By Scott T. Sterling
After what feels like an eternity of anticipation, Reputation is finally here.
With fleets of Taylor Swift-branded UPS trucks racing around the country delivering the CD while fans storm Target stores and iTunes for a copy, the album has already fully permeated pop culture less than 24 hours from being unleashed on the world.
Pouring over the album’s 15 tracks, Reputation is packed with highlights, with the singer obliterating the boundaries of her sound to incorporate everything from trap influences to modern updates on ’80s R&B and new wave. There’s a lot here to explore.
So without further ado, here are our 5 favorite songs on Taylor Swift’s Reputation.
“So It Goes…”
This deceptively catchy track comes with sultry vibes reminiscent of the Weeknd, a tale of romantic obsession oozing with icy synths and a slow and low tempo. Swift turns up the intensity with an arena-sized chorus tinged with a touch of M83’s new wave majesty. “So It Goes…” is a track well worthy of digging out.
“Dancing with Our Hands Tied”
Taylor Swift hits the EDM dance floor. Well, sort of. Arranged like a festival dance track, this ode to a doomed relationship shifts from a low-key double-time rhythm to a gigantic drop that slams right into an even bigger chorus that hits like a freight train. DJs on the remix circuit will have a field day with this one. Get Kygo on Line 1!
With this sultry slow jam, Swift shows a propensity for writing about sexuality with a raw honesty that’s fully empowering. Over a minimal R&B beat and old-school Janet Jackson-styled thick across the chorus (“I don’t want you like a best friend/Only bought this dress so you could take it off”), the pop star steps into decidedly adult territory with confidence and class.
“This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”
This is classic Swift. The way she can spin a tale of being stabbed in the back by one of the world’s biggest pop stars into a fun-house melody is astounding. Its potential ubiquity could also make it Kanye West’s worst nightmare. The song plays like DJ Swift mashing up Sleigh Bells with St. Vincent. It’s also the track screaming the loudest for a truly epic pop culture-shaking music video. Paging Joseph Khan!
“New Year’s Day”
The album’s finest moment is tucked away at the very end. Evoking a nostalgic intimacy, she paints a picture of reflection with a quiet piano melody and passionate vocal delivery. It’s a beautiful song that reminds listeners exactly why Swift’s career has been a skyrocket with no signs of slowing down.