Everyone’s favorite feature is back! Not just every album gets The Salty Ju review, but if you’re Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift, expect me to break it down track by track. As you’ve all had time to listen to Tay’s latest in full and form your own opinions, now it’s time to read mine! Also indirectly happy anniversary to me, as Taylor’s last album drop was the first blog I ever wrote, when I realized that I had a true calling for over-analyzing pop culture and making everyone read it. HAPPY TIMES ALL AROUND!
*’ed tracks are my bangers.
1. …Ready For It? Her second single off the album that I confused for a football promo song still bangs so hard. The video sucks, to be clear because I’m not really into robot stuff but I can appreciate Taylor coming into her own and singing all about sex stuff. There was some backlash at first that she’s trying to rap but I dig it. Gr8 pump up song all around. Bonus points for her sexy choreography while performing this live on SNL. She’s really doubling down on the “no longer a virg” image.
Best Lyric: Touch me, and you’ll never be alone
2. End Game (ft Ed Sheeran & Future)*. I was all set and ready to hate this song because Future is one of those new age rappers that basically just sounds like he’s got a dick in his mouth 24/7. There’s no enunciation and essentially it just sounds like a dying cat mouthing noises but I was pleasantly surprised because this is one of my favorites. Future is fine, Ed does what he does best (everything) and Taylor pulls a little hip hop flavor out of her ass getting me all sorts of riled up with her cocky shouting of BIG REPUTATION OHHHHH over and over again. I’m not saying I’m going to be going around screaming BIG REPUTATION all day erreday, but I’m not not saying it either. Ya know?
Best Lyric: I swear I don’t love the drama, it loves me. (Life motto, pretty much.)
3. I Did Something Bad*. This is right about the time that I realized Reputation Taylor = Thug Taylor and I’m all hands on deck for it. The gunshots, the ‘tude, it all comes together perfectly for bad grl vibez. Oh everyone’s gonna talk about how she plays the victim? Well joke’s on you cause Tay knows exactly what she’s doing and it feels SUH GUD. Don’t you even think about spending her change, bro. KEEP WALKING. Or she’ll drop you like a MF’er!
Best Lyric: If a man talks shit, then I owe him nothing / I don’t regret it one bit, ’cause he had it coming. BOOM. ROASTEDDDDDDD.
4. Don’t Blame Me. WHOA whaddup church, Tay. This is interesting. Not an immediate fave but I don’t hate it either. If I were to attend Sunday Mass, I would like this to be included…maybe during communion? The Body of Christ & “Lord save me, my drug is my baby.” Makes sense. Alright fine, now that I’ve typed that out it DOES seem a little dark. But like, if love doesn’t make you crazy then you’re not doing it right? RIGHT GUYS, RIGHT?! (this is how I imagine Taylor presenting this one to her BFF’s, with a table full of disapproving looks.)
Best Lyric: My name is whatever you decide / And I’m just gonna call you mine. RRrrrRrred Flag.
5. Delicate. If we’re going to speculate about who every single song is about (all of America) then this one is clearly about her current flame Joe. If I were Joe and I were listening to this song I’d be like woooo you were a bit crazy when we met. I don’t think there should ever be a circumstance where guys know what is going through a girl’s mind when you’re on your first few dates. I mean she’s literally like hey is it cool if I say that you can’t see any other girls and I’m obsessed with you? Is that kewl? You can tell she’s trying to be calm here by calling it delicate but like just can’t quite reign in the visions of forever after grabbing drinks with him & probably having an adult sleepover one night.
Best Lyric: My reputation’s never been worse, so / You must like me for me…
6. Look What You Made Me Do. Original reaction: Oh ok, we’re doing theater music with those fairy dust opening piano bars without words. Aaaand just kidding now I’m terrified. YIKES this is creepy. And THEN to top it all off, we get talking Tay, as she tends to do to amp up the drama:
“I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now.”
“Oh ’cause she’s dead!”
So yeah. First listen was a rollercoaster of emotions (most of them hate). But you know what? It’s just Tay being Tay. And I’m here for it. Obviously Taylor Swift is dramatic AF and acts like a G-D thirteen year old, which really caters to her preteen fans but like if you expected anything less at this point then you’re wrong. She’s going to capitalize on every feud/breakup, act like the victim, then write a sassy tell all song about it and that’s a fact, Jack. Get on board or get off of this planet. H8ers will be bumping this by next week. Today’s Take: I still agree with everything I said. Chorus isn’t great but the rest of this song is awesome sauce & the video was GOAT…made me love it a BILLION times more.
Best Lyric: OBVIOUSLY ‘Oh, cause she’s dead!’ And it isn’t even a question.
7. So It Goes…* Another sexy jam, which has become quite the trend for late twenties T. She’s really embracing her sultry side and I respect the hell out of it. I could see her writing this right around the time she was creating promo sex songs for the 50 Shades franchise with Zayn. Except instead of whips and handcuffs, she’s just into wearing her man like a necklace and maybe some light back scratching.
