You know that we were going to need to break down Reputation, because we can’t get enough of this album. We can all agree that it’s so strong that it leaves you knowing that Taylor has grown, evolved, and is one of the strongest lyricist and singers of our time.
Ready for It
NORA: Such a bop! And after watching Taylor’s SNL performance of this, I love it even more. It’s a great start to an album about reinvention. One of my favorite get up and dance songs on the album. It’s really grown on me since it was released as a single.
KARA: This song is such a great statement piece for an album that’s called ‘reputation’. She’s taking back her reputation while including some really great parallels in the lyrics. I sense some sarcasm in her tone and it’s really clever. She’s reinventing herself and this song is a beautiful way to do that.
ERIN: It wasn’t my favorite song, until I saw Taylor sing it on SNL. And what changed my mind is I felt like she owned her shit. She owned her life and she made a damn statement that I can’t argue with. I wanted to stand up and tell all my haters to fuck off, that if they weren’t ready for it, oh well. Taylor was empowering. She made me feel alive and I thank her for that.
NORA: While I love Ed Sheeran, this song might be my least favorite on the album. As with most of the songs on Reputation, I think this is lyrically very strong, but not my favorite on the album overall. I have a feeling this will be a song I will grow to like the more I listen to it.
KARA: I was so happy to see that Ed and Taylor collaborated again. I love that friendship and I love everything they do together. This song has hit me just the same. It’s a fun track and it’s a really cool slap in the face to the media. Will it be a single? Yes. Will it go No.1? Absolutely!
ERIN: I love the lyrics and it’s so different that the rest of Taylor’s work. I don’t know, it excited me. It made me want to dance. It felt like a love song, but not the weepy kind. The kind that, like every song on this album does, makes a statement.
I Did Something Bad
NORA: This song is great! I love the lyrics, I love the beat of this song. This was one of the songs on the album I appreciate the more I listened to it because I really honed in on the lyrics. The chorus is great as well!
KARA: Honestly, this song reminds me a little bit of “I Knew You Were Trouble” or “Blank Space”. It’s definitely another track that is from the media’s perspective or how the media portrays her. It’s brilliant and super catchy.
ERIN: I like this song because I feel like Taylor is saying that she’s not perfect and I think that’s a great thing to say. She reminds us that she’s human. I love that, because I think that sometimes we all need to be reminded of that.
Don’t Blame Me
NORA: After listening to this album non-stop for the better part of 3 days, I can honestly say this is one of my favorite songs on the album. It’s like Taylor meets “Take Me to Church” by Hozier. It’s just my kind of song. Her voice sounds amazing and the last minutes where she does that incredible vocal run had me ON THE FLOOR when I first listened to it. I love the beat of this song! It’s so good! One of my favorites, if not my top song on this album.
KARA: Taylor’s vocals have really grown and it’s the most obvious in this song. Her vocal runs are outstanding and the lyrics are some of the best she’s ever written. Her voice is an instrument in itself and that’s a concept you don’t hear much on pop albums nowadays. It has soul, it has pop and it has a beautiful songwriter behind the craft.
ERIN: If you want a song that shows how much Taylor has grown, then this would be it. The lyrics blow me away. I am just in awe of how great this song is and how beautiful the lyrics are. I love it.
NORA: I really listen to this song in conjunction with “Don’t Blame Me,” so this is another favorite of mine. Once again, the lyrics are just SO great! The lyric, “My reputation’s never been worse, so / You must like me for me…” breaks my heart every time I hear it. My god, it’s so good. One of my favorite lyrics on this entire album. Hands down.
KARA: From a relatable standpoint, this is probably one of the songs I can connect with most on the album. Uncertainty is written all over, and it’s evident in her vocals and the repeated words of “Isn’t it?”. Vulnerability really comes into play here and this is where we really know her heart and how scared she must’ve felt wanting to enter into something that could be good but terrified that her ‘reputation’ might ruin it. There is nothing else like it on the album, which makes it stand out all on its own.
