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The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Taylor Swift Tops Charts with “reputation”


Spoiler Alert: If you are attending one of Taylor Swift’s concerts this summer and want it to REMAIN a surprise, this article might not be the fit for you as multiple spoilers are revealed.


She does it again… 10 time Grammy winner, Taylor Swift, released her sixth studio album “reputation” in November. The 15 track album sold 1.2 million copies in its first week of being released week followed by the selling of over 166,000 tickets to her first three shows of the tour, starting May 8th.


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Over the course of this article, you’ll understand the songs that made her so successful and what’s shocking people the most on her tour. Along with Swift performing a two hour and fifteen-minute act, she has two opening acts. Camila Cabello and Charli XCX each perform a set, each lasting about half an hour. Swift wanted to make this an all-female tour and seems to show a close relationship with the two as it’s normal to see pics of them on her Gram.


“Reputation” brings out a confident, yet dark side to the 28-year old singer where revenge is finally addressed to the whole Kimye drama in songs like Look What You Made Me Do, I Did Something Bad, and This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things. Lyrics like “friends don’t try to trick you/get you on the phone and mind twist you” and “they’ve got their pitchforks and proof/their receipts and reasons” are rumored  to be aimed towards Kim Kardashian and Kanye West after the phone call that was leaked between the couple and Swift drama.


Some were shocked as to how much Taylor has matured, musically and personally. This evolution is clearly shown through all the drinking references throughout the album as well as more mature language. When counted, there are a total of fifteen drinking references. One of the songs with the most is Gorgeous. The third single that was released from the album, it’s deja-vu to songs we hear every day on the radio. The pop jam describes falling in love with a crush and doing anything to get him. She wrote the first verse when she was drunk (that’s new) and displays a form of jealousy we’ve seen in some of her older songs like Teardrops on my Guitar. Her emotions are sung as she’s jealous of how beautiful this man is. She sang the song on tour and her beau, Joe Alwyn, stood on the floor part of the University of Arizona Stadium smiling gushingly, not knowing where to look while his girlfriend sang the lines “You’re so gorgeous. I can’t say anything to your face, cause look at your face”, as the song is reported to be about him. I’m not going to lie, it’s not hard to tell she was drunk when she wrote the song since the upbeat music itself sounds a little tipsy.


The first track of the album …Ready For It? demonstrates Swift trying something new and rapping most of the song. The chorus is what made me excited for the album as that’s what got first got previewed just a little after we heard the first album’s single Look What You Made Me Do. The song itself is a little confusing and still to this day, I’m not exactly sure if it’s a love, heartbreak, dance, or argument song. Hear it for yourself and let me know if lyrics like “knew he was a killer” then “in the middle of the night, in my dreams, you should see the things we do” followed by “are you ready for it?” make any sense. Am I ready for what? The concert? The album? The future? That’s probably a question to ask one of the Secret Session-ers, who got an in-depth explanation on each and every one of the songs when hearing the album beforehand.


Even though it might be about celeb drama,  I can’t help but love This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things when Swift doesn’t forget to give a toast to her real friends which include fans, “baby” (aka lover), and “mama” followed by an adorable laugh leading into the chorus again. We all gotta love Mama Swift. She’s the one who’ll be handing out passes to Rep Room this tour! Now you may ask, what is Rep Room? On every tour, Swift ’s team heads out to find the craziest fans who are having the time of their lives to meet T-Swizzle after the show in a hut space with Taylor-related treats, and comfy furniture. You get to meet the singer herself, chat with her for a solid three to five minutes and get a professional photo taken with her. The best part of it all? You don’t have to pay a single penny! Just make sure you’re still wide awake especially after you’ve been dancing your head off all night.


One of my personal album favorites is Dancing With Our Hands TIed. The fast-pace beat goes along well with her singing about the media limiting how much she can do in a relationship. The song doesn’t have any quiet moments except in the bridge but even then, I see myself dancing in the mirror singing along to, what’s known as, my “hairbrush song”. And I wasn’t the only one to think that! Fans took on Tumblr and Instagram acting a little disappointed when the pop star decided to acoustically sing the song, making it much less one you can dance to. Additionally, Swift sings a surprise song each night acoustically from one of her previous albums.


Another one of my favorites is Getaway Car. The beat of the song along with the catchy repetitive chorus has me skipping to the song on my Apple Music playlist just so I don’t feel as guilty listening to it for the hundredth time on its own. Twitter users have come to a conclusion that it’s all about Swift leaving Calvin Harris for the actor, Tom Hiddleston followed by her realizing that they’re both not worth it. Some of the references to Hiddleston are “the ties were black, the lies were white” which leads back to the black-tie event, the 2016 Met Gala. “We were flyin, but we’d never got far” is probably talking about when they traveled the world together but the media found them even when they were trying to escape the public eye. “And a circus ain’t a love story” is a reference to when Harris stated in an interview after the breakup that they tried to make sure their relationship wasn’t a media circus. Finally, a reference to character criminals Bonnie and Clyde talks about Swift and Hiddleston playing tricks with the media.


