Baby, let the shade begin…
Ask anyone who’s come into contact with me since last week, and they’ll tell you that I’ve been obsessing over Taylor Swift a lot more than usual
(#sorrynotsorry to my boyfriend who’s had to listen to her every time he’s been in the car with me). I’ve mentioned it multiple times on Endless Bliss, but I’m high-key obsessed with Tay, and I have no shame about it. Honestly, I feel like we’ve been living parallel lives since we were 16, and she doesn’t even know it (Side note: Taylor Swift was born just two days before me. This is important information.). At the moment we’re both living in blissful la la land love, and I think that’s a huge part of why I fall in love with her songs so much, and this album in particular. Rather than being an album about heartbreak and vengeance, Taylor is singing about being in love, some of the hardships that lead to it and the beauty of her relationship.
One of my favorite things about Taylor’s music is that it’s constantly evolving. I know that many people don’t like that about her, but to me, it shows how diverse and innovative she is as an artist. She refuses to sit still and instead continues to grow. All of her albums are vastly different, and even if you’re not a fan of every song she’s ever made (ahem me), that doesn’t mean there isn’t at least one song or even an entire album that you like.
reputation is completely out of the wheelhouse of the music we’re used to hearing from Taylor Swift, which was evident as soon as “Look What You Made Me Do” hit the internet. We were all preparing for a different sound, and Taylor more than delivered. I’ve seen Taylor Swift in concert three times, and one thing I can tell you about seeing her live is that none of her shows are the same. That’s why my friends and I are already plotting a reunion and scheming to go see one of her shows together. No one understands my love for Taylor more than these two.
When I was putting these songs in order, I was absolutely surprised by how it ended up. I can honestly say that all of these songs are a bop, and I love them, so just because a song is at the end doesn’t mean that I hate it. It just means the rest of the songs are just that much more awesome.
I was really nervous about not liking this song once I heard that 3-second clip she shared on Instagram before the song actually dropped. Even after the initial listen, I wasn’t totally in love with it. After a few more listens though, I fell in love with it, more for the words than the beat itself.
Even though this was the third pre-release, I think it was more of an introduction to the rest of the album than “Look What You Made Me Do” and “…Ready For It?” With those two songs, you think the album is going to be about silencing the haters and getting revenge on those that wronged her, and while those elements are present in a few songs, namely those two and “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” more than anything, the overall theme of reputation is about falling and being in love. At least the second half is.
I love this song because it starts out as a sort of forbidden love. She’s already dating someone (Calvin Harris), but she sees this guy (Joe Alwyn), and she’s immediately drawn to him. So much so that everything else just falls away, and she knows that she isn’t supposed to feel this way, but she can’t help it. We’ve all been there, right?
Favorite lyrics: “Ocean blue eyes, looking in mine. I feel like I might sink and drown and die.”
14// GETAWAY CAR
This song wasn’t my favorite at first, but the more I listen to it, the more I like it. I like that this album is very centered around her relationship with Joe Alwyn, but she still put in this song about her short-lived whirlwind romance with Tom Hiddleston.
Here’s the scoop: Apparently Taylor was unhappy in her relationship with Calvin Harris, and she was low-key looking for a reason to leave. Tom became that reason. They met at the Met Gala, danced the night away and then their relationship was lived in fast forward for the next three months.
She sings about how he shouldn’t be surprised at her wanting to end the relationship because of how their relationship started in the first place. Sadly for Tom, he was her excuse to leave Calvin, and she knew she shouldn’t have fallen into the relationship, but unfortunately for many of us, the easiest way to get over someone is to fall into another relationship, even if you know it’s doomed from the beginning.
I think Taylor paints that story in a beautiful way in this song, and I especially love it because it’s a story I can relate to a very specific instance in my own life.
Favorite lyrics: “He was the great escape, the prison break. The light of freedom on my face. But you weren’t thinkin’, and I was just drinkin’.”
13// DANCING WITH OUR HANDS TIED
Another song about her beau, and I love it. Unlike the rest of Tay’s relationships, Taylor and Joe decided to keep their romance a bit of a secret from the media. I think this song dives into what would happen if they hadn’t decided to do that, if they instead went public with their romance and what the response would be. She’s basically living in fear of the media and outsiders putting a hindrance on their relationship until it all just tumbled down around them.
Luckily, the intimacies of their romance are just now fully coming to light with Taylor sharing this album full of songs about the two of them. I think we’re all cheering for them to make it.
Favorite lyrics: “I’m a mess, but I’m the mess that you wanted.”
12// THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS
YAS, TAY, YASSS! This is the pettiness we all know and love, and beyond that, this song is a BOP. I’ll put this right there along with “Better Than Revenge” “Look What You Made Me Do.” I love when she calls people out. I know a lot of people think it’s petty, but I think it’s brave. Really, I think the way she tells her stories is brave in general. She’s essentially putting her diary out there for everyone to read/listen to and criticize.
I wasn’t really too fond of this song at first because I wasn’t in love with the beat. It actually reminds me of Taylor circa Speak Now era. The more I listen to it and pick up on all of the cookie crumbs, the more I fall in love with it.
This song is so obviously about Kanye West and his wifey, Kim, particularly when she says, “And therein lies the issue/Friends don’t try to trick you/Get you on the phone/And mind twist you,” referencing that infamous video of them talking on the phone about Taylor’s mention in Kanye’s song, “Famous.” Kanye also has a song called “Real Friends,” and Taylor sings a line that says “Here’s a toast to my real friends/They don’t care about the he said she said,” which could be in reference to that. She also talks about the Gatsby-like parties she used to throw and about giving second chances. Homegirl tried, but it didn’t work out, so naturally we all got an awesome song out of it.
One of my favorite parts of the song is her cackle when she’s talking about forgiveness then says “I can’t even say it with a straight face.” Yasss, Tay. Keep. It. Up.
Favorite lyrics: “Here’s a toast to my real friends. They don’t care about the he said, she said.”
11// LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO
I can honestly say that I had no intention of putting this song so low to the bottom, but when I was deciding if I liked this song or that song better, “Look What You Made Me Do” somehow fell here. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve played it so many times and the new-ness has worn off or because all of the other songs on the album are just better, but I digress.
I remember when I found out that Taylor was about to drop a new single. Saying I was excited would be an absolute understatement. My boyfriend stayed up with me to listen to this song for the first time, which made me love him a little bit more.
More than the song, I’m in love with this music video. Taylor Swift is such a petty Betty, and it’s one of my favorite things about her because I’m absolutely the same way, just in a much less public forum.
Favorite lyrics: “Maybe I got mine, but you’ll all get yours.”
One thing I love about this album is that it’s evident that Taylor is growwwn. She references alcohol several times and also has a few suggestive references, particularly in this song. I mean, it’s an entire song about how she doesn’t want to just be friends with this guy, so she buys a dress with the expectation of him taking it off. Plus Mama and Papa Swift blushed so hard they had to leave the room. Get it, girl.
Favorite lyrics: “Even in my worst times, you could see the best of me. Flashback to my mistakes, my rebounds, my earthquakes. Even in my worst lies, you saw the truth in me.”
9// NEW YEAR’S DAY
From the start, I loved the simplicity of this song. With a title like that, you would almost expect it to be a banger to parallel the celebrations of that particular holiday. Instead, we get a sweet ballad recalling the end of a NYE evening.
NYE is such a symbolic holiday. It’s the mark of an ending and more importantly, a beginning. I think there’s an underlying fear with this song – the fear that at the dawn of a new year, this guy will leave her, and more than anything, she just wants him to stay.
This song has new meaning to me now after watching her tearful performance of it on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Absolutely heartbreaking.
Favorite lyrics: “You squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi. I can tell that it’s gonna be a long road.”
8// …READY FOR IT?
My first impression of this song has a lot to do with my boyfriend. We were on our first vacation together in Baton Rouge. I came out of the shower, and he said he had something he needed to show me. It was this song. I swear I fell in love with him right then and there.
I was obsessed with this song from the get-go. I loved the beat and the lyrics, and I was excited to have more songs on the album like it. Of course, there aren’t any, but this was the first pre-release we heard that had some reference to her current romantic relationship.
My favorite part of the song is when she sings “And he can be my jailer/Burton to this Taylor/Every love I’ve known in comparison is a failure.” I just love how she enunciates each word.
Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of the music video because I still don’t understand it. I watched the “Look What You Made Me Do” music video countless times and still haven’t gotten tired of it. I’m not really sold on this one though.
Favorite lyrics: “Every love I’ve known in comparison is a failure. I forget their names now. I’m so very tame now. Never be the same now.”
7// KING OF MY HEART
Taylor Swift’s lyrics are always so quotable, and admittedly, I’ve already used lyrics from this song for social media posts. This is such a sweet song about how she was all set and ready to be on her own and live life with her cats, but then her new man snuck in and made her fall for him. Now he’s the king of her heart, and all is right with the world.
Side note: It also throws a little shade at two of her former BFs, Calvin and Tom, who drove a Ranger Rover and Jaguar, respectively.