ERIN: For me, I feel like there is something so vulnerable about this song. Something that is so beautiful, so caring, and I kind of feel like there is a fear that she is letting out. The more I listen to this album, the more I see that – well I feel that – every song is an evolution through her stages of fear and of just coming to terms with what is and was.
Look What You Made Me Do
NORA: When I first heard this song, I think I was more stunned than anything. This was something TOTALLY different than the Taylor I knew. It took sometime, and I think this might be one of the weakest songs she’s ever come out with, but I do enjoy it. I think like a lot of people, the incredible music video changed my perception of this song, for the better.
KARA: This might not be the best song Taylor has ever written but the production is brilliant. There is not enough words I can say about the production and how well done it is. There are so many layers to this song, which makes it coincide perfectly into the first half of the album. Not to mention, if you’ve ever been hurt, there is no doubt you can relate to this track.
ERIN: To be honest, this is my least favorite song of the album, but the truth is – I am okay with it. I feel like this was a strong way for Taylor to come out and make light of what has been happening in her life. But I think that it’s one of the weakest song that Taylor has ever come out with and that saddens me.
So It Goes
NORA: A great transition song. This album is really broken in half and this song transitions into the second part of the album for me. With this song, we head towards a side to Taylor we haven’t had the privilege of seeing before. A Taylor that’s happily in love. This song is a great transition for that.
KARA: At first, I wasn’t sure about this one. I kind of forgot it was on the album. But now that I’ve listened to the album on repeat for three days, I have grown to really appreciate it. It’s a beautiful transition from being hurt to finding love, which is a side of Taylor we haven’t seen much of.
ERIN: I feel like this is where I really saw the Taylor I knew, but the Taylor of old. I was blown away and grew to appreciate this side of Taylor that we hadn’t seen before, where she shows that she can come through the pain. She can make it through and she can find love.
NORA: Alright first off, James Lively-Reynold’s already has a bigger career than I do and she’s barely two. This is one of my favorite singles released for Reputation so far. I’m in love with it. The lyrics are great and I love the entire song from start to finish. It’s a classic Taylor song from start to finish.
KARA: If you really think about it, you can tell how well done this song is. It’s brilliant in its craftsmanship and you can tell how Taylor wanted it to sound. She literally is having trouble talking to someone who’s attractive, and it shows in the lyrics how nervous she is about it all. We must appreciate the way she uses her sarcasm in songs on this album, especially this one. She speaks the truth but also twists it to how the media portrays her. The only artist who could think to do something like that is Taylor Swift.
ERIN: I relate to this song. That feeling of not knowing and that feeling of wanting someone or something so bad. She speaks her truth in everything, but here, I felt like Taylor was flipping the bird to all the people that have made comments about her and the way she handles relationships.
NORA: I think this is my ultimate favorite song on this album. The lyrics are incredible, the music is phenomenal, Taylor sounds amazing. I love every part of this song. It’s one of the strongest on this album in my opinion. Everything came together flawlessly for this track. I’m waiting for an epic Bonnie and Clyde music video for this track.
KARA: Nothing good starts in a getaway car. Nothing? Are we sure about that. Because this song was written about a getaway car, so that has me thinking at least one good thing came from a getaway car. This is the “Holy Ground” of reputation. Everything from it’s production to the lyrical content is brilliant and if it’s not a single, well, that would be a shame.
ERIN: This song needs to be a single and I need the video now.
King of My Heart
NORA: Joe Alwyn has given Taylor all the love in the world and this track just makes me melt into a puddle thinking about them. The lyrics are ADORABLE and make my heart soar for Taylor finally finding someone that treats her right. Another classic Taylor song for me. The lyrics are so amazing. Just that chorus: “And all at once, you are the one / I have been waiting for King of my heart, body and soul, ooh whoa / And all at once, you’re all I want I’ll never let you go.” LIKE C’MON.
KARA: This song is adorable and it’s fun to hear how happily in love Taylor is. If there’s anything we need to appreciate here, it’s the bridge. “Is this the end of all my endings? My broken bones are mending with all the nights we’re spending. Up on the roof with a schoolgirl crush, drinking beer out of plastic cups. Say you fancy me not fancy stuff,” she sings. Honestly, it’s a side of Taylor we’ve never seen before. Is this the end of all her endings? This song makes us believe so.
