Taylor Swift has a new Reputation

Anna Masciandaro, Web Editor

Last Friday, Taylor Swift dropped her new album Reputation. After three years of musical white noise, court chaos and celebrity turmoil, it’s a drastic change from her last album, 1989. Reputation is a disappointment compared to her previous albums as it lacks the quality of music that Swift is known for and it sends a bad message to her listeners.
In the song “Look What You Made Me Do,” Swift mentions that the old Taylor is dead, but this isn’t entirely true. The album is split between old Taylor and new Taylor.
The old Taylor portion of the album is categorized by meaningful lyrics, hushed singing and typical Taylor Swift topics, such as love. Swift’s best albums were filled with elegant ballads and incredible vocals—things missing from Reputation. The album seems more focused on getting back at those who wronged her than on creating quality music.
The new Taylor portion of the album is characterized by heavy beats, a sinister vibe, rap-like lyrics and topics such as sex, drinking, and cursing—a complete 180 from the upbeat and retro feel that dominates 1989.
This isn’t to say that the two sides don’t intertwine. For example, the song “…Ready For It?” features the heavy beat associated with new Taylor, alongside the hushed, breathy singing and strong vocals of old Taylor in the chorus. Some songs also mesh old Taylor topics with new Taylor beats like “Gorgeous,” which has a wicked beat and discusses a  gorgeous boy.
Swift includes off-key singing and out-of-place sound effects that seem like they were left by a lazy producer, creating an overall unfinished feeling. The album also uses a surprising amount of robotic singing and synth music. The small references she makes toward her previous songs create cohesion between her albums and showcase her progression as an artist. The lines “All my flowers grew back as thorns” and “Windows boarded up after the storm” in the song “Call It What You Want” reference her 1989 song “Clean,” which boasts the lyrics “When the flowers that we’d grown together died of thirst” and “The sky turned black like a perfect storm.”
It’s understandable that Swift is trying to evolve into a strong individual who ignores criticism from others, but it translates into her music as been-there-done-that rhythms and trashy lyrics.
If you like the new direction in which Swift is heading, then Reputation is for you. But if you’re hoping that the old Taylor is still alive, I’d say your goodbyes because she’s on her deathbed.