The old Taylor may be dead, but the new one is alive and well.
Taylor Swift’s sixth studio album “Reputation” continues to hold the No. 1 spot on the iTunes sales chart, as well as the Billboard 200 albums chart. Released on Nov. 10, the album sold over one million copies in the first four days, marking Swift’s fourth album to have a million-selling week and the first album to do so since Adele’s “25” in 2015.
Lindsey Mifsud, a fan of Swift since her first album in 2006, was one of the thousands who took to iTunes to purchase the album on its release date. “I listened to the entire album about four times the day that it came out,” said Mifsud, a senior biology major at Seton Hill University. “If I had to pick a favorite song I think I would say ‘End Game’ or ‘Delicate.’”
In late August, Swift announced her new album with the release of its first single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” which debuted as No. 1 on the iTunes sales charts, and quickly rose to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “Look,” which broke the record for the most weekly streams by a female artist, is Swift’s fifth single to hold the No. 1 spot on the Hot 100 chart.
After leaving fans questioning what she was up to by wiping her social media pages clean and posting images of snakes, “Look” came out and suddenly Swift’s message was clear. With lyrics like “Maybe I got mine, but you’ll all get yours,” (remember, there is nothing Swift does better than revenge) she’s letting the world know that she’s done with the games and drama.
Swifties were left wondering if the rest of her album would be a revenge-seeking backfire to lyrics from Kanye West’s most recent album and the controversy that followed, involving multiple celebrities. Swift kept her fans on their toes by releasing three more singles “…Ready For It?,” “Gorgeous” and “Call It What You Want,” but no one was ready for Swift’s new reputation.
“I had no idea what to expect for this new album. I was thinking it would be mostly pop with a few songs that would take her back to her roots,” said Mifsud. “The album passed my expectations. After hearing the first few songs she released before the album, I didn’t know what to expect, but I love the new songs.”
“Reputation” comes out three years after Swift’s last album “1989,” after which she announced that she would be taking a break from music to get out of the spotlight for time to reflect. In an interview with Vogue magazine in 2016 Swift said, “This is the first time in ten years that I haven’t known [what I want to do with my life]. I just decided that after the past year, with all of the unbelievable things that happened…I decided I was going to live my life a little bit without the pressure on myself to create something.”
Well she’s had three years to do just that, and “Reputation” is the result of Swift coming to terms with who she used to be and who she wants to become. Swift, who started out as an innocent country singer, whose lyrics spoke of fairy tales, love stories and bad breakups, has reinvented her music a little more with each album. “Reputation,” her latest stab at the pop world, is her greatest renovation from her old self, who Swift announced was dead in a line from “Look.”
“The lyric stating the old Taylor is dead made me a bit sad because I love the old Taylor, however, I understand what she means in that she feels the need to branch out and not always be so sweet and innocent,” said Mifsud. “I love all the different sounds that Taylor has explored, but I think that I like her ‘Red’ album the best. That was my favorite Taylor.”
Different love scenarios make up a majority of the album, something Swift has always been known to do; however, the love story in “Reputation” consists of her most matured outlook yet. With songs like “Delicate,” “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” and “Dress,” Swift sings of intimate relationships, ending the album with her passionate ballad “New Year’s Day.” Jason Lipshutz of Billboard calls her album, “a love story – and a complicated, grown-up one at that,” and Jon Caramanica from the New York Times writes, “no pop star of the modern era has communicated the contours of her disappointment with such emotional precision and melodic sophistication.”
While the old Taylor may be dead, deep down she still exists, just older and wiser. Swift announced the first leg of her tour that will include 27 dates, starting on May 8, 2018 in Glendale, Ariz. Mifsud, who hasn’t missed a single tour and travelled to Nashville for the Red Tour, plans to see Swift on Aug. 7, 2018 in Pittsburgh. “I’m excited to see all of the lights, costume changes and stage displays she is known for,” said Mifsud.