clearly ditched her “list of ex lovers” from “Blank Space,” and is focused on a new list of all the people who have targeted her and become her enemy. Taylor Swift is out for blood now.

7. “So It Goes…”

This song was okay, but I thought that there was a lot of auto tune in the first and second verse. It was a little distracting and almost made me not want to listen to the rest. The chorus definitely reminded me of 1989, but it wasn’t anything great. To me, it was just another song on the album that is easily forgettable. Swift is an incredibly clever lyricist, but this song has absolutely nothing to analyze.

8. “Gorgeous”

The first few seconds of this song are very strange. I was extremely weirded out by what sounded like a child saying “Gorgeous” at the beginning of the song, but was quickly distracted by the rest of the song. The song was still pretty enjoyable, but the lyrics are not the best. They’re pretty boring and there is nothing worth analyzing here either. The one quote that made me laugh was “Guess I’ll just stumble on home to my cats,”  because her cats, Meredith and Olivia, are as popular as she is.

9. “Getaway Car”

It was obvious that this was my favorite song other than “Call It What You Want.” There is something about this song that is so young and free, you can’t help but nod your head to the melody and smile as your heart thinks about the mere feeling of young love. There are few songs that make you wanna grab your keys and drive to an unknown destination, and this is one of those songs! It makes you want to dance and sing and just have fun.

Quote Analysis:

“We were flying but we’d never get far”

She is speaking of almost all of her relationships where things go uphill, but it isn’t long until plans turn awry.

10. “King of My Heart”

This is not my favorite song, and not the most memorable. The verses seem a little too short and it seemed like half the song was over in thirty seconds. I have to admit, the song is catchy, but there isn’t anything that spectacular about it. One thing that really bothers me is how she pronounced “jaguars” like jag-ee-wars. I cringe every time I hear it.  

Quote Analysis:

“My broken bones are mending with all these nights we’re spending”

It is clear that Swift is very happy with her new boyfriend. After being dragged through the mud and feeling upset with the world, she finally found someone to make her happy. He is making her feel better, and who knows… maybe he convinced her to come out of hiding.

11. “Dancing With Our Hands Tied”

The beat is amazing in this song. It just made me feel free and gave the feeling you get when you fall in love for the first time. When I heard the chorus, I thought to myself, “WOW I WANT TO DANCE WITH HER!”

Quote Analysis:

“I loved you in secret”

Maybe this is about Tom Hiddleston and how she was dancing with him at the Met Ball. She was still tied to Calvin Harris and could not start a new relationship.

12. “Dress”

This reminds me of “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” as it is a more adult song. Maybe this should have been on the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack instead since she sings, “I only want this dress so you can take it off.” This is definitely one of my favorite songs on the album. Despite how catchy the song is, there aren’t any interesting lyrics. Looks like Swift is running out of things to say…

13. “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”

I wasn’t the biggest fan of this song when I heard the first half. It sounded like something out of the musical Annie because of its childish elements. Then I heard the second half and instantly loved it because I understood it. The second verse addressed some of the problems she has been facing and called people out for what they did wrong. My favorite part was when she said that she would like forgiveness and then breaks up the melody with laughter and says “I can’t even say it with a straight face!” It showed a softer side of her that she is ok with joking about this stuff.

Quote Analysis:

“Did you think I wouldn’t hear all the things you said about me? This is why we can’t have nice things.”

This is obviously directed at Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West tearing her down after exposing her secret phone conversation with West after giving him permission to use her in his song “Famous.” Everyone called her a snake and the “nice thing” she took away from everyone was her presence. The world was fueled by her drama and it was eating away at her, so that’s why we couldn’t have “nice things.”

14. “Call It What You Want”

This song is one of the best ones on the album. It is specifically about her new boyfriend and was the latest single to be released from this album. I already know all of the lyrics to the song and it just makes me super happy when I listen to it.

Quote Analysis:

“Walking with his head down, I’m the one he’s walking to”

Swift is describing how when she was hiding out, she had to make sure her relationship was untraceable since her media hiatus. She didn’t want any more rumors and she didn’t want everyone else to ruin a relationship that was going so well.

15. “New Year’s Day”

“New Year’s Day” initially reminded me of a Christmas song with its calm guitar and piano, and the video of when she first premiered the song on ABC had me, lighting candles all over my house. After listening to it a second time, I had already made a Pinterest board devoted to planning a New Year’s Party that probably won’t happen.

Quote Analysis:

“Hold onto the memories, they will hold onto you.”

This is one of my favorite quotes in the whole album. It’s so true, and on New year’s day, you want to remember all of the things you’ve done in past years. This quote honestly makes the whole song super peaceful and humble.

Overall, I appreciate how different this album is. I personally love pop music, so I am not hurt by the fact that Taylor Swift no longer sings country. Everyone moves on and has to grow, and this is how she is doing it. She can’t be tied down to one thing, and this album really speaks out about it just through its style. Swift has been the target of hate for country lovers and obnoxious pop know-it-alls who claim she truly isn’t a part of either genre. In my opinion, Reputation is not the end of Taylor’s era, it’s the beginning of something new.

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Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA
Taylor Swift rewrites her Reputation