The “new” Taylor Swift releases her new album


Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Taylor Swift preforming at a concert.

Jacqui Mercier '19, Feature Editor

Initially I couldn’t help but miss the old Taylor who was riding shotgun with her hair undone, who I knew like the back of my hand and loved. But she’s dead now, and after accepting that I was able to enjoy Taylor Swift’s newest album Reputation immensely.

On Friday, November 10, 2017 Taylor Swift dropped her seventh major album, Reputation, at midnight.

Prior to this she released 4 singles from the album: “Look What You Made Me Do”, “Ready for It”, “Gorgeous” and “Call It What You Want”. Each single gave fans a peek at her new style of pop with a slightly electronic background music style.

Like her last album, 1989, that was released in 2014, there were absolutely no country songs on the album, confirming that singing country music is likely a part of her past. However, she still writes country music in her free time. In fact, Swift wrote a song called “Better Man” for country band Little Big Town earlier this year, which won the Country Music Award for country single of the year just 2 days before releasing Reputation. This makes Swift the only artist to ever win a CMA award and release a number one pop album in the matter of 48 hours ever, according to Billboard 200 Albums chart. If that’s not the definition of a talented and diverse musician, then I don’t know what is.

Following online drama between Swift and Kanye West over his lyrics about her in his song Famous, Taylor dropped off the face of the planet. Paparazzi went months without seeing her and she didn’t post anything on any of her social media accounts for months. Fans were lost until one August afternoon when Taylor started posting videos of slithering and hissing snakes and announced her upcoming album. Her new edgy look and music style (debuting in her first single “Look What You Made Do” and its music video) shocked the world.Taylor was transforming into new artist, she even went as far as saying the old country singing, curly haired Taylor was “dead”.

Swift has a history with demanding pay for fans to access to her music, even on streaming sites. It took her years to come around to placing her music on Spotify, because she claimed it took away from artist’s opportunity to get financial recognition for her work. This is understandable, but extremely frustrating for fans. The price to buy her albums hasn’t stopped her loyal fans from supporting her. Although all of Taylor’s old music and her 4 singles from Reputation are all available on Spotify for streaming, Swift will only be selling the complete $14 Reputation album on iTunes for the first month following it’s release. Fans also cannot purchase individual songs from iTunes, but only the complete album. I personally think that Swift’s plan to sell her album for the first month then stream it is a perfectly fair compromise between the wants of musicians and fans. I believe that should be respected and even replicated by other artists.

I personally don’t think the singles Taylor released in anticipation of Reputation did the album justice. I found “Look What You Made Me Do” and “Gorgeous” to be slightly annoying and my least favorite songs from the album.

My favorites include “Don’t Blame Me”, “End Game” and “New Year’s Day”.  I like “Don’t Blame Me” because of the lyrics and because of the electronic background music paired with a powerful bass. “End Game” is the only song from Reputation featuring other artists: it includes Ed Sheeran and Future and I like how the combination of their rapping and Swift’s singing is  different from all of her past songs and goes on to emphasize her transformation as an artist. And finally, my absolute favorite song from the album is “New Year’s Day”. It’s the fifteenth and last track and is the only slow song on Reputation, it’s nothing but Taylor and her piano and is an extremely soothing way to wrap up her otherwise exciting new album.

All in all, I’d be lying if I told you I don’t miss the old Taylor, but that’s not to say I don’t love the new her; I love her and her new music in a completely different way and I’m already counting down the days until I can buy tickets for the Reputation concert this August.