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November 2017

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Everything We’ve Learned About Taylor Swift on ‘Reputation’

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Taylor Swift had no choice but to reference the infamous Kimye Feud

Though team Kimye said they’re too busy raising their children to address Swift’s digs, it would be impossible for Swift to have taken the high road given the massive hit her brand took for that feud. Though we know “Look What You Made Me Do” is about Kanye given the “tilted stage,” “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” takes some more jabs.

It was so nice being friends again
There I was, giving you a second chance
But then you stabbed in the back while shaking my hand
And therein lies the issue
Friends don’t try to trick you
Get you on the phone and mind-twist you
And so I took an axe to a mended fence

It goes without saying that this verse is enraging. Let me get this straight, Taylor Swift gave Kanye West a second chance? Did Swift call actress Camilla Belle for lyric approval over a song that basically called her a whore in reference to her romance with Swift’s ex at the time, Joe Jonas (She’s an actress, whoa/She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress, whoa)? Also, explain to me how she was mind-twisted? Oh right, because Kanye asked for permission to say he made her famous but neglected to declare he’d use the word “bitch.” Fine distinction, Taylor. Let’s not relive it.

Taylor Swift Thinks Calvin Harris is a Narcissist

On “I Did Something Bad,” Swift says “never trust a narcissist,” and “If a man talks shit, then I owe him nothing. I don’t regret it one bit, ’cause he had it coming.” As for why she’s so angry, it’s unclear, but it might have something to do with the song Harris wrote with Swift for which he later took sole credit. But it doesn’t stop there. There’s reference to flying “playboys” around the world, who “drop her name.” This is not a pretty picture, folks, but it’s also not surprising given their ugly breakup.To be fair, that might also be a Hiddleston dig given that the press leaks at the time said Swift questioned Hiddleston’s intentions. I’m also guessing the song title, “I Did Something Bad,” refers to the fact that her relationship with Tom Hiddleston overlapped with her Harris romance.

She Met Her Current Boyfriend While Still With Calvin Harris

Swift’s song, “Gorgeous,” makes it clear that she crushed on her current man from afar. In fact, she says that when they met she had an older boyfriend. The reason that’s likely Harris is because on another song, “Dress,” Swift says, “Nights back when you met me, your buzzcut and my bleached hair.” Swift had bleached hair at the Met Gala in 2016 and her new beau had a buzz cut around the same time for a movie role.

Swift’s Relationship With Tom Hiddleston Was “Cursed” From the Start

Swift suggests that Hiddleston was a rebound who broke her out of prison from her relationship with Harris, which she desperately wanted to leave. Hiddleston also somehow “poisoned the well” with one mysterious action referenced by the lyric “X marks the spot” and a “switch to the other side.”

She’s Happy, and She Wants to Keep Her Romance a Secret

“King of My Heart” calls her new boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, “the one she has been waiting for,” saying she’ll “never let [him] go.” This song also has another subtle jab at her exes, referencing the cars they drive while saying, “they never took me quite where you do.”

So is the album good? Yes. Taylor Swift is always good. She’s got a team of people who work extremely hard on making a great album, and the tone is always consistent. I slightly object to some of the hip hop elements, as it feels a little try-hard given that Swift is simply far too uncool for it. It’s also slightly over-produced, which is to be expected. The added elements often distract from the melody, and given that this record is less about heartbreak and more about reinvention, I found myself far less invested in the lyrics. When someone’s “reputation” is impacted by hard truths about their character, my listening experience is slightly dented. But as I said. It’s good. It’s always good.