ERIN: I like seeing this side of Taylor. The side that is so in love and so at peace. I love that she’s found happy, because she deserves the shit out of happy. This song makes me happy.
Dancing With Our Hands Tied
NORA: Another fun song on the album. Such a bop. Not one of the strongest for me, but still a great song. I love the beat in the chorus and I think it’s just a fun song! One of the songs I kind of forget about upon my re-listens, but a classic 1989-esque pop track for me. It’s lyrically stunning, as is every track on this album. While Taylor has fallen in love, she’s hoping the world doesn’t crush their happy bubble. It’s heartbreaking. I’m digging it this song.
KARA: Another track that is brilliant when it comes to metaphors. Taylor is a great lyricist and is excellent and pouring her heart out into a song. This one proves that reputation is an album Taylor created for a reason. The timidness in her voice when she questions if people will find out about their relationship and wondering if they do, if the relationship will last. This allows the title of the song to speak for itself. Don’t forget about this one. It’s important.
ERIN: Not my favorite song on the album, but that’s okay. I feel like this song was written with Taylor trying to protect her heart and I love that about her. I love that she put that vulnerability out there and that’s not an easy thing. She doesn’t want to hurt and the fact that she’s admitting that and saying that is great.
NORA: “Only bought this dress so you could take it off, take it off.” “I don’t want you like a best friend.” LIKE OMG I’M DYING. First off, “wine Mom” Taylor is my new favorite Taylor. Second, this song is just sexy and gorgeous. I feel like we are all searching for a kind of love that makes us feel the way that Taylor feels in this song. “Even in my worst times, you can see the best in me.” This song is just lyrically stunning and one of the strongest on the album in my opinion.
KARA: This is by far one of the most unique songs on the album. Production wise, it sounds like an 80’s synth track (“Time After Time”? Kind of?). But it certainly shows us that Taylor isn’t a kid anymore. She’s growing up. ‘Dress” is one of the most mature tracks on the album and lyrically profound.
ERIN: I love this song. I feel like it’s the sexiest song we’ve ever heard from Taylor and I am here for it. Also – it made me want to go buy a dress, throw it on the floor, and say fuck it, that’s where it will end up anyways
This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
NORA: “’Cause forgiveness is a nice thing to do / Haha, I can’t even say it with a straight face.” I HIT THE FLOOR WHEN I HEARD THIS FOR THE FIRST TIME. It’s the shadiest song on the album and truthfully, I’m here for it!! Another song that dives deeper into Taylor’s 1989 pop roots. This song is perfect for some good old angry-jump dancing. I applaud you Taylor for putting all of this into this song. Like WOW! I hope this song goes to number 1, just because I want people to realize that she took all the shit everyone gave her and turned it into a kick ass song.
KARA: If you’ve ever been hurt by a friend or friend(s), this song is the perfect song. While we know who Taylor is talking about here, but it’s a track that can be a soundtrack to your own life. It’s childish and that’s the point. She told those who went to the Secret Sessions that she wanted the background noise to sound like a playground because of how childish the whole situation was, which is how it tends to be when you lose a friend or they try to mind twist you. Not to mention, it needs to be one the radio because it really is that good.
ERIN: This is my favorite song. “’Cause forgiveness is a nice thing to do / Haha, I can’t even say it with a straight face.” YAASSSS!!! I need this as a single – this shoulda been the lead single. Lord! She put it all in this song and I am like QWWWEEEENNN!!
Call It What You Want
NORA: Truthfully my favorite single off this album so far. “My castle crumbled overnight / I brought a knife to a gunfight / They took the crown but it’s alright.” Another lyrically perfect Taylor song. I’ve been referring to this album as “Red 2.0” and this song coupled with “New Year’s Day” are the reasons why. Once again, Taylor’s finally found happiness and she puts into words why this relationship is different for her and what the world has done to her with her past relationships. It’s so romantic and beautiful. I love it.
