I have listened to reputation more than I’d like to admit. Although, I can admit it’s not the mess I thought it was at first listen; however, I still maintain it is one of her worst albums, especially in regards to melody and songwriting. She occasionally enunciates words weirdly (read: annoyingly), but she also crafted an unpredictable, sometimes brilliant, sometimes dense album under incredibly high stakes. reputation sold 1.216 million in its first week. I only have like three friends to talk with about this album and we have some differing opinions, but now you are here; And here is (the definitive) ranking of reputation tracks, ranging from damn good to I-wish-I-could-unhear-this bad.
I read a rumor that this song was about Ed Sheeran (he has since denied it), but if it were I would burn down anything I could before being arrested. This song is too sexy to be about Ed Sheeran. It’s the most sultry Swift we have seen — so let’s not scare her away by attaching the track to Sheeran. Also, who cares who the song is about, they’re not the one singing so fuck off. Just enjoy the “ah, ah, ahhh.”
Best Lyric: “I don’t want you like a best friend”
2. “Call It What You Want”
This song isn’t catchy but it is, I can’t figure out exactly why I like it, but maybe you can. Leave me a comment.
Best Lyric: “My baby’s fly like a jet stream / High above the whole scene”
Worst Lyric: “I want to wear his initial on a chain around my neck / Not because he owns me but because he really knows me”
3. “…Ready For It”
Ok so the SNL performance of this song was a bit of a dud. But the song itself isn’t. You’re lying to yourself if you think the drops aren’t fun, even if they get reductive. And the half-sung half-rapped verses can initially thwart listeners off (reputation’s twitter nickname “appropriation” isn’t totally unearned.), but the lyric contents are equal parts self-aware and just plain fun to sing along to.
Best Lyric: “Some boys are tryin' too hard, he don't try at all though / Younger than my exes, but he act like such a man, so”
Delicate brings back the Taylor of Speak Now and Red — the seasoned lyricist. The track marries her previous style and her current so seamlessly, the LP would be amiss without it. The production is pulled back, letting Swift’s vocal melodies to take the lead.
Best Lyric: “My reputation’s never been worse so he must like me for me”
5. “King Of My Heart”
This song is a b-side to Melodrama. Please no one light me on fire for saying that. The albums aren’t on the same level and I know that. This song could be the best song on reputation and this list could be wrong. I don’t know, but what I do know is that the opening verse to this track crashes over a listener like a warm wave on the best beach they’ve ever been to.
Best Lyric: “Now you try on callin' me baby, like tryin' on clothes”
Worst Lyric: “With their Range Rovers and their Jaguars” — Why does she say “Jaguar” like that?
6. “I Did Something Bad”
This is the first non-single that told me reputation maybe won’t suck. Obviously, that was correct because this track didn’t even crack the top 5 of this list. Like “…Ready For It,” "I Did Something Bad" capitalizes on synths and drops, but it maintains the energy throughout. Side note: I need to know if “They’re burning all the witches even if you aren’t one” alludes to Swift’s alleged Republicanism.
Best Lyric: “They say I did something bad / But why's it feel so good? / Most fun I ever had / And I'd do it over and over and over again if I could”
7. “Look What You Made Me Do”
I wrote an entire article about why LWYMMD is problematic but damn to this day I still love listening to it. It might be the raw, unapologetic revenge fantasy. Or the Peaches sample. Or the sexy car crash from the track’s music video.
Best lyric: “Honey I rose up from the dead / I do it all the time”
Worst lyric: “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. / Why? Oh, cause she’s dead”
8. “New Year’s Eve”
I love this song so much. It’s nostalgic as fuck but in a good way, which is a hard line to walk and I can’t say anything other than Swift nails it here.
Best Lyric: “Don’t read the last page”
9. “Blame It On Me”
This one is a slow burner, the hook of which will surprisingly be seared into your brain.
Best Lyric: “Don't blame me, love made me crazy / If it doesn't, you ain't doin' it right”
10. “So It Goes…”
Fun fact, this is the actually Halsey’s best-selling song! No, I’m just kidding, but Swift certainly plays into the tumblr-fantasy-girl vibe Halsey has (impressively) built her brand on.
Best Lyric: “You know I'm not a bad girl, but I / Do bad things with you”
11. “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”
This song was bound the end up in the middle of this list. It hosts a couple of the best moments on reputation, but sadly it also has some of the most cringe-worthy and reductive. It opens with a bit of swag: “It was so nice throwing big parties / jump into the pool from the balcony / everyone swimming in a champagne sea / there are no rules when you show up here / bass be rattling the chandelier.” Like damn, now I wanna party with taylor Swift. But then she follows with “feeling so Gatsby for that whole year.” This is why we can’t have nice things.
Best Lyric: “Here’s a toast to all my real friends / They don’t care about that he-said-she-said / And here’s to my baby / He ain’t reading what they call me lately / And here to my mama / Had to listen to all this drama”
Worst Lyric: “And here’s to you / Because forgiveness is a nice thing to do / HAHA I can’t even say it with a straight face”
12. “Getaway Car”
It’s not that this song is bad, it just sounds like a conglomeration of a few songs from 1989 and Red. Just listen to 1989 and Red instead. Also, Jay-Z and Beyonce have a claim over the Bonnie and Clyde metaphor.
Worst Lyric: “I wanted to leave him / I needed a reason” No you don’t — dump him!!!
13. “Dancing with our Hands Tied”
This song is just unrememorable.
Best Lyric: N/A — can’t remember any.
The entire song is as annoying as the little girl who opens it. The beat sounds like something from a N64 game, Swift is at her least tolerable: “I’m talking to everyone here but you” and “I made fun of your laugh” are not compliments, Taylor. You're just being a dick.
Worst lyric: “You’ve ruined my life by not being mine”
15. “End Game”
This song is so bad. The “You and me / we got big reputations” lyric is a little catchy but doesn’t come close to holding up the song. Respect yourself, Future. (You’d think he would learn from Kendrick’s mistakes.) Good on you, Ed Sheeran for trying something new, but stop. More than bad though, the track is just boring. And if it is a single or gets a video, I’m jumping the reputation ship — one that I haven’t fully finished boarding.
Worst Lyric: too many