Swift is that friend who will turn you not getting her a drink when you go to the bar into a friendship-ending cataclysm, and while that’s stretched patience among tabloid readers, it’s exactly what makes for a great pop album.
Reputation isn’t the self- and scandal-obsessed record Look What You Made Me Do suggested, but it is reflective. Rather than double down on the conceitedness that made much of 1989 so delicious, Swift is more pensive here. The room she’s given herself makes for some of her sharpest lyricism yet (“I bury hatchets but I keep maps of where I put ’em”) and Yeezus comparisons aside, it also sports the most adventurous production she’s yet played with. Everyone ought to hear it – especially the haters.
Reputation is out now via Universal.