KARA: This is one of the best tracks lyrically on the album and teaches us where Taylor is right now in her life. She’s found happiness and the media and the naysayers can call it what they want but she doesn’t care because she’s happy. While the world crushed her, she finally found freedom and she’s living in it. That’s a beautiful way to almost finish an album.
ERIN: I love this so much. It’s one of my favorite songs on the album. But I agree with Nora – it’s like Red 2.0. “My castle crumbled overnight / I brought a knife to a gunfight / They took the crown but it’s alright.” One of my favorite lines ever. I think that when it comes to Taylor, we’re seeing an evolution that is strong, fierce, and beautiful. She’s embracing her strength and freedom and I love her.
New Year’s Day
NORA: “Please don’t ever become a stranger / Whose laugh I could recognize anywhere,” is hands down my favorite lyric on this entire album. It’s so heartbreaking. This song reduced me to a puddle the first time I heard it. The magic Taylor creates about being with someone the day after New Year’s Eve and wanting to be with that person and not lose them. It’s so poetic. “Hold on to the memories, they will hold onto you.” These Taylor lyrics crush me. It’s a perfect ending to this album and one of the strongest songs on this album. Hands down.
KARA: This is exactly how I want a Taylor album to end. It’s hands down one of the best songs Taylor has ever done. If she means it and he’s worth it, then this is the most beautiful way Taylor has ever ended an album in her career. Why? Because this is where she’s at right now. It’s not an ending. It’s a beginning.
ERIN: I cried when I first heard this song. I feel like in the midst of Taylor’s strength, she’s shown a sense of vulnerability. It’s this side of Taylor that crushes me, because she speaks the words that I can’t speak for myself. She says the words that I want to say. Taylor speaks in a way that we can all understand and she enables us to find the words that we sometimes stumble over. I love her so.
Do you miss the old Taylor?
NORA: In terms of the “Old Taylor” I associate that with my youth and just like Taylor, I’ve had to grow up and change. The world around you and yours experiences change you and that’s definitely what Reputation represents. The old Taylor always holds a special place in my heart, but I’m loving where Taylor is headed. I don’t care what her critics spout, I’m enjoying Reputation, I’m enjoying the new Taylor and I don’t think she’s forgotten the old Taylor. She’s just had to grow up and change because the world and people are changing around her.
KARA: I don’t think there is a new Taylor here. Taylor is the same Taylor she’s always been, just hidden so the media can’t see it. Her sound is different but she’s still the songwriter we know and love and if you truly know her as an artist and a person, you can read into these songs knowing which ones are geared toward the media and which ones are her showing her true authentic self. The new Taylor is just Taylor not giving anything else to the media. She’s only offering herself up to those who love and support her. She’s still the same Taylor, just grown up and living in freedom.
ERIN: I don’t. I feel like this is a new Taylor and we all grow. We all change. We all become a different version of who we were. I respect that Taylor is growing, that she’s become more vulnerable, but so strong. I feel like Taylor has become free and I embrace that about her. I am so proud of her.
What sets this album apart from Taylor’s other albums?
NORA: The second half of this album is a love letter, which is obviously so different from her previous albums. I think this album really shows how far she’s come as a lyricist. Every song is strong lyrically and poetically. She’s grown as a songwriter and it shows. Reputation may be different from her other songs in terms of style, but if you listen to each song closely the old Taylor is still there. She’s just hidden for her critics, but obvious enough for her true fans to find her. This album is the perfect “comeback” album and I’m already enjoying this era.
KARA: Sonically, it’s different in its production. It’s the strongest album we’ve heard from Taylor, and we finally get to hear a love letter from her on the second half of the album. She’s grown leaps and bounds as a vocalist and songwriter. While it’s truly unique in different, it’s still very much the Taylor we know and love.
ERIN: I feel like we get to see Taylor in a whole new light. We get to see the her that has grown, that shows that no matter what you can get through. Taylor is a champ and it’s the strongest album lyrically and sonically. She’s amazing. I can’t wait to see what is next.