Favorite lyrics: “Is this the end of all the endings?”
6// SO IT GOES…
As many fans already know, reputation is broken down into two parts with the beginning being about her reputation and the media’s perception of her, leading into the first pre-release “Look What You Made Me Do.” “So It Goes…” lands right in the middle, and the ellipses mean something because we are about to get Tay’s side of the story, particularly her love story with Joe.
This song shows another sexy side of Taylor, and I love it so much. I very much know what it’s like to be so attracted to someone and so electrified by their presence that everything and everyone else just falls away while the relationship between the two of you also falls into place.
My favorite part of this song is when she says “But honestly, baby, who’s counting? Who’s counting?” then she counts to three before the beat starts again. Ah, I just love it. Chills.
Favorite lyrics: “All eyes on us. You make everyone disappear.”
5// CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT
This was my favorite of Taylor’s pre-releases. Everything about it just meshes together so well. She’s obviously in love, and the music that accompanies her lovey-dovey words are so melodic and lovely.
Many people have said this song is like a sequel to “Love Story,” and I whole-heartedly agree. In “Love Story” she sings “Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone/I’ll be waiting, all that’s left to do is run/You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess/It’s a love story, baby just say yes.” In the sequel version, she’s sings “Slowly I said ‘You don’t need to save me/But would you run away with me?’/’Yes.'”
The message is so clear here. She doesn’t need to be saved by anyone anymore, but she loves him and wants him to accompany her on her journey. I mean, that’s what we all want in life, right? Like, I’m good on my own, but that doesn’t mean I want to be on my own, and when you find someone that you want to come along with you, you take them.
Favorite lyrics: “And I know I make the same mistakes every time. Bridges burn. I never learn. At least I did one thing right.”
4// I DID SOMETHING BAD
Many people are already speculating that this song is about Kanye West. Not only does it talk about someone who is a narcissist and a liar, it also uses some autotune, something prevalent in much of Kanye’s music.
No matter who or what it’s about, one thing’s for sure – it’s a bop. I can see myself jamming to this song in the car, and I only know that because I’ve already done it many, many times.
Favorite lyrics: “If a man talks shit then I owe him nothing. I don’t regret it one bit cause he had it comin’.”
Another sensual song about her man. I love the sound of “Delicate,” but beyond that I love what she’s singing about. It’s kind of a recount of her feelings when she first started crushing on Joe. She’s questioning whether she really likes him and vice versa and whether they should even pursue anything, coming to the conclusion that he must actually like her since her rep is worse than it’s ever been, but he’s still sticking around.
She talks about how they don’t need to make any promises right now, but they can still have a good time and enjoy some libations together, and that’s definitely something I can get behind. In some of her songs in the past, she’s said things about being too honest or sharing too much, and this song still eludes to that and the questions that come along with pursuing a new relationship. She wonders if it’s too soon to say or do certain things. Apparently it wasn’t because look at them now.
Favorite lyrics: “We can’t make any promises now, can we, babe? But you can make me a drink.”
2// END GAME
I’m pretty sure every Taylor Swift fan I’ve talked to about this album is in love with this song. As they should be because it’s obviously a banger. I knew it was going to be awesome because Ed Sheeran and Future were featured in it. It seriously just makes you want to dance.
All of the lyrics are so heavy, and it basically boils down to this giant metaphor of her wanting to be her man’s end game. It’s like, here’s everything that’s wrong with me and what everyone in the world has ever said about me, but if you can get past all that and see the real me and not the world’s portrayal of me, we’re going to make it.
Favorite lyrics: “Reputation precedes me. They told you I’m crazy. I swear I don’t love the drama. It loves me.”
1// DON’T BLAME ME
I actually know a few people who don’t like this song that much, but it’s the first song I really fell in love with from reputation, and it continues to be my favorite.
The vibe of it is kind of along the lines of the message behind “Blank Space.” This is how people have said I am in relationships. People say I’m crazy. There seems to be some clearly obsessive tones in the song because she’s obviously fallen hard this time.
Since this song is toward the beginning of the album, my assumption is that the obsession is mostly satirical because this is the expectation of what Taylor is/has been in relationships before. I think the love of her boyfriend is very real, but the unhealthy obsession is exaggerated.
At any rate, this song is my absolute favorite, and I think I’ve listened to it more than any other song on this album since its release on Friday.
Favorite lyrics: “My name is whatever you decide, and I’m just gonna call you mine. I’m insane, but I’m your baby.”
What’s your favorite song off of the reputation album?