For the last decade, Taylor Swift has been a star in the music industry. However, based on the first couple of singles that have gotten some play from her new album “Reputation,” I can honestly say I set my expectations fairly low for this one.
While Swift’s first several albums were country with a bit of a cross-over into pop, her last release of “1989” was about 90% pop and 10% country at best. It worked out well. This is due to the notion that her sound remained very much hers and the pop style utilized was fairly authentic.
The album “Reputation” is really the story of two distinct halves. For the most part, the first half is a collection of rather cliché and overproduced pop with a bit of rap and hip-hop added in for some reason. It’s a major departure from her prior recordings and it comes across as forced and inauthentic. The second half is still pop but seems much more suited to her and relatable to her longtime supporters.
My concern here is that Swift seems to be reinventing herself. Sure, tons of artists do this over the years of their career. Some have done it several times like the “Material Girl.” Usually though, this is because their style has lost appeal. The problem here is a simple one. Swift is doing it even though she didn’t have to and that what she was doing suited her and excited a fan base.
The best tracks on this release are probably “Getaway Car,” “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” and Call It What You Want.” The ones we could really do without include “End Game” and “Gorgeous” with all other being a mixed bag at best.
As mentioned, I came in with low expectations. When this is the case, it’s not hard to exceed such a notion. So, while I’d say she did do just that, it’s not a lot to rave about. I’d give her an average rating or something like 3/5. While that’s not bad, it’s on the lower part of the Swift discography.