Here's What Critics Are Saying About Taylor Swift's 'Reputation'
There’s no question fans are loving Taylor Swift’s long-awaited new album Reputation. Within minutes of the 15-song collection’s debut overnight, social media lit up with raves.
Critics are also praising – and dissecting – Reputation.
“Listen to the music, and you'll discover pure pop magic,” opined Mesfin Fekadu of The Associated Press.
“On 2014's 1989, Swift showed she could deliver great pop songs. On Reputation … she has mastered it.”
Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone said Reputation is “excellent” and Swift’s “most intimate” album.
“It’s a song cycle about how it feels when you stop chasing romance and start letting your life happen. As one of the all-time great pop masterminds, she's trying something new, as she always does,” he wrote. “But because she's Taylor Swift, she can't stop being her own turbulent, excessive, exhausting and gloriously extra self. Make no mistake, this girl's love affair with drama is alive and well.”
At Us Weekly, Nicholas Hautman called Reputation "one of her most solid and cohesive efforts thus far."
The New York Times writer Jon Caramanica said “Reputation is fundamentally unlike any of her other albums in that it takes into account — prioritizes, actually — the tempo and tone of her competition.”
He wrote: “Reputation is a public renegotiation, engaging pop music on its terms, not hers…She still has adversaries in her sight; there are jabs at Kanye West, and also at an ex-boyfriend or two. But here, too, she turns the magnifying glass around. Some of the most caustic and aware songwriting on this album is about herself.”
Alexis Petridis of The Guardian praised Swift’s songwriting. “She’s smart enough to write lyrics far better and wittier than the average pop fare, inverting the cliché of the love ’em and leave ’em Romeo – ‘I’ll carve your name on my bedpost,’ she snarls – and admitting defeat when her chat-up lines fail with a sigh of ‘I guess I’ll stumble home to my cats – alone,’” he wrote. “And she’s certainly too smart to put all her eggs in one basket…there’s more to Taylor Swift than dropping hints and creating drama.”
Ditto The Independent, where Roisin O’Connor said “one of Swift’s greatest talents as a songwriter is to encapsulate those small moments, often in a new relationship, that you as a listener cannot.”
Chris Willman of Variety noted: "Although you might not guess it from the songs that have been released prior to the album’s launch, Reputation is, in whole, a lot more sensual than it is peeved. Nearly all the tracks are as unapologetically electronic as those first teasers, but they get looser, sultrier, hookier and more about the R&B than EDM influences."
Alex Ungerman of ET described Reputation as Swift's "most satisfying work to date."
He explained: "In past releases, Taylor has seemed to only show us half of her truth, masking some of her feelings with coy metaphors. On this album though, for better or worse, Taylor offers her whole self (or at the very least, a whole self), allowing herself to feel victimized while owning up to, and even reveling in, moments where she plays the villain."
And, Maeve McDermott at USA Today wrote: “Don’t let the album title fool you — Taylor Swift doesn’t give a damn about her bad reputation…Reputation is largely a look at an artist in love, and not the kind of flash-in-the-pan romance or tragic heartbreak that populated her previous releases. For the first time in her career, Swift has written an album about a successful relationship, while she’s still in it, finally sharing the story of the new relationship that she’s so fiercely kept away from the cameras.”