Taylor Swift is back, and yes she is the same old Tay Tay: new sound, same old obsessions. I downloaded Miss Swift’s album before my flight from London to Madrid and had the chance of listening to all of her brand new 15 songs. Here’s the ranking, from worst to best song on her new LP.
15. So It Goes…
My personal least favorite of the the album, in which Taylor tries to describe what seems to be starting out as a one night stand that then turns into something else. Pretending not to care too much “honestly, baby who’s counting”, meeting in the middle of the night with a “magician”, an “illusionist”, Taylor describes a specific moment between her and this guy, how things evolve from her lipstick on his face, to having all the pieces falling right into one place.
14. Don’t Blame Me
There’s just something about this next track that doesn’t convince me at all. Is she trying to not be blamed once again for everything she’s ever done, or using love as an excuse for it all? Is it a message for the media, or is it specifically addressed to someone? The sound and the rhythm are very good (even if it sounds too “churchy” at some point), I guess what I’m not genuinely convinced about are the lyrics.
13. This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
Basically the new brand sassier version of Bad Blood and the pettiest song Swift has ever written. In ‘This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’, Taylor is the older annoying sibling who tells off the younger one, trying to educate him by giving him a lesson and blaming him for ruining the fun. Despite the annoying voice tone that comes across as a painful teacher we all had in high school, the rhythm of the song is fun and has a nice beat to it. Oh, and did I mention it includes a very evil laugh too? A whole new level, Tay.
12. Dancing With Our Hands Tied
The perfect pop song starts like a slow wave you see from very far away that slowly approaches the beach, until suddenly it’s extremely close and it finally hits you, and you don’t only want to sing along to it but you also recognize straight away the feeling it’s been hiding in its water. We all have been loving someone in secret before, and it felt exactly like dancing with them with our hands tied. Queen of metaphors.
11. …Ready For It?
Definitely one of Taylor’s biggest game-changers. She stepped out big time from who she used to be with this track. It’s mysterious, it’s dark, it talks about “things she dreams to do with this guy” and it has a pretty clear sexual hint. Whoever this guy is, Taylor really wants you to know that he was the best one in bed (and he changed her for good). Sorry to all the other exes.
10. Look What You Made Me Do
This song was a pretty big statement when it first came out: the lyrics are brilliant, the video was even better, and the sarcastic irony that she put out on herself was absolutely magnificent. Like a beautiful phoenix, Miss Swift rises from the ashes, after being silent and locked in one of her spectacular houses around the world. The perfect single to redefine a new era and to try to kill the past one.
9. King Of My Heart
An anthem! The song expresses exactly what happens when you’re finally free, happy, love yourself deeply and you’re also pretty much happy with being single, and that is the exact moment when True Love comes around. The One. Taylor loves Alice in Wonderland references (she literally wrote a song called Wonderland for 1989) and King of my Heart is the male version of the Wonderland’s Queen, but despite that, this is the literal sequel of Blank Space. I can already picture the video in my mind.
The most “Red” song of the whole album, at least lyrics wise. Taylor asks to the guy with “dark jeans and Nikes” to love her for who because her reputation has never been this bad before. Despite the cool font on the front of the cover, the Goth look, Taylor Swift is still a human and a woman and she asks herself things before jumping into things, if it’s too soon, if it’s delicate enough. Somehow it will remind you of Begin Again, like a new cooler updated sister of the song.
Haven’t we all bought a dress at some point just because a certain someone could take it off of us? Taylor tries to make it clear that she doesn’t want to be only friend with this guy (been there, done that!), she specifics that they met when they were not their best selves but still, she now wakes up next to him.
6. New Year’s Day
The only ballad on the album, which is kind of a shame, because those are the ones Taylor Swift writes best (hello, All Too Well). It will remind you of a cozy warm day spent in, after a massive party, celebrating the new year slowly and softly. It’s like the beginning of a new relationship, and it happens to begin at the very beginning of the year, and it’s magical, and it’s romantic. Cheers, to new memories, new beginnings, and to a fresh new start.
Suddenly you’re fifteen again, and all you can think about is your perfect crush. Raise your hand if as soon as GORGEOUS was released, your mind immediately thought of a specific person. This song is fun, the lyrics are cool, trendy and modern. How great does it make you feel when you jam in your car out to it?
4. End Game (feat Ed Sheeran & Future)
I definitely didn’t see this trio collaboration coming, but boy, oh boy, how genius is it? Sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard before, the lyrics float all perfectly into the song, and their three voices match together smoothly and in the right way. ‘Reputation’ sounds more majestic than ever in this specific tune, and the game is strong. We all always wanted to be the firsts, but how good is it to be their lasts?
3. I Did Something Bad
Taylor is trying to be more badass than she’s ever been. She claims she’s done something very bad, yet it feels very good. She asks questions to herself, makes pretty strong threads, keeps blaming stuff on other people, and not on herself, but it sounds good, so we kind of pretend not to hear her out properly. It’s a cool tune, probably the coolest of the whole album. It will make you kill that workout you’ve been postponing for ages.
2. Getaway Car
Taylor’s most 1989 track on the new album. The vibe is still the same we have loved on her previously LP and what we know best and we’re used to expect from her. The classic image of a guy who is driving, with her, Bonnie and Clyde, revokes both “I Wish You Would” and “Style”. The beat to it is simply perfection, it goes up and down like most relationships do. Swift loves the road, the cars, it’s a classic image in the Taylor repertoire. She seems to be telling us: we were invincible but somehow we ended up losing anyway. I tired to get away, I cried, I fought, I was dying, but it didn’t work anyway.
1. Call It What You Want
And last but not least, the absolute best song from Reputation, at least in my heart. I think this is the real change, the real victory. Not hiding once again being someone we are not. Being happy, being in love, not labelling anything. Being your true self, being full alone, not needing saving but wanting company. Because that’s what a true/real/good/healthy relationship should sound like. They didn’t complete your circle, you did it on your own, they just run away with you.
So here they are, the 15 brand new tracks Taylor Swift released on November 10th. This is Reputation, her Reputation. Despite the labels, the names, the judgments, or anything that’s been ever thrown at her, I genuinely think the Old Taylor is still very much alive and she didn’t kill her completely.
There’s a lot of the 1989, Red, Speak Now and Taylor Swift in this new brand shining Taylor, those eras will not die, they will forever live with her and her past, current and future Reputation. So well done, Taylor Swift, you’ve done it again! Even though I still think Jake Gyllenhaal should take one for the team and break her heart a tiny bit again, so she can write the record we truly deserve.