Skip to main content

The Reputation Era and Taylor Swift

Hello, everyone! A lot has happened in the past twenty-four hours. Hurricane Harvey has been rapidly increasing in strength as it swirls over the Gulf of Mexico and Taylor Swift dropped her first single after a crazy week of ominous promotion. This article is about the later, but, first, I want to say that I hope everyone stays safe during this hurricane. I will maintain my posting schedule to the best of my ability as the storm continues to approach, but in the event of a power loss, I'll do my best to upload as soon as possible.
Today, I wanted to discuss the latest song from an artist I've loved for a very long time, Taylor Swift and her new single "Look What You Made Me Do". I'm curious to know what you think about this plunge even deeper into mainstream pop as I haven't even quite figured out what I think myself. 


Last night, Taylor Swift released her first single off the Reputation album coming on November 12. After wiping her social media, Taylor slowly started posting silent clips of a serpent, leading fans to believe that her next album was coming, and they were right. It also served as a first warning about this new era of Taylor we are all entering.
As with any artist in any medium that I absolutely adore, it made me nervous. What if the new music is bad? What if the next book they write is horrible? Will I ever be able to enjoy their other work the same way? Everyone told me that Taylor had made five other solid albums, there was no way this could go bad.
So last night, I sat by my phone checking Twitter constantly for the news that Taylor had dropped her new single, and when it finally appeared under my music, I couldn't play it fast enough. The new track, "Look What You Just Made Me Do", filled my house with an echoing sound unlike anything I'd ever heard from Taylor, or really anyone for that matter. And that scared me at first. There was a DJ infested dance beat, her voice was masked by layers of other sounds battling to reign supreme as the track shifts and changes from verse to pre-chorus to chorus as well as a palatable anger that seeped through every last word. Everyone around me was as shocked as I was, but I'd felt this coming with the wave of new promotion, the snake videos, and the black and white album cover with a darker feel and newsprint overlay.
Taylor's new song left me wondering what to think. I went back and listened to her old songs that started with twang and shifted toward stories with beautiful instrumentals and then became a new kind of pop full of captivating background and lyrical masterpiece. And then I listened to Taylor's new single again, looking for Taylor in a song that was so far from anything she'd even hinted at in the past. The conclusion I came to, after a few repeat listens, was this: Any pop singer could have sung the song, only Taylor could have written it. In one of the biggest musical evolutions for such a popular singer, Taylor has been slowly nudging us through new ideas and shifts in genre, and we've been taking baby steps towards new eras with bits and pieces of the old Taylor to hold on to, and now she's pushed us off the cliff with no looking back. As she says in the song, "The old Taylor can't come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, 'cause she's dead."
Now I've listened to the song enough times to try to sort out an opinion. It's been harder than I thought it would be. Taylor has laid out an ultimatum to her followers, some of the most loyal in the music industry. This is her music now, take it or leave it. It is a move that will alienate some of her most loyal followers and attract others who have never liked her music. Regardless, she's reached a level where failure becomes a minuscule thought in comparison to making statements.
And so I tried to figure out where she was coming from with the song. There are so many different interpretations. Did she let the media storm get to her? Is this her letting them win? Possibly; many people think so.
But maybe this is Taylor's way of taking Blank Space further. She's created her own personal anthem that takes hold of and embraces everything people say about her; I think Taylor is now taking the stance that she'll play the role she feels the world is shoving at her.
While this isn't what I expected, and I'm not in love yet, I'm definitely not writing off Swift or her Reputation album just yet. Though this single is dance/urban pop centered and not at all what I expected, the storytelling, lyrics, and authentic emotion is still buried in there, which gives me hope for the other fourteen songs left on the album.

What do you think of the this new era of angst and anger for Taylor? Are you ready for TS6? Let me know in the comments.

