reputation by Taylor Swift ๐Ÿ’” Songs Ranked


      

Written by Tia


Taylor Swift's new album reputation has finally dropped in full today!

You can buy it on iTunes or, if you're not totally willing to buy it (at this point, at least), you can listen to it on iHeart Radio, interspersed with some of her old hits (which—can we talk about how bad of an idea this is given how good her old hits are and how... underwhelming her recently released singles have been? Anyway...).

Here are my rankings, as a (possibly former) Swiftie, of the worst to best songs on the new album:


15. Gorgeous


Song 8 on the album, "Gorgeous" is supposedly about Taylor's current boyfriend (rumored fiancรฉ??), Joe Alwyn. There are some fun lyrics, like when she makes fun of herself for being a total cat lady, but beyond that it's a sort of mellow (read: dull) song about how this guy is so gorgeous she wants to leave her boyfriend for him (and her boyfriend sounds a bit like a skeeze anyway). I think it's one of the more underwhelming songs on the album, and I will never understand why it was one of the first songs she released from this album.


14. Look What You Made Me Do


Song 6 on the album, and the first released single and music video, "Look What You Made Me Do" was a good look into the sort of repetitive pop vibe the album would be taking on, in addition to the bizarrely self-centered-but-also-unrelatably-celebrity themes it would encompass.

It's strange because we both cannot expect Taylor to write about stuff she doesn't know anything about, so of course she should write about her own life, but when she does, we all realize that her super-celeb life is rife with problems and drama that are pretty foreign to the rest of us (gossip magazines, public feuds where the rest of the world tries to weigh in, insanely extravagant parties, etc.).

And while a lot of musical artists (rappers especially) indulge in describing the struggles of fame, when Taylor does it, it feels startling because she's always been lauded for her relatable lyrics. But perhaps the old Taylor is dead, indeed, and we all better get used to the way Pop Taylor does things (or just... stop listening to her music). It's a transition she has every right to make, but I do think it will be unsurprising if it loses her some old fans, who simply don't like her new music. And that's fair, too. That said, I think we can all find a bit of the album relatable if we just think about our worst frenemy of all time and focus our energy on that.

This song is ranked where it is because it's just not the most special, catchy, or particularly poignant song, but it does capture the general aesthetic of this album well.



13. So It Goes...


Song 7 on the album, "So It Goes..." is so... boring. A lot of autotune. More mentions of a necklace and feelings of jealousy. A little too much talk of scratches down his back (from sex, y'all!!!!). It's like if you took all the boring parts from the other songs on this album and combined them, you'd get this song.

Of course, the song fits well into the story of her relationship with Joe Alwyn, which is reputation's B-story (her reputation being the A-story, of course), in terms of a chronological progression, but it's just... so painfully dull and overly autotuned. I can't love it. I'm not sure I can even like it.


12. Getaway Car


Song 9 on the album, "Getaway Car" starts like most of the other songs from reputation (Taylor talking). It's another fun one, but not terribly unique sounding either and gets really repetitive by the end.

"Getaway Car" reminds me the most of some of her older music in the way it's written and told—it's like Taylor is reading some kids (us) an exciting story (cute!)... which is actually an allegory for a rebound (rumored to be about Tom Hiddleston after the Calvin Harris breakup). There's also a crazy key change at the bridge, which is a nice touch, but, you know, that's about it. Overall, "Getaway Car" has its good moments, but it's an otherwise uninteresting song.


11. King of My Heart


Song 10 on the album, "King of My Heart" is marked by loud drumbeats and a terrible pronunciation of the word "jaguars." It's catchy and the instrumental is powerful and intriguing, but the song is lyrically uninteresting.



10. This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things


Song 13 on the album, "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" is, maybe, just another unrelatable song? In it, Taylor airs out her feelings about her very public feud with Kanye West. (As if we aren't already over that... But I guess, if she still feels there's more to be said about it, that's on her to decide.)

It's a great song for if you're mad at former friends (or frenemies), who have since stabbed you in the back—especially if you were throwing Gatsby-esque parties with them before they betrayed you.

Overall, I think this song is pretty fun. Spicy and pure pop, but not robotic like some of the other songs on this album. However, I don't think it's particularly memorable, given how I've already forgotten how it sounds and I was listening to it when I started writing about this section.


9. ...Ready for It?


Song 1 on the album, "...Ready for It?" is an intense way to open the album, and a great way to get hyped up for it. The song has intense "Bad Blood" vibes and an incredibly confusing music video (the song lyrics are about a romance, but the video is about Taylor's transformation into a pop goddess, portrayed in the most convoluted way possible).

This was my favorite of the three singles she released before the album dropped (if you include "Call It What You Want" and "New Year's Day," then, um, I change my mind about this because those songs are better), and I think it's the best way to start the album. One thing that can really be said for reputation is how cohesive the album is in telling one long story (and how clearly, deliberately this was done... just look at all the song titles in order to get a pretty clear idea). And this is a strong start.


8. Call It What You Want


Song 14 on the album, "Call It What You Want" is a (mostly spoken) ode to how, despite all of her mistakes, she's done one thing right and found joy and warmth and safety in it. (Hint: We're all pretty sure it's her relationship with Joe Alwyn.) It's a sweet, relaxing song, and easy to listen to. The only thing that's super weird is how she compares her lover to a "brother." But let's just ignore that part.



