Can you believe it’s been two whole years since ‘reputation’ was released? That’s right, Swifties, today is ‘reputation’s birthday; Taylor Swift’s equivalent of dying your hair black and going through an angsty teenage phase (and I mean that in the best way possible). Happy birthday, ‘rep’!
Taylor’s sixth album was a massive success, breaking records, selling two million copies in its first week and spanning a global mega-tour. The album itself is filled with little nuances that I adore, from clever pieces of production, tongue-in-cheek lyrics and little oddities that make it one of my most listened to albums ever, so I had to honour its birthday. Stick ‘rep’ on, and let’s get started…
‘Ready For It…’
Ah ‘Ready For It…’ otherwise known as the best opening track on any album ever. While I love the track anyway, in all of its energetic, manic glory, there’s a key little detail at the beginning of the track that I adore: Taylor’s little cough.
That’s right – one of my favourite things about ‘reputation’ is Taylor clearing her throat. Hear me out. While it’s a quirky little detail, it also paints an image of Taylor arriving at a podium; addressing the masses that are hinging on her every word, ready to clear up the details surrounding her falling reputation. Back then, the media had plenty to say about the songstress, and Taylor wasn’t taking it without a fight. That iconic throat clearing summarises that, right from the get go.
‘I Did Something Bad’
That’s it – that’s the part I love: The entire friggin’ song! As one of Taylor’s most underrated songs – which definitely deserved to be a single and have a sick music video – it’s such an anthemic tune that I’ll never grow tired off.
The true detail here, though, is the post-chorus little noise, y’know’ the ra-da-da-da-da tune. Taylor herself said that the noise came to her in a dream; and then Max Martin edited her own vocals to make it sound like “an enchantress slash dude”. It’s a quirky little nuance on ‘rep’, and it’s one that I adore.
‘So It Goes…’
“But honestly baby who’s counting… 1, 2, 3.” Okay, so maybe this isn’t a ‘little detail’ per say; but it’s a cute lil’ tongue-in-cheek lyric on this deep cut that I can’t help but love. It plays up to the media’s wrongful perception of her – that she’s cold, calculated and jaded. Here, in the track, she whispers that she’s keeping score of her lover’s wrong-doings; but in a cheeky little way. Only Taylor.
‘King of my Heart’
The little detail I love on this track is the way she says “Jag-uArrrrs”, and the little “uh’s” amidst some of the verses. The kinda awkward sounding “Jaguars” line is most likely a reference to her previous boyfriend Tom Hiddleston, a well-spoken British gent – who also did an ad for the car brand. Taylor trying to mimic his speech – a theme she revisits in ‘London Boy’ – is such a cute lil’ quirk that makes me love ‘rep’ all the more.
Also – we all know that Taylor Swift is Queen of writing amazing bridges – but ‘King of my Heart’ just takes it to the next level.
‘Look What You Made Me Do’
I bet you can guess this one, can’t you? Yes, of course it’s “I’m sorry – the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead!” Despite sounding like something a cringey 14-year-old would write on their Myspace page, I’ve grown to love the strange little lyric. Obviously it’s about Taylor rebranding, changing herself and, therefore, her reputation, making it another addition to the little details that make her sixth album so wonderful.
This is only a small lil’ quirk, but I love the “ha, ha, ha, ha’s” in the track. It’s nothing completely out there, per say, but it’s another addition in the folds of ‘reputation’s creation that makes it so appealing.
This is such a punchy little number that also deserved to be a single! Just image a marvellous Bonnie and Clyde style music video to this tune! Sigh, what could’ve been. Anyway, my fave little quirk about this particular track is the punchy: “He was runnin’ after us, I was screaming go, go go!”. It’s just so satisfying to sing (ahem, scream) along to. And, of course, this song features an amazing bridge and outro. Ugh, her mind.
Aw, this song is too adorable. My favourite line off this track is “guess I’ll just stumble on home to my cats… Alone.” Yes Taylor, cash in on that crazy cat lady vibe! I also love the faint little “ugh” echoing in the background. These little nuances are scattered throughout the album, and it’s one of the reasons why I rate it so highly.
There’s also the little noise of a bell dinging away in the folds of the track; and it’s a cute little addition that elevates the tune.
‘Don’t Blame Me’
Aside from being one of the best songs on the entire friggin’ album, ‘Don’t Blame Me’ features some of Taylor’s best vocals to date. Especially on the line: “I once was poison ivy but, now I’m your daiIiiIIisy”. Ugh, it just gives me chills every time. Just… don’t attempt to reach those vocal heights yourself… It doesn’t end well.
I’m not gonna lie, when I first heard this song I wasn’t really a fan. In fact, it was the only song off ‘rep’ that I didn’t actually like. Two years on, however, and it’s grown on me exponentially.
My favourite little part of this track is the repetition of “biiiiiiig reputation”. When I saw Taylor live last year, screaming that lyric with one of my best pals along with 50,000 others in the packed stadium… Well, I couldn’t help but love it.
‘This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things’
Despite being the best closing song to a tour ever, ‘TISWCHNT’ (how’s that for an acronym?), it also has an amaaaaazing bridge that I can’t get enough of. The way Taylor sings “and here’s to my reaaaaaal friends, they don’t care about the he said, she said” is just wildly addictive.
Also, a little shout out to the song I didn’t mention on ‘rep’: ‘Delicate’, ‘Dancing With Our Hands Tied’ and ‘New Year’s Day’. While they’re amazing in their own right, they didn’t quite have any of the little details hidden away that I mentioned in the tracks above. But who knows? Maybe I’ve just been deaf to them. If you’ve found any cute little nuances in those three tracks, let me know in the comments below!
For more on Taylor Swift, check out my review of ‘Lover’. Or, take a peek at what I think are Taylor’s most underrated tunes. And don’t forget that you can grab some rad Swiftie merch from Amazon down below!