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Tay on Tay: A Review of Reputation by Taylor Swift

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Tay on Tay: A Review of Reputation by Taylor Swift

It’s rude to insult the dead; but in this case, it’s warranted.

Summary

Dripping with a face of heartbreak and melancholy, Reputation by Taylor Swift is her attempt at departing from the “good girl” character that haunted her from her Taylor Swift and Fearless days to even 1989. This album is her proclaimed departure from that romantic past and the he-said-she-said of the present; it’s supposed to be about how she owns every piece of herself. Yet that angle was lost as most of her songs felt like 1989’s outtakes. This new message about owning yourself was clearly underdeveloped during the production of the album.

So here are the two songs that embody this underdevelopment throughout the album:

End Game (ft. Ed Sheeran and Future) – Just Another Pop Song

Like Witness by Katy Perry, this album and its songs are reminiscent of the generic background music and lyrics of every other album that was released this fall. While the message was defined by Taylor Swift as her being over the shades by celebrities and social media alike, Swift didn’t release a strong album to support that.

Instead the songs were torn between being another pop album and a confident diss-track. “End Game” embodied this. It could be replaced with “Delicate,” “So It Goes…,” and others in terms of substance, sound, and lyrics. The substance of this song is that it’s another pop song about boyfriends and love. And its lyrics display this lack of substance as well. “I wanna be your endgame / I wanna be your first string / I wanna be your A-Team / I wanna be your endgame, endgame” has the same structure of “’So it Goes…” Where the chorus of the songs repeats two generic lines and one idea about love, which can be found in most of Reputation.


She has the confident message of acknowledging her broken reputation as found in this verse of the song, “I got some big enemies / Big reputation, big reputation.” Reversing the roles of her being a good guy to a bad one, it’s not only a strong but a confident statement to make. As she owns herself and what she has done. On the other hand, she hasn’t fully developed the actual substance to make this message hers yet. It just gets lost in the generic beats and vocals.

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things – Underdeveloped, Underdeveloped, and Again Underdeveloped

With the intent by Taylor Swift to make this album her defining moment, its vocals should’ve been strong with complimenting beats. This was lost on Swift and her producers, so we’re stuck with mediocre vocals and an overused “club-vibe” sound. It’s disappointing that they didn’t fully mature this album or it’s message, and that’s because it had the potential to be her magnum opus. Nevertheless, “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” demonstrates that Swift has potential. In this one, her voice of being self-assured is there because she takes a stand against shades by social media and celebrities. “Friends don’t try to trick you / Get you on the phone and mind-twist you.” Dissing Kanye and Kim west for calling her a fake (and a snake), she breaks her silence and offers her perspective to the whole ordeal.

But then like the rest, this voice gets drowned out by the repetitive sound with an odd ticking noise and a piano to wrap the sound all up.

End Summary

Hopefully this is Taylor Swift breaking the ground to move forward with this voice, and this isn’t really her magnum opus.

 

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