If you liked this article, please share it with your friends and check out our other articles ranging from book reviews to poetry and short stories to editorials. To get updates about new posts and extras, please follow us on Instagram (@readingwritingandme), Twitter (@readwriteandme), and Facebook or sign up for email alerts by clicking the subscribe button at the top of the sight. Also, please leave comments or email us (readingwritingandme@gmail.com) with your thoughts or review requests. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Halsey's I Would Leave Me If I Could Poetry Review

  I Would Leave Me If I Could  by Halsey  I've started this review a couple times and scrapped all of them. I've written hundreds of reviews before, and this is the first time I have absolutely no clue how to review a book. It's not just because it's poetry. And it's not because I don't have thoughts on every single poem. I've read the book twice and scrubbed a million notes around her words and highlighted every poem on my second read through. I have so many favorites, and my heart feels like it's going to burst after finishing each poem. Halsey exceeded every expectation I had set to the high bar of her music. I almost feel like this book is too good for my review to remotely do it justice, so I don't even know where to begin.  This book is extremely vulnerable. Halsey has never held back on telling the ugly truth in her lyrics, but the poetry takes it so much farther. She has space to tell the entire story, fewer constraints than what will fit in

Swimming Lessons By Lili Reinhart Poetry Review

  Swimming Lessons  by Lili Reinhart  Overall: 5 This is the first poetry book I've ever read in its entirety outside of Shel Silverstein, so I've checked off one of my reading goals for the year with this one. I've now read a graphic novel and a book of poetry. I've been anticipating Swimming Lessons  so long that I can't believe it's actually in my hands. I've been a fan of Lili since Riverdale, and I've continued to be a fan of hers even when the show got a bit too ridiculous for me to keep watching every week. I've been excited for the chance to get to see something completely created a controlled by Lili.  I'm not sure what I expected from Swimming Lessons . I think I had almost no idea what it would be like or the topics it would cover. After the first couple poems, I was completely hooked. In the intro, Lili prefaces the collection by noting that poetry has always given her solace in knowing other people felt the same specific emotions tha

Into YA with Rachel Lynn Solomon

Pardon me while I go fangirl for a moment. You'd think I'd get used to talking to my favorite authors after so many years, but of course, that never happens. That is especially true today as I'm taking to Rachel Lynn Solomon, brilliant author and nicest human. Rachel has been one of my favorite authors almost as long as I've been a blogger. Her first book came out about 7 months after I first started my blog, and almost four years later, I finally get to chat with her. I can't believe this didn't happen sooner, but I think I was always intimidated.  There's a lot to cover in this quick chat, so Rachel and I talk about keeping up with writing on a quick release schedule, wading into the romance world with The Ex Talk , working in public radio, plotting Today, Tonight Tomorrow , and what's next (luckily, there's quite a bit coming soon). I hope you enjoy our conversation.   1. You’ve been releasing books steadily since your debut in 2018, and this year

Coming Up in February 2021: Can't Miss YA

It's almost February which means it's time for tons of brand new books. I picked the five I was most excited about to spotlight in this post! There's a mix of past favorite authors (like Courtney Summers and Phil Stamper) and some new authors I can't wait to read for the first time! I'm so excited to dive into these soon. A couple are on my ARC TBR, and the rest I put in library requests for. If you have a local library, placing a request for a book purchase from your library is a great, free way to get new books. You help the author with a sale, and the library also offers them more exposure to new readers!  If you do want to add some of these books to your personal collection, I will be adding purchase links that go to Bookshop to this post. Clicking the affiliate link means that the blog might get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Shopping these Bookshop links is a great way to support the blog, authors, and independent bookstores!  The Project by Court

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas: YA Book Review

Concrete Rose  by Angie Thomas Overview: Maverick Carter is stuck in a big mess. Or two different big messes considering he's close to having two kids at 17. Maverick starts the book finding out he's actually the father of a baby with a girl he can't stand. To make matters worse, she gives him the baby and disappears after finding out he's the real father. Navigating school, his relationship with his girlfriend, Lisa, his new baby, and the politics of the gang he's in makes for a chaotic life. Maverick feels like the rug just keeps getting pulled out from under him, and he has to decide how he's going to cope with oncoming adulthood with far more responsibility than his classmates. Overall: 3.5  Characters: 3 I didn't feel like the character development here was as stellar as Angie's past books. Her last two were five star reads for me, and I was immediately immersed in them. This time, I struggled even though I already knew a little bit about who these

