Before you stop reading this post thinking I will be hating on Taylor Swift, bear in mind that this post was written by a Swiftie – you could also say a more ‘objective’ Swiftie. And as expected, this woman did not disappoint me with her album. On the contrary, she surprised me, shocked me, made me cry and laugh and made me admire her for her courage to be so explicit and direct in her lyrics.
To get to the actual reason for writing this though: To be honest, I don’t really care much about what Taylor’s reputation is like. Yes, I’ve heard of her Kim, Kanye and Katy Perry feuds as well as her past relationships. When the song “Look What You Made Me Do” came out, I was shocked. I didn’t like it much. I have been a big fan of Taylor Swift ever since her very first album, but this song made me view her so much more differently than I used to. There was always the aspect of her sometimes acting like a ‘diva’ which I never liked, but I have never felt so negatively about a song and her until I heard that one song. All I could think was, why can’t she just let it go? Why does there have to be so much drama? A whole album concept, the instagram move.. everything was revolving around these celebrity feuds from the past two years. I was shocked by her music video as well. I had so many reasons to not listen to her upcoming album and support her as much anymore.
- I can understand that she’s mad at all the celebrities betraying her and I do feel her but what I don’t like is that she made all of this so much bigger than it had to be, making this the reason for changing her image, changing her instagram profile, her album concept – all of this just for show.
- After listening to it a few more times, “Look What You Made Me Do” did grow on me after all, especially the video, I have to admit is simply genius. However, as edgy and feisty as it is: no Taylor, no one made you do anything – you decided to change everything yourself. You could have ignored it and kept on doing your thing.
- Spotify. I was mad when she removed her catalogue from Spotify. Luckily, she put it up there again – but it didn’t change my attitude towards all of this. However, after reading her letter to Apple, I almost fell for it. In this letter she was claiming that being against streaming services was not about her but in solidarity with all the other, young artists, who lose out on their money by not being paid by Apple for three months during the free-trial-period for its customers. Granted, it worked and Apple started paying artists during that period as well. And I almost fell for it and thought maybe, just maybe, she meant it and it wasn’t just about her.
- Then, a few weeks ago, I heard of something called the “Taylor Swift Tix” and I knew I shouldn’t have fallen for that letter in the first place. This thing that she introduced only supported and even strengthened my opinion about her acting like a spoiled brat, to put it bluntly. In case you don’t know what this concept she introduced is, I’ll explain. It’s a fan site powered by Ticketmaster. You sign up there until November 28 and it will give you “the best access to tickets” for her upcoming concerts. If you’re a hardcore Swiftie and you decide you want to boost your chances even more, you will have to buy merchandise, the album, take photos of Reputation ads on the street, watch her music videos and/or pre-order her album. The more you buy, the better your chances are. All of this would kind of also ensure that fans with more money have a bigger chance of getting tickets than fans who cannot afford merchandise, for example.
- And to top it all: The album got released – but not on Spotify or any other streaming services, for that matter! I don’t use iTunes, and I don’t use my CD-player anymore. I do use Amazon and Spotify, but even there it is not available to stream. So, what does that imply? Was the letter to Apple really about all the other young, aspiring artists, or maybe just her after all? I do get it. Art should not be free, she works hard. Just like any other job in this world, she should get money for her work as well. However, I as a fan feel betrayed because I do not listen to music illegally and I actually pay for Spotify. So technically, I would be paying for listening to her album anyway. I know that I would have to listen to her songs 180 times in order to reach the price of the actual album, but honestly, doesn’t she have enough fans out there for this to be lucrative enough anyway? If the whole argument with streaming services wasn’t about her and just on behalf of all the aspiring artists who rely on profit especially at the beginning of their career, she could have simply released it on Spotify as well. By delaying the streaming she is trying to extract as much money from sales on the market as possible.
My curiosity got the better of me and I went on youtube and found a solution to my problem: watch Reputation reaction videos and listen to her songs that way. And my God, just one listen to this and all my anger faded away into nothing. I was not ‘ready for it’ at all. I still think the drama and excessive advertisement for her album wasn’t necessary and kinda annoying because simply letting her songs speak for themselves and listening to her ‘dissing’ everyone who has betrayed her in some sort of way would have definitely been as effective! You listen to some of the songs and all you can think is “Yes, girl! Show ’em!” even though a few months ago you had basically no interest in any of those feuds. More importantly, though, the album is not dominated by her feuds but, as always, in an old-Taylor-like way, by romance, love and in my opinion, a newly added trait: confidence. Although I can’t listen to the album yet (I will not support her way of marketing and will, therefore, wait for it to be released on Spotify), I am in love already. I can’t be angry anymore because this album is a masterpiece. Her songwriting, as always, is the best part about all of it. At least this is something she has never lost: her talent with words. Thank God that she is still writing all of her songs herself. So many of her lyrics that she comes up with are ingenious, brilliant and simply iconic.
I don’t really know if this post had any point to it, but I suppose it reflects the feelings I have about it all. Anger, love and obsession over something that is edgy, feisty, genius, romantic and dreamy at the same time: ‘reputation’.