A ranking of the tracks on Taylor Swift’s newest album ‘Reputation’
Christmas came early for Taylor Swift fans. Swift released her newest album, “Reputation,” Nov. 9, two days earlier than expected. This release marks Swift’s first real appearance in the spotlight since last year’s Kimye phone-recording debacle, where Kim Kardashian-West demolished Swift’s good name. This album is supposed to have capitalized on the intense media backlash against Swift, and totally redefined the singer’s, well, reputation. Gone are the days of bright red lipstick and country-pop music—this Taylor is all about revenge, bodysuits and electro-pop. As a diehard Swiftie, I’m both excited and nervous for “Reputation.” Here’s an initial ranking of the tracks upon my first complete listen of the album.
15. “Look What You Made Me Do”
Iconic line: “I’m sorry the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. / Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead!”
As the album’s debut single, this song serves one purpose: to set up the mood for the rest of the record. It blatantly announces Swift’s intentions on rebranding into a bad girl with absolutely no style. It’s catchy, but it’s also overly bitter, too repetitive and lacking engaging lyrics.
14. “End Game (feat. Ed Sheeran & Future)”
Iconic line: “I bury hatchets / but I keep maps of where I put ‘em”
I’m so disappointed. Ed Sheeran is my favorite singer, and his part in this song is terrible. Most of this song is taken up by Swift’s poor attempts at rapping, which end up sounding like choppy speaking. The only good part was when Ed Sheeran sang the lyric “A-Team” in reference to his excellent song of the same name.
Iconic line: “Guess I’ll just stumble on home to my cats”
This song opens with Ryan Reynold’s and Blake Lively’s daughter creepily giggling the word “gorgeous.” That makes me uncomfortable. The instrumentals feature a marimba and an elevator ding, two stylistic choices I don’t fully support. Still, Swift sings about avoiding and making fun of her crush, something I really relate to.
12. “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”
Iconic line: “Forgiveness is a nice thing to do / Hahaha, I can’t even say it with a straight face”
This song is named after a meme, which is as hilarious as it is ridiculous. At points, it sounds like a kindergarten song, especially when Swift sings, “This is why we can’t have nice things / Because you break them / I had to take them away.” This track is all about the Kimye drama and Swift’s experience dealing with its backlash, but it’s also applicable to anyone who has ever dealt with their own drama. It’s powerful and vengeful. I’m a fan.
11. “Don’t Blame Me”
Iconic line: “I would waste my time / I would lose my mind”
When I first heard this song, I immediately was reminded of that slowed down cover of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” used in the “Fifty Shades Darker” trailer; the beats of the chorus are too similar. The lyrics aren’t very strong, and I had a hard time finding an iconic line to include. This ode to Swift’s new beau Joe Alwyn is sultry and pleasing to my ears, but it lacks substance.
10. “…Ready for It?”
Iconic line: “I was a robber first time that he saw me / Stealing hearts and running off and never sayin’ sorry”
I recommend listening to this song while working out. The lyrics are, again, repetitive, but the instrumentals are powerful; it gives off strong “Bad Blood” vibes. She makes an obscure, outdated reference to Richard Burton, a 1960s Welsh Shakespearean actor, and his lover Elizabeth Taylor, which I’m sure would have been clever if anyone from my generation understood the pun.
9. “I Did Something Bad”
Iconic line: “This is how the world works / You gotta leave before you get left”
This song is a response to Kanye West’s song “Famous,” where he says he made her famous. Swift announces she owes nothing to anybody, especially to those who used her to make themselves more popular. The track is the epitome of her new sound—heavily electronic with a heavy beat.
8. “Call it What You Want”
Iconic line: “All the drama queens taking swings / all the jokers dressing up as kings”
This was Swift’s third and final single released from this album, and it’s the best one by far. It’s less “Reputation” and more “1989”: The lyrics are strong and full of metaphors, and the tone is less aggressive than other tracks on this album. It reassures longtime fans that the old Taylor isn’t really dead.
Iconic line: “Even in my worst light, you saw the truth in me”
Never before has Swift been so sensual in a song, from her lyrics to her breathing. This song content-wise seems to fit into her new persona content-wise, but the tone belongs in her “Red” era, which is probably why I like it so much.
Iconic line: “Sometimes when I look into your eyes / I pretend you’re mine, all the damn time”
I love the whimsical beat to this song. There are definitely points where Swift’s use of auto-tune is too much, especially in the opening, but the verses spectacularly flow with Swift’s natural voice. This song is one of many from this album to use the word “reputation” in its lyrics, which is meta and creative, but I get it. Swift has a new reputation. I don’t need to be reminded every other song.
5. “So it Goes…”
Iconic line: “All eyes on you, my magician / All eyes on us / You make everyone disappear, and / cut me into pieces”
I’m not a big fan of the verses, but this song arguably has the best sounding chorus on this album. The way Swift sings the lyrics “so it goes” defines the song. I can’t decide if this song is supposed to hype me up or calm me down, but either way, I like it.
4 “Dancing With Our Hands Tied”
Iconic line: “I’m a mess, but I’m the mess that you wanted”
The bass drop on this track is the best on the album. The verses are sped up, and mixed with the drawn-out beats of the chorus, the song creates a really cool sound. It’s similar sounding to “So it Goes…,” but I enjoyed this song slightly more because of its irregular quickness.
3. “New Year’s Day”
Iconic line: “Please don’t ever become a stranger / whose laugh I could recognize anywhere”
This song, unlike others in the album, doesn’t depend on electronic beats or auto-tuned lyrics. It’s a slow, piano-heavy ballad that I will definitely be putting on repeat as I fall asleep. The lyrics are beautiful and a bit heartbreaking at some points. I admit this song made me tear up in certain places. It’s too real.
2. “King of My Heart”
Iconic line: “Say you fancy me, not fancy stuff”
I adore this track because it combines Swift’s old sound with her new sound well. The verses are driven by her lyrics, while the chorus is all electronic pop. The only thing that bothers me about this song is Swift’s elocution of jaguar as “jag-you-ars.” The lyrics of this song are so fluid and gorgeous, but are interrupted by this weird pronunciation.
1. “Getaway Car”
Iconic line: “The ties were black, the lies were white / in shades of gray in candlelight”
Sitting at number one, this song is, in my opinion, the best track from this album. The lyrics rock, the beat of the verses and choruses are excellent, and the bridge is my favorite part. Listening to this song makes me excited for no reason, and I love it. The only issue I have with this song is its cliche reference to Bonnie and Clyde.
Overall, I’d give “Reputation” a solid seven and a half out of 10—it’s not Swift’s best work, but I definitely enjoy listening to it. “Reputation” is not yet available to stream, but can be found on iTunes or iHeartRadio.