Back in November 2017, Billboard celebrated Taylor Swift's singular pop catalog in the days leading up to the release of her sixth LP, "reputation", by asking five writers to argue for one of her five studio albums as her best. Now, before the release of her seventh album "Lover", Billboard's Joe Lynch takes on "repuation" itself, and how the album was misunderstood upon release but has since revealed itself to be her
most mature, accomplished work to date.
You don't really expect a Taylor Swift album to open with a fuzzy, fat bass line that nearly rumbles the teeth out of the back of your mouth. Which is why when her sixth album
"reputation" opened with the maximalist industrial pop of "…Ready For It?," casual listeners were confused, Swifties were challenged, and haters were given a bounty of fresh ammo.
And that was exactly what she wanted.
When "reputation" arrived in 2017, the media was neck-deep in an exhausting thinkpiece war about what Taylor Swift meant to pop culture -- and Twitter was aflame debating whether she was a saint
or a snake. Realizing she could no longer choose to be excluded from these narratives, Swift did the next best thing: She owned them. Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose, and by
the time Reputation arrived, Swift was ready for real risks.