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While succumbing to the pop genre typically means a lyrical sacrifice to generate an infectious hit, Taylor maintains the Nashville song-writing roots on “reputation” that made her a star in the first place.
Each track is a chapter in her story. Together, the 15 songs reveal how the most famous woman in the world quietly rebuilt her reputation and settled into her most serious relationship ever – all without the world knowing.
Thematically, “reputation” is a far cry from the celebration of self-discovery on “1989” or “Red's” tale of life after heartbreak. Yet Taylor manages to make the trappings of fame on “reputation” just as relatable as her previous efforts by narrowing in on her personal details and emotional responses. While teenage girls may not relate to celebrity feuds or public breakups, the feelings of betrayal and heartache are universal.
Taylor's musical evolution from Nashville's girl-next-door to global pop monolith has proven to be completely unprecedented. After all, who could have expected the girl “on the bleachers” in 2008's “You Belong With Me” to be dancing on the grave of her “reputation” nearly a decade later?