Taylor Swift Reputation Anniversary Essay

Bringing you the latest trending news from the world.

What is happening in our world? Who is doing what? what is going on now? These are questions that will be answered. Enjoy.

Taylor Swift Reputation Anniversary Essay

It’s August 2017, and Taylor Swift deletes her entire Instagram feed to announce her forthcoming album, reputation, with a video of a hissing snake. Then the album art drops. This is a new Taylor Swift. She is poised and expressionless against a background of newspaper clippings that print her name over and over again. Six days later she shares the first single, “Look What You Made Me Do.” The message is clear: Swift wants you to know she isn’t going to put up with how the media treats her anymore. She doesn’t like how she lost control of her own narrative, how the Kanye drama spiraled and came to a head after “Famous” in 2016, and she’s angry. Only, it’s 2017. We’re nearly one year post-election and in the midst of an unprecedented distrust in the media inspired by the constant all-caps whining of President Donald Trump. The timing couldn’t be worse; the optics are bad. This Taylor Swift album appears to be aligning itself with the Trumpian narrative, and, in turn, reputation is perceived by some as a political statement. Online, she’s opined to be petty, exhausting, and playing the victim.

Hence, reputation didn’t really sell. (It’s her second lowest selling record, if you want to get all capitalist about it.) And yet, its critical reviews were glowing across the board. The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica called it “bombastic, unexpected, sneakily potent.” Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield called it “her most intimate album,” and Variety called it “maybe her best.” The album is not flimsy or cute like the follow-up Lover, and it’s more mature than Speak Now. It’s edgier than 1989. It goes way harder than Folklore. Red, Fearless, and Taylor Swift are youthful, softer portraits of a country Taylor gone by (Variety calls this “dweeb-era Taylor”). Today is the third anniversary of Taylor Swift’s reputation, and it’s time to revisit, appreciate, and hail it for what it is—her greatest record of all time—because we can consume it divorced from its 2017 context, with the perspective of the woman we now know Taylor Swift to be.

When reputation came out in 2017, Taylor Swift had, up until then, remained largely apolitical through perhaps the most politicized time in modern American history. During the 2016 election and beyond, she kept her politics to herself, not endorsing a candidate, presumably so as not to alienate any of her red-leaning fans. But her silence was really quite loud. Some in the media saw it as complacency, a failure to use her platform to denounce the evil of the Trump rhetoric (The Guardian called Swift “a musical envoy for the president’s values” in 2017). Even worse, her silence was interpreted by some online as an approval of it, to the point where far-right white supremacists crowned her their Aryan goddess.

But instead of denouncing Trump or even the far-right neo-Nazis, Swift released this album—with a cover that one could connect to the President’s hatred of the media. In the album’s liner notes, she doubled down on her frustration with the media, stating that “When this album comes out, gossip blogs will scour the lyrics for the men they can attribute to each song, as if the inspiration for music is as simple and basic as a paternity test.” It was, by all accounts, a bad look.

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

At the time, in the thick of a dark time for American discourse, it was easy to draw a line between Taylor Swift and the right. In divisive, high-stakes times like the past four years have been, it’s important to hold celebrities accountable, and for them to use their platforms with conviction. Silence is complicity. But it’s the confidence Swift discovered on reputation that allowed her to break free of the demure, neutral, girlish persona that stifled her political voice for the first decade or so of her career. Taylor needed reputation, and the backlash to it, perhaps, to rouse her public political mobilization. A year after reputation, Swift endorsed her first political candidates—both local Tennessee Democrats—and since then, she’s proudly fought for LGBTQ rights and denounced the evils of the Trump presidency. Taylor is now openly political on main and doesn’t care what Karlie Kloss’ husband’s brother’s in-laws or anyone else thinks. And with the hindsight of three years, divorcing reputation from the polarization of the early Trump years, it’s easier to appreciate it for what it is: a bold and powerful album by an artist who’s unafraid to challenge herself.

What should have been clear at the time is none of the music on reputation is political or specifically media-blasting at all, really. After years of very public shame, reputation is Taylor reclaiming her own narrative. It’s sexy and intimate and powerful in a way that none of its predecessors were or successors have been, and she tells you that herself on the title track—“I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? ‘Cause she’s dead!”. The album is a portrait of a liberated Taylor, representative of the beginning of a new era of agency for her, one of outspokenness and advocacy. It’s the first album Swift swears on, or references drinking alcohol, or real, physical intimacy. Musically, this is also true. reputation is straight pop music with blaring, bold inspiration from EDM and hip hop that we’d never heard from Taylor up until this point. (Shoutout to the King of My Heart Jack Antonoff.) reputation was a risk, a revolution, even, but it was one she bulldozed. And not just for herself, either. Rolling Stone asserts that “if Ariana, Billie, Halsey and others seem so effortlessly themselves, it’s in part because Swift worked so hard at speaking her truth and smiting her enemies.”

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

It is also without a doubt the most versatile album from Swift’s body of work. Not musically, perhaps, but we all know a Taylor Swift album is for first for feeling your feelings and second for actually listening to. Try emoting to Lover after you’ve been cheated on, or folklore while you’re giddy after a great third date, and let me know how that goes. But reputation? The album can do it all. Put on “King of My Heart” when you’re falling in love, “Look What You Made Me Do” when you’re mad at your significant other. Any emotion your little heart can feel can be felt to Taylor Swift’s multifaceted masterpiece reputation. It’s underrated-ness is part of the appeal, too. We still get Swift’s emblematic perfect pop song formula and raw, head-over-heels vulnerability on bangers such as “Gorgeous,” “Dress,” “Delicate,” and “Getaway Car,” but these songs are undervalued classics in the canon of Taylor Swift. They don’t have the widespread recognition or over-radioplay of “Love Story” (Fearless) or “Welcome to New York,” (1989) but they are just as good, as classically Taylor as can be, if not a little lustier, a little dirtier than we’re used to. reputation is full of these sleeper hits.

It must be said, without pointing fingers at any one of our 15 children that we love equally, that there are weak points. Something about a rap verse, and Ed Sheeran, you say? Complete perfection is a myth. Miss Swift is only human, after all.

If you still aren’t convinced, let’s start here: toss on “Look What You Made Me Do” today, if for no reason but to celebrate sworn Swift nemesis Kanye West’s loss of the Presidential election (and Swift-endorsed Joe Biden’s win!). If you find yourself bobbing your head along, even slightly, start the album from the top. Just one reputation cover to cover listen, for its birthday! Take your time with it.

I’ll call Billboard to see what I can do about getting some charts rearranged.

Lauren Kranc is an editorial assistant at Esquire, where she covers pop culture and television, with entirely too narrow of an expertise on Netflix dating shows.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Source link

Leave a Reply