Taylor Swift – Reputation Review

Mark Lendrum

Mark Lendrum
14 November 2017

With ‘Reputation’, Taylor Swift explores a more mature and forthcoming approach to her craft of storytelling.

taylor-swift-reputation

This time Swift isn’t afraid to try new sounds, speak about darker subjects, all with an unapologetic honestly which is rarely seen in pop musicians of her time.

Taylor Swift gives us a tell-it-like-it-is account of her last couple of years in and out of the spotlight, owing to the albums title she references in her songs. She cements her place in pop music with a delicious mix of electro-pop and EDM, infused into a meaningful, mature record.

The genre, so popular with Swift’s generation and her largest audience, can lend itself to sounding all too the same, so there’s a risk Swift’s music could get lost in your playlist. Forgivingly, ‘Reputation’ combines synthesised and mechanic beats with heartfelt grit, which is not only brave, but becomes a new breed of pop perfection for a generation grasping to find more meaning on and off the dance floor.

We hear well-known Nashville themes of love and love-lost, reminiscent of her first few LP’s (‘New Year’s Day’). Only now she has proven her faultless ability of transferring across to a new genre entirely (‘End Game’ featuring Ed Sheeran and Future encapsulates this).

Taylor draws you into each song’s storyline like a magician, layering electric rhythms and heavy melodies over relatable feelings her audience can identify (‘Getaway Car’, ‘Dancing With Our Hands Tied’).

Swift also makes us certain of her self-aware sexuality without falling into the trap of having you think she’s talking about having sex. A common tendency is for female artists to embrace the subject of sex and often be overlooked as sexual objects in their songwriting.

Swift carefully avoids this, yet let’s us know she is very much coming into her own sexuality, as songs such as Delicate (“Do the girls back home touch you like I do”; “long night with your hands up in my hair”), So It Goes (“I’m not a bad girl but I do bad things with you”) and Dress (“I bought this dress so you can take it off”) allude to a self assured, sensual young woman, something rarely seen in her public persona. Swift rewards her listeners with songs that detail parts of her life that otherwise remain off-topic.

When Swift told us the old Taylor is dead, in the debut release “Look What You Made Me Do”, this was in fact not true, but we all believed her…

In Reputation, Swift plays on the gossip and tabloid fodder her haters and so-called enemies (and music industry in general) feed on, and they eat it up again this time (think back to Blank Space from her 1989 album). Would Taylor Swift ever kill off the Grammy award winning talent and writing skill which earned her a place among modern music’s most celebrated artists, just to appease those narcissists? You must be kidding, she is too smart for that.

Instead, in ‘Reputation’, Swift ways in on the story of her persona and gives it her own twist (you can tell she’s smirking right at you). It makes this album redeeming of any he-said she-said drama, whilst cleverly using it as excellent lyrical material (I Did Something Bad, Call It What You Want).

‘Reputation’ is a mature retrospective of love, lust and payback, interwoven through an endearing fairytale-like storyline. It’s an eclectic body of work entrenched in beautiful melodic drama. You can’t stop listening.

Do yourself a favour, grab your headphones, and listen from start to finish (unless you wait once it’s available to stream).

What are your thoughts on Reputation by Taylor Swift? Let us know in the comments below! 

This review was written by Mark Lendrum, find him on instagram.

Mark Lendrum

Mark Lendrum

When he’s not listening to Taylor Swift.. Mark, a self confessed dance-aholic, hails from Sydney Australia and has called east London home for the past several years. By weekday he’s helping organisations with their video marketing strategy, by weekend when he’s not exploring Europe and afar, he’s discovering London with his hubby, working on his screenplay and other poetic pursuits. @mrlendrum E: markrosslendrum@gmail.com

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Comments (2)

  1. Avatar Jack Douglas says:

    A pleasure to read, and thoroughly researched like only someone who’s had the album on repeat since it came out could write! Great review Mark

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