When "Look What You Made Me Do" was out, I was really excited for Reputation. Then "...Ready For It?" was announced as second single and my expectations died a bit. "Gorgeous" was fun but unspectacular, "Call It What You Want" was great but again, nothing heartbeat-accelerating.
I pre-ordered the album on iTunes so when it arrived I was very excited to see Ed Sheeran and Future. I put it on during a quiet interstate bus ride in the evening.
I thought it sounded like good parts of Britney Spears, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Banks, Drake and Cheryl Cole albums combined. I don't know if Taylor is a fan of these artists but I read something about the album being Taylor's renegotiation with her audience on contemporary pop's terms and that's exactly how Reputation sounds. It's not very innovative musically but it is contextual, sleek, dark and has standout songwriting.
Now that the album is out I am obsessed with "...Ready For It?". Reputation is not in any way ahead of the game ("Look What You Made Me Do" and "...Ready For It?" promised so much more) but its a brilliantly made record. The singles may not be as mad as 1989's but overall its a much tighter album and there's clear music direction.
"Delicate" and "Dress" are great! Thought "Getaway Car" was poor at first but have grown to really enjoy it. The album is so busy that great songs like these don't stand out musically on early listens.
Not a fan of "Don't Blame Me", it's very weak for Taylor's level. Wish it got passed to Gin Wigmore, Lady Gaga or that girl with the horrid "exes and ohs" song, wish it came later in the album. "King of My Heart" and "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" are listenable if I don't pay attention to the lyrics but they're not particularly great either.