After months of anticipation, Taylor Swift has released her sixth album “Reputation.” It dropped on Friday, November 10, and critics are chiming in about her latest effort. And it’s mostly good news. The new album, comprising 15 tracks totally nearly an hour of new music, has a strong MetaCritic score of 75 as of this writing, which is on par with the consistency of her previous work. Her highest MetaCritic score was 77 for both “Speak Now” and “Red,” and her lowest was 73 for “Fearless,” which still happened to win her a Grammy for Album of the Year.
The strong reviews might be somewhat surprising given how divisive her lead single was. “Look What You Made Me Do” introduced this new collection with a vengeance back in August, seeming to add fuel to the fire of her feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. And there is more anger on “Reputation,” which goes “into deeper, darker, more introspective places.” Her collaborations with co-writers and producers Jack Antonoff, Max Martin, and Shellback “illuminate her songs of betrayal, heartbreak and disappointment.”
But the “burn-it-down renegade” version of Taylor doesn’t shine as much as “when she’s true to her creative DNA … the pure pop destiny she still can’t help manifesting.” Her “bravest” moment is the “intimate piano ballad” that closes the album, “New Year’s Day.” The album contains other “bright spots celebrating new love.” She’s praised for her ability to “encapsulate those small moments, often in a new relationship, that you as a listener cannot.”
Have you listened to “Reputation” yet? What do you think of her latest change in creative direction? Check out some of her reviews below and join the discussion on this and more with your fellow music fans in our forums.
Leah Greenblatt (Entertainment Weekly): “On any past album, a song like [‘New Year’s Day’] or the blissfully smitten ‘Gorgeous’ might even feel like throwaways, sweet sketches to fill the spaces between monster singles. But they’re a reminder of how easily Swift shines when she’s true to her creative DNA — not the burn-it-down renegade she wants to be but the pure pop destiny she still can’t help manifesting, with or without a crown.”
Roisin O’Connor (The Independent): “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 … Perhaps the bravest move on the whole record is to close on the intimate piano ballad “New Year’s Day”; Swift’s low murmur over a gentle rhythm you’d more often hear on an album by Rufus Wainwright.”
Rob Sheffield (Rolling Stone): “From the sounds of her excellent sixth album, Swift spent that time going into deeper, darker, more introspective places. ‘Reputation’ is her most intimate album – 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.”
Randy Lewis (Los Angeles Times): “I’ll venture to call it her most focused, most cohesive album yet. In large part that reflects her dramatic narrowing of collaborators compared with her previous two outings … They conjure a sense of foreboding to illuminate her songs of betrayal, heartbreak and disappointment. There also are plenty of bright spots celebrating new love and new maturity in her outlook.”
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