At midnight on Nov. 3, Taylor Swift dropped the 4th single from her new album “Reputation.” The new music is like nothing she’s ever done before. This once queen of country is now rapping and tackling edgy topics in her lyrics. Is this a good thing? Swifties and other music lovers’ reaction to the first single says absolutely.
Her first single from “Reputation,” “Look What You Made Me Do” was released on Aug. 24, 2017. The lyrics point directly to Swift’s long time feud with Kanye West. With lines such as “I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red underlined,” it’s clear that she’s done playing nice with West. One Twitter user, @allysonkate even tweeted, “narrator: she didn’t shake it off” in reference to Swift’s hit song from her “1989” album. Musically, the song captures the listener with eerie tunes that build as the lyrics intensify her desire for revenge. Lyrically, the song left much to be desired. The chorus is simply a repetition of the song title, and frankly, it gets tiring singing “Look What You Made Me Do” after the 2nd chorus. When the music video was released, it broke the YouTube record for number of views in one day. The end of the video is quite the scene. All of Swift’s former selves and her current self are all arguing, spewing things at each other that the media has spewed at her over the years. The message is clear: Swift is not taking anything from anyone anymore.
In her 2nd single, “Ready For It,” Swift takes a huge risk with her career and tries her hand at rapping. There are two problems with this. First, she’s not good at rapping. Second, she’s rapping hardcore about a relationship. Swift’s love songs are downright legendary and can make anybody know what it feels like to be in love or heartbroken, but not this one. In fact, the NFL has used it in several of it’s Monday Night Football commercials. When was the last time a love song was used to hype up a football game? The answer is never. This song, while lyrically tells the story of two people forming a relationship, is not a song that will make you feel anything. Instead, the song is more fun and light, a change from Swift’s more serious love songs. The “Ready For It” music video was released not long after the song. Swift is a little risqué in the video, wearing a bodysuit that makes her appear to have no clothes on. While she is in fact clothed, there’s not too much of a difference between the appearance of nudity, and actual nudity.
The 3rd single “Gorgeous” is by far the catchiest song from the new album so far. The electronic tune will get stuck in your head and have you dancing in your room with the door shut. “Gorgeous” is also a love song, but while musically pleasing, is a lyrical disaster. In the song “Enchanted,” from the album “Speak Now,” Swift writes “I’m wonderstruck blushing all the way home,” perfectly capturing the feeling of being in love. In “Gorgeous” she writes “I can’t say anything to your face, cause look at your face.” This is not the emotional, deeply relatable lyrics that Swift is famous for.
“Call It What You Want,” the 4th and possibly final single from the new album, was released at midnight on Nov. 3. This song is very reminiscent of Swift’s hit from the “1989” album “Wildest Dreams.” Both songs create a dreamlike soundscape with majestic electro-pop instrumentation. “Call It What You Want” supplied the lyrical genius that Swift is famous for. With lines like “I recall late November, holding my breath, slowly I said ‘You don’t have to save me’,” anyone can feel like the story she tells is their own.
As a whole, the 4 new singles reflect that Swift is welcoming in a new era. An era that involves new styles and risks fans did not see coming. The full album will be released on Nov. 10, and I anticipate that it will be shocking and record breaking, as have all her other albums.