A Ruined Reputation?

Photo by The Industry Observer.

Taylor Swift released her album Reputation on November 10, 2017. The album is a self-reflective journey of her past and present loves, and the new “bad” image that Swift is trying to put upon herself. The quality of the songs seem to undermine the idea, however, as the mediocre songs do not hold up to the good concept.

The song production is a huge departure from her last albums, as the songs heavily uses synth aspects and a vocoder to change Swift’s voice. This contrast from her first country-pop album shows her growth as an artist and her change in image. This works for the better, as each song have a specific, fresh and cool sound while still being cohesive and in the same world as one another.

The main pitfall in the album is that the songs themselves are forgettable. The songs halfway through the album, like “So It Goes…” and “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” are enjoyable songs, but they have no lasting impression. The songs have no lasting impression; this album is not an album to hum all day to yourself. This problem exists from the fact that some songs have no rise or fall; it is the same pace and tone for the whole song. Nothing sticks out from the song, making it easy to forget.

The best songs from the album are the ones where Swift is speaking about her new love. It shows a change in her old lyrics, as most of her songs are about a jilted lover that hurt Swift. Songs like “Delicate” and “New Year’s Day” show this raw Swift, with her walls down, and just speaking about how she is glad to be in love.

The songs where Swift is stripping herself of the all-American girl image and replacing it for a darker and “bad” girl image seem to be overdone. The lyrics are too one-note, it is just Swift singing about how she is a different person and that she has done bad things. It lacks depth and originality, which is a shame when there is great production behind these lukewarm and cliche lyrics.

Reputation is the epitome of a decent album. It has some high points, but far too many filler songs in between. Swift successfully shows the new image she wanted to portray, but this “image” seems forced. It is an album to listen to for the idea, the background and concept are there, but the actual substance of the album is lacking.