By Hayden Wright
Taylor Swift’s reputation is finally set to reach fans this Friday, November 10. And while most details have been kept a secret – she even created fan-only “Secret Session” listening events – we were given a few peeks into what will be her sixth studio album.
Taylor first delivered “Look What You Made Me Do” which contains the infectious 90s throwback to “I’m Too Sexy. The accompanying video that took the viewer through Taylor Swift’s past—the feuds, looks, and unforgettable moments from pop’s brightest career. And while she showed how these stories fueled the album’s debut track, one reputation has never escaped Taylor: She can write a song.
To put reputation in context it’s important to skip three years back to 1989. At 24, Swift released her most accomplished studio album to date, a full-blown pop record with sophisticated references, youthful energy and a strong sense of humor. Most of all, 1989 drew inspiration from the 80s pop and New Wave tradition, whereas her new material, like the second single “…Ready for It?” embraces the dance and synth pop of the 2010s.
For reputation, collaborator Jack Antonoff returns with his ear for offbeat earworms, pop impresario Max Martin brings his own legendary producing skills to reputation along with his co-collaborator Shellback (P!nk – Beautiful Trauma, Katy Perry – Witness). Both Martin and Shellback helped bring the album’s third single, “Gorgeous” to fruition, which takes Taylor to new lyrical places.
“You should take it as a compliment / That I got drunk and made fun of the way you talk,” she sings. “You should think about the consequence / Of your magnetic field being a little too strong.” For a singer-songwriter now in her late 20s, Taylor has officially outgrown the transitional phase to adult stardom. Her new material casts her as a woman in charge of her own life and decisions.
Promotion for reputation has been almost exclusively limited to Taylor’s own social media channels. Perhaps on the other side of release, we’ll hear more from her about the personal dimension of the record. For now fans can enjoy behind-the-scenes content on her YouTube channel where the videos and songs speak for themselves.