Confusion and commitment to one another as partners seems to be a common topic in some songs of the album. Swift seems to second guess all her moves, and lyric proof shows that! “Is it cool that I said all that? Is it chill that you’re in my head? Cause I know that it’s delicate” is the leading lyric in the chorus of her most recent single Delicate. The music video for this shows a similar theme, but only in the beginning. We see Swift trying to be “cool” so she can fit in but then realizes that her lover must love her for who she is and starts dancing freely, again playing on the idea of reputation and who will stick by your side through it all.  


Hate might generate the song itself, but definitely not for the tour performance. After hundreds and thousands of fans asked for Swift to get as close to us as possible, she delivered and sings the song gracefully while she flies over her audience to get to her B-Stages in a rainbow sequin dress. Don’t think that’s close enough? To get from one B-Stage to the other, she walks through the audience!


As the album continues we start to hear more about how her lover is taking over Swift herself and we EVEN got a song about something no fans ever imagined hearing about. It’s probably not a topic appropriate for this article but kids, prepared to be scolded by your mom or dad if you’re singing along to Dress at her concert without really understanding the lyrics. It was the song everyone expects Swift to cut from the setlist, but instead …So It Goes got cut. The latter still portrays a more negative influence side of Swift with edgy lyrics like “I’m not a bad girl but I do bad things with you”. Are these bad things the ones she’s talking about in I Did Something Bad?  We’re not sure if the song is actually about something bad she did since it all came from a noise she had in a dream and wanted to include it in a song. Personally, I believe it’s as if the media is saying Taylor did something bad. We’re all used to her being America’s sweetheart who is always good. But let’s be real, they put a blame on her for everything. The song could be a Blank Space 2.0.


And that leads us to Track 4: Don’t Blame Me.  This heavy masterpiece contains high notes, gospel vocabulary, and reasoning for her becoming crazy. She sings about love making her crazy and asking the Lord to save her as a drug is her baby. Does that make her boyfriends (drug) a mistake she’s made but because she loves dating she’d do it over and over again (lyric from I Did Something Bad)?


End Game is the only song on the album that features collaborations. High-on-the-chart guest songwriters Ed Sheeran (who opened up for Swift on her Red Tour and has a strong friendship with her) and Future each sang their own verse on the hit single. All about celebrities, drama, and a combination of the two, it seems to be directly written towards people Swift has bad blood with like Kanye West and Katy Perry. Yet recently on the opening night of Swift’s tour, Perry sent Swift an olive branch (which is a sign of peace) pleading for forgiveness after a long history of drama in the past. Looks like they’re on good terms though as Swift videod the olive branch via Instagram story and said “Thank you Katy” with a heart emoji. Is Katy doing this now because she wants to rise up to the top charts again or is she truly sincere? Once again, we have no idea.


Heading back to the topic of a lover taking over Swift, King of My Heart defines that pretty well. This song probably has the most vocal effects of the others with a light-robotic feature on the chorus. Once again, we see references to Harris and Hiddleston with the line “all the boys in their expensive cars with their Range Rovers and Jaguars”. That line is probably one of my favorite she’s ever written! In both relationships, Swift was spotted in a Range Rover with Harris and Jaguar with Hiddleston. The line continues with “never took me quite where you do” ending with explaining how her lover is taking over her heart, body, and soul. We’re just happy he’s the one she’s been waiting for (“and all I want, you are the one I have been waiting for”)


Nonetheless, the singer hasn’t lost all her cute love songs that we used to get an album full of. Call It What You Want is a perfect example. Her soft, melodious voice makes the song easy to sing along to and we can’t help but smile knowing “she’s doing better than she ever was”. The song goes as far as knowing she wants to “run away” with her lover, most probably known as Joe Alwyn, a British actor who Swift is currently dating. The title is meant to tell us that she doesn’t care what we want to call them two, but she’s happy & in love and that’s all that matters.


Following this song is fan-favorite New Year’s Day. We can refer to it now as the song that fans shed tears too when 300 of them were invited to Swift’s homes over a period of two weeks to hear the album beforehand. The piano ballad talks about the aftermath of a New Year’s party and how her partner is staying to clean up bottles with her on New Year’s Day while everyone else has left. Every line contains detail and love and showcases some of her best songwriting skills. It’s for sure momentum but tends to get slightly repetitive after the second chorus.


Will you be attending Swift’s shows in DC on July 10th and  11th? While you’re there, try and spot Club Meredith & Club Olivia (named after her two cats) which are reserved seating spots for special guests. You can find her family, celebrities, and fans that got upgraded sitting there. Watch for Tiffany Haddish saying the famous interlude “the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, cause she’s dead” towards the middle of the show in a Look What You Made Me Do performance which is surprisingly not the show’s finale. You’ll know the show is starting when Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation begins and a compilation of the media talking about Swift starts. Prepare to cry when a fan-favorite performance of Long Live plays followed by New Year’s Day. I promise you will have an amazing time no matter where you’re sitting. Something about her shows makes you feel as if you’ve known each other forever and it feels intimate, even though you’re one in at least 55,000.


And with that folks, is a song-by-song review of reputation with fun facts on her tour, friendships, and more. And just as we’re getting settled into the tour, Perez Hilton stated that when meeting Swift on May 19th at the Rose Bowl, she told him that her 7th studio album would be out before she was 30. She turns 29 this year so once the tour ends, album number 7 should be on its way! We’re already excited!!


Sophia Rees

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