Positions Book Tag

Today, I'm sharing a new book tag created by Cielo over at Bellerose Reads who tagged me in her new Positions book tag. I love working on book tags inspired by pop music, so I was thrilled to get the tag. If I'm being totally honest, I wasn't super into Positions, Ariana Grande's latest album. I'm much more of a Thank U Next fan because that album was far more lyrically focused. Positions reminds me a lot of Sweetener. I do like "POV", the closing track of the album. Still, I'm super excited to share the tag because these are some of the best tag questions I've ever seen. Cielo did a wonderful job coming up with really cool prompts. I had a blast thinking of books that fit them. As always, just click the book title to read my review of any of the books I mentioned. And don't forget to read the original tag here .    shut up – a book you couldn’t shut up about  There are way too many. Honestly, a ton of them are already sprinkled through this po

January 2021 Wrap Up

 I feel like I say it every month now, but this month wasn't my best reading month. Oddly, even though I read and post less than ever, I'm more in love with blogging than I've been in a while. I think that stems from the fact that I've stopped putting pressure on myself to read a certain number of books or write a certain number of posts. It stung a bit to see my lowest book total for the year yet in December, but also, the world didn't end. At the end of the day, reading is about having fun, and I do enough reading not for fun for school.  January has lasted a million years. I don't think I'm exaggerating. For the last fifteen days, I've been telling everyone, "How is it still January?". It's finally about to not be January which is lovely. Even with the seeming abundance of time stemming from the never ending January, I only read three books. And the third I still have 80 pages of, but I should be finished with it by the time this post go

My Most Anticipated New YA Contemporary for March 2021

March is delivering so many books I need in my life right now. March is one of my favorite times of year as a book blogger because it's the month of my blog anniversary and it's also a month that publishing dumps a ton of amazing books from the sky all at once, and I get overwhelmed in a really happy way. Here's a longer than usual list of all the YA contemporary books I'm looking forward to for March and have been anticipating for months now. Yolk by Mary HK Choi March 2nd Mary is one of my favorite YA authors and has been since her debut. She's also just the coolest person, and I think because of that she writes some of the most unique YA. Her books tend to hit towards the oldest of the YA age range, which, as an older teen, is super appealing. They also just have a very distinct style to them that's comforting and realistic and extremely grounded in this world. Her characters are always as lost and messy as I am. June is the older sister by three years. She w

Fear of Missing Out

Fear of Missing Out  by Kate McGovern  Overview: Astrid has a form of brain cancer called astrocytoma that causes a star shaped tumor to form near her brainstem. Though she was in remission, two years later, the cancer comes back, and Astrid becomes convinced that she won't beat the disease. She starts to pursue options that will allow her to have a life in the future, namely, cryopreservation. After essentially freezing her body, she hopes to wake up when there's a cure for her cancer so she can rejoin the world and see some of the milestones she fears missing. On the road trip to tour the Arizona facility, though, Astrid makes other realizations about her life and eventual death that alters how she sees her original plan. Overall: 4  Characters: 4 Astrid is relatable. She has a touch of dry, witty humor that makes her relatable. She loves her friends and family deeply, but she also has a conviction to follow what feels best for her. I appreciated how she always tried t

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le: YA Book Review

  A Pho Love Story  by Loan Le Overview: Cue up "Love Story (Taylor's Version)" because this book centers around a Romeo + Juliet like relationship- only this time the feud is based in rival pho restaurants across the street from one another. When Bao and Linh have a chance encounter, they start realizing the child of the "enemy" is actually... nice? As they get to know each other better, Bad finds a passion for the first time through writing and Linh gains confidence in her art. They bond over their shared life experience, both having Vietnamese parents who ran parallel restaurants. Over time, they unearth the painful past the feud is built upon, and both families have to reckon with the past to move on in the present. Overall: 4 Characters: 4 In the book, Linh and Bao are both POV characters in the book. Bao is clearly so kind hearted from the beginning. He's very empathetic and careful. He starts the book feeling quite lost. He doesn't know what he wa