Taylor Swift’s “Reputation“ was released last week, the hit album since 1989. However, by technical measures, it has been described as not very good. The likes of Pitchfork describes the new album as, “aggressive, lascivious display and sadly conventional.” Most music critics agree that whatever it brings in melodrama, Reputation lacks in actual quality.
DeLuca liked Reputation but wrote:
“But what was really worrisome about Swift’s reentry with “Look What You Made Me Do” isn’t just her fixation with [Kanye] West and the damage to her reputation. It’s that musically, she seems so proud to have thrown herself wholly into a style of assembly line machine-made pop that obscures the gifts for melody and songcraft that turned her into a country, and then pop, a superstar in the first place. Look what you made her do, indeed”.
He continued, “So does that sad story dominate Reputation on the whole? Does the interlude in the “Look” video when Swift, having shed all her previous iterations, tells a caller that “the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now … ’cause she’s dead” truly mean that the human, vulnerable Taylor — with her knack for well-constructed tunes that have connected with legions of loyal Swifties — is no longer with us?”
“Thankfully, no. Reputation is by no means an error-free affair, but Swift is way too smart and canny a pop star to make an album that wholly abandons her strengths. The album’s second single and opening track, “…Ready For It?” relishes her reentry into the pop music fray, exulting, “Let the games begin!” with the enthusiasm of a showbiz pro accustomed to living her life on stage, no matter how much she claims to crave her privacy”, he concluded.