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Ready for ‘Reputation?’

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Taylor Swift brings honesty, intimacy to her sixth album 

Taylor Swift has finally released her sixth album, “Reputation” and it’s sultry, boozy, intimate and honest.

Full disclosure: I am a Taylor Swift fan. A few of the best moments of my life have involved cranking up “You Belong with Me” and howling my lungs out with my best friends. I do not believe I am a “Swiftie,” necessarily - but if I ever met Taylor Swift in real life, I would be short of breath.

That being said, I was skeptical when it came to “Reputation.” I found the single, “Look What You Made Me Do” to be harsh and about petty fights. The lyric “I’m sorry the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ‘cause she’s dead!” was corny and reminded me of Britney Spears. I thought that “Look What You Made Me Do” was setting the tone for the album but it was actually a misdirection. I’m starting to think the dull single happened on purpose.

Say what you will about Taylor Swift, but she’s smart. In mid-August we saw her delete everything from her social media accounts, only to start teasing her return. Since then, everything that’s appeared on her Instagram has been meticulously planned. No move Taylor Swift makes is without meaning. The single painted a picture of America’s sweetheart suddenly becoming a bad girl. The whole transition seemed predictable and laughable. After listening to her entire album once, it also seems 100 percent planned.

While this is not the light-hearted Taylor Swift that wrote “Enchanted,” the old Taylor is not dead – she just became honest. Sure, the old Taylor drank, had sex and made mistakes, but now she’s finally owning up to it.

At 27, Taylor Swift has finally cursed in a song. No, “damn” did not count. In “I Did Something Bad,” Swift exclaims, “If a man talks s--t, then I owe him nothing.” Swift has never mentioned drinking in any of her previous albums. In “Reputation” there’s Whisky on ice in “Gorgeous”; bathtub of wine on “Dress”; Old Fashioneds in “Getaway Car”; a “champagne sea” in “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” – Taylor Swift is guzzling alcohol. Also, she’s finally talking about intimacy. “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” Swift recounts how a person “Turned [her] bed into a secret oasis.” The song “Dress” is a slow jam meant to be played in the bedroom. Taylor Swift has not only recognized her reputation, but owned it.

You can mock “Reputation” all day long, but at the end of the day you’re still talking about it. Taylor Swift has gotten inside your head and her catchy songs are here to stay.

“Reputation” represents a new era for Taylor Swift. An era of darker, sultry, a little angry, synth heavy, unapologetic and most importantly honest music. This is a refreshing stance for her - one that I would love to get for six more albums. 

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