Giving Taylor Swift’s reputation a D+ and Screwing Up the Metacritic Score
“My reputation’s never been worse, so he must like me for me.” This painfully tender line from “Delicate” captures so many things about the time when reputation
was released — most of all, it speaks to Taylor Swift
’s awareness of the conversations surrounding her. Behind the comparatively dramatic album rollout, though, is a record that showed Swift’s continued evolution as a writer and allowed her to branch into new topics as she entered her late-20s. So many listeners (this writer included) have grown up with Swift, and it was refreshing to hear her touch on heartbreak and messy relationships through a more mature lens.
Whether in the pulsing “So It Goes…,” the dizzying “Call It What You Want,” or the timeless “New Year’s Day,” Swift was still on her A-game as a writer. Swift also often exists in a lose-lose world; had she not experimented a bit with reputation, people may have accused her of growing stale, falling too comfortably into a safer pop lane. She took some swings with this record, and each one of them is part of her story.
Let’s be clear: In no way is this a D+ record. Taylor Swift of 2017 deserved better from the media at large, and this album deserves a much better score. Time has proven it. — M.S.