7. End Game


Song 2 on the album, "End Game" opens sounding the most pop. Oh, and there's rapping (from Future and... Ed Sheeran???). It seems a little bit like this song is Taylor trying to sound like other pop music, but she does a good enough job at replicating the sound, that I'm hardly mad that it's a little copy-paste.

And because I apparently have more to say about this: Rap is doing some really interesting things these days (and, like, all days really), and it's clear Taylor isn't taking advantage of the more complex ways rapping can change and improve a song. She instead opts for the more clichรฉ "rap in a pop song to make it more interesting" that feels both uncreative and like she was just looking to add a crutch to a song she didn't feel like finishing. Although I'm sure the decision-making process behind this album was much more deliberate than that, I do think this song didn't use rap to the creative extent it could have. It's clear Taylor is no longer owning the music scene, but in fact may even be a little behind. She also references Ed's song "The A Team" right before his part, which is... a little cheesy, y'all. Still—I do kind of dig this song.



6. Don't Blame Me


Song 4 on the album, "Don't Blame Me" tries to be soulful, but I'm not sure it actually succeeds. The love-drug-crazy-lord-help-me lyrics are extremely corny and probably the farthest from sounding unique, but the electronic sounds in the background are nicely modern and the song is catchy overall. 

It sounds like something that would play over the credits at the end of a movie—not something I'd necessarily listen to regularly, but certainly not bad sounding. I wish this song did feel more special, because it is super pleasant to listen to and has some great vocals from Taylor, but it's a bit too much like every other song in existence to feel like it stands out in any way.



5. Delicate


Song 5 on the album, "Delicate" is a personal look into Taylor's romance with (presumably, since this whole album is about him) Joe Alwyn. It's about being honest about your feelings for and with someone, and indulges in the emotions that surface every time you get involved with someone new. The writing is great here—ultimate Taylor—but the song isn't the most compelling on the album. It reminds me a little bit of "Clean" from 1989, in that it's nice and a bit quieter than the other pop-heavy songs, but is still clearly pop (not acoustic or country in any way).

It barely surpasses "Don't Blame Me" on my list because I think it sounds more connected to Taylor's roots as a songwriter and storyteller, and while it may lack some of the catchiness that "Don't Blame Me" displayed, it makes up for it in its personal lyrics and quiet charm.



4. Dress


Song 12 on the album, "Dress" is a classic Taylor Swift love song, with a grownup twist (because she only got the dress so he could take it off!). Overall I think it's a really smooth, catchy pop song. Romantic, but not exactly sexy. And it's definitely one of the better songs on the album. But what's super weird about it is the connection fans are making between it (maybe the most sexual song on the album) and Taylor's friend Ed Sheeran. Uh... what?



3. Dancing with Our Hands Tied


Song 11 on the album, "Dancing with Our Hands Tied" has a sick drop and that's probably its greatest charm. It sounds like the kind of pop song you hear so much on the radio you start to hate it, but if it ever came on unexpectedly on shuffle one day, you'd lose your mind to it. I'd say it's one of the catchiest songs on the album and one of the most pure pop. And I'm a fan.



2. I Did Something Bad


Song 3 on the album, "I Did Something Bad" starts like The Nightmare Before Christmas with creepy/horror movie vibes. It's dark. It's naughty (but in a Christmas way—not a sexual way). And it's fun. Hey, I think I love this song. It's also very Fifty Shades of Grey. OK, I'll stop with the references.

The lyrics here have some of the best rhymes on the album, and I love how Taylor just indulges in her feisty side with a careful mix of both hesitance and thrill. However, the line, "they're burning all of the witches even if you aren't one," and the bridge as a whole, is complete garbage. It's weirdly autotuned and that makes me super sad because I otherwise really love this song. It's just fun and dark and wonderful. Besides that bridge. God, that bridge.




1. New Year's Day


Song 15 on the album, "New Year's Day" is a beautiful, pensive song about being in love, but also being in a relationship. It's about supporting the other person and always knowing you'll be there for them, cleaning up bottles with them on New Year's Day. I think part of the reason I love this song the most, is because it sounds the most like old Taylor (I know, I know, I need to move on) in that it's 1) nice, 2) thoughtful, and 3) a perfect mix of unique and relatable. She describes a moment from her life in a way that makes you think "I've had a moment just like that before!" even if it is completely different. She captures a feeling. And that's what Taylor has always done best.

As an added bonus, here are all of reputation's secret messages, according to tumblr user jacindyyy:


…Ready For It: I could buy my own island.
End Game: Love me and let’s get drunk.
I Did Something Bad: Yes, I just said ‘shit’.
Don’t Blame Me: Blame Calvin.
Delicate: Now I’m one tough bitch.
Look What You Made Me Do: Hiss Hiss, bitches.
So It Goes…: …to number one.
Gorgeous: Yes, I am.
Getaway Car: I don’t need no Clyde.
King Of My Heart: Queens rule their own kingdom.
Dancing With Our Hands Tied: I snapped the cable ties.
Dress: My dress is now in shreds.
This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: I broke a glass table at a party because I was drunk.
Call It What You Want: Grammy worthy.
New Year’s Day: Next year I promise I won’t be as hungover.

Let me know what your ranking of the songs from reputation would be in the comments below!


You can buy reputation by Taylor Swift on iTunes as of November 10, 2017.

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