Look What You Made Me Listen to

52 minutes and 18 seconds worth of planned "unpredictability"

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Look What You Made Me Listen to

Taylor Swift on stage. Photographed by Jun Sato from Billboard.

Taylor Swift on stage. Photographed by Jun Sato from Billboard.

Photo by Jun Sato

Taylor Swift on stage. Photographed by Jun Sato from Billboard.

Photo by Jun Sato

Photo by Jun Sato

Taylor Swift on stage. Photographed by Jun Sato from Billboard.

Emma Brisbois, Copy Editor

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Originally, when I pitched this idea, I failed to realize that I would actually have to listen to Taylor Swift’s entire new album, Reputation. I haven’t been a fan of her new music, since she had strayed from the country scene, but I was willing to give it a try because it was rumored to actually be something different. And while it was different, the album still felt planned and all too predictable.

Personally, I’d grown tired of Taylor Swift playing good girl gone bad, considering she’s been trying to sell that act since her Red album release in 2012. Her past lyrics and rhythms, although written by her, had become monotonous, predictable and very true to the style of most pop music. She was either writing about an ex-significant-other of some kind or bashing on the woman trying to take her man, all whilst singing over a predictable melody.

“Look What You Made Me Do” was the first track dropped on Reputation, I was impressed by the darker, almost creepy, nature of the song, but it wasn’t able to hold my attention because of the constant repetition. So, although it was not my cup of tea, I will give her credit for the changes she was making.

Picture from album release from Billboard.com

But, I went on to listen to the rest of the album, and I totally get that Swift has to make her money somehow, but this girl only released 4 of her songs individually on Spotify and for purchase on iTunes, at first. Meaning, I had to spend $13.99 only for her to release the full album individually 6 days later. I was already going into this experience upset about my seemingly wasted money.

I was impressed Swift embracing collaboration, albeit for only one track, “End Game”. Swift collaborated with the artists Future and Ed Sheeran. Weird combination right? Wrong. This song actually shaped up to be one of my favorites on the album, but it could be my liking of the other artists on the track. I also enjoyed tracks like “New Years Day”, “Don’t Blame Me” and “Delicate”, which delivered real melodies and tangible topics that weren’t sugar, spice and everything nice.

The track “Gorgeous” brought back the teeny pop that I hadn’t heard within the album until then. I was reminded of most of her previous albums and was wary to be convinced that her image was really changing. It was so similar to some tracks like “22” and “Blank Space” that I was personally finding myself feeling as though I was seeing double.

Taylor Swift posing in mood lighting from Rolling Stone Magazine

 

Overall, it seems that Tay has kept some of her old habits of anticipated chorus melodies and some anticipated storylines, but has added inklings of darker topics. Mentions of the aftereffects of failed relationships, adult content and overall tone of unhappiness was actually quite refreshing. Taylor was writing about something that might not just be a facade.

The album was somewhat different from others, seeing as there were songs that I actually genuinely liked and would purchase without circumstance. Overall though, this album was honestly just like all of the others that Swift has released: planned, repeated, and predictable. So has Taylor’s reputation really changed? That’s for you to decide.

Emma Brisbois

Emma joined The Flightline in August of 2017. She is a senior this year, involved in cheerleading and show choir. Outside of school, she enjoys going to concerts, playing the piano and hanging out with friends. You can email her at [email protected]