Best Lyric: You know I’m not a bad girl, but I / Do bad things with you (Told you I was ALL IN on old, innocent Taylor being dead.)
8. Gorgeous. Original reaction: Alright, I’m out. I mean it was bound to happen. If you’re going to release three songs from your probably only 13 track album (just release the whole damn thing already) I knew there was a chance I was going to hate one of them and here we are. Going from singing about sex in Ready For It.. to you’re too gorgeous for me and I’ll just get drunk and go home to my cats. Really Tay?! Grow up. This is 100% a song for her preteen superfans and I’m just far too mature for it, honestly. Everyone’s saying it’s about her new boyfriend Joe Alwyn who is not the type of gorgeous that you write a song about his face. (“Cause you’re so gorgeous it actually hurts”) Scott Eastwood? Sure. This guy:
Not so much.
PS GTFO of here with adding children into a song. This isn’t Kidz Bop. Today’s take: the kidz bop intro was actually recorded by none other than Blake Lively & Ryan Reynolds’ curly-headed nugget James. I still hate it. But like damn it that’s pretty awesome. Famous people doin famous people stuff.
Best Lyric: Ocean blue eyes looking in mine / I feel like I might sink and drown and die. So dramats.
9. Getaway Car. This one has Swifties all up in arms because everyone needs to know exactly what her dating timeline is between Calvin, Tom and Joe. They did some creepy amounts of digging and came to the conclusion that everything went down at the Met Gala when Taylor had that HIDEOUS bleach blonde bob. How a girl dies her hair that aggressively and has 3 men fawning over her at a costume ball is the real puzzle here. I’d like a song about that scenario instead. ALLEGEDLY, at the Met Gala, Taylor was fighting with Calvin and things weren’t going superb, then she danced the night away with Tom and also was gazing all up in Joe’s baby blues or something. Who knows. All I know is that this is classic catchy pop. One of the few songs that gives me real 1989 vibes.
Best Lyric: But you weren’t thinkin’ / And I was just drinkin’. Get it grrrlll.
10. King of my Heart. Again, very obviously an ode to her British as shit boyfriend. This song kind of annoys me to be honest. First of all, we’re getting a REAL overload of this Joe character. It’s great that you’re happy, girl. But after staying completely out of the spotlight with this one–probably giving it a real shot, it seems like a counter-productive move to then write all of your personal thoughts and feels about him into a full album of songs. Second of all, how she pronounces Jaguars makes me want to bang my head against a wall repeatedly. It doesn’t sound cool, it sounds stupid. This will most likely be a skip from me, dawg. THIRD OF ALL, too much auto-tune.
Best Lyric: With all these nights we’re spending / Up on the roof with a school girl crush / Drinking beer out of plastic cups. Stars & Brits, they’re just like us! Drinking out of red solo cups.
11. Dancing with Our Hands Tied. This is fun, if it’s fun to basically say you’re in a relationship that’s for sure going to fail. Kind of depressing when you think about it. Hey baby, let’s keep dancing but also this will go down in flames if we stop. Yiiiiikes.
Best Lyric: I’m a mess, but I’m the mess that you wanted
12. Dress. Another scandal in the eve and a crowd favorite for a lot of her fans but I’m just lukewarm to this one. It definitely has some breathy (somewhat orgasmic) Wildest Dreams callbacks. If I’m going to pick a sex song fave from this album, I’m going So It Goes… all the way, every day. This one’s nice and all but I guess it just do it for me like it does for Taylor judging by those sound effects she’s huffing throughout the song. Ever think about how awkward that must be to record with probably a handful of old audio techs breaking down every little sound?
Best Lyric: Flashback when you met me / Your buzzcut and my hair bleached / Even in my worst times, you could see the best of me. (If her and Joe could make it through two atrocious hairstyles, they can make it through anything.)
13. This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things*. Should she probably let the Kanye feud go already? Yeah. BUT WHO CARES IF SHE KEEPS WRITING BANGERS ABOUT IT. I mean this is genius. Literally spanking Kim and Kanye through lyrics and creating an anthem at the same damn time. That’s how it’s done. Where has Kanye even been lately? Definitely not living like Gatsby. How cocky is it to compare yourself to Gatsby and have everyone be like well yeah, makes sense. I mean have you seen pics from her casual 4th of July bangers at her Rhode Island mansion? WHAT a boss. Suck a D, K & K. Extra props for the entire bridge riffing off of Kanye’s “Runaway” song. That’s true dissing in art form.
Best Lyric: The cackle. Can we count the cackle as a lyric because it is downright hilarious. Other than that… But I’m not the only friend you’ve lost lately / If only you weren’t so shady. HAHAHAHAHA JAY-Z HATES YOU GUYS TOO!
14. Call It What You Want. Original reaction: I’m down with this little love song. Cause in case you didn’t hear, Taylor’s in love. And she doesn’t need to flaunt it around. Unless she’s writing a song about it. Or like, doing very public dates with Tom Hiddleston (which I still think was all bullshit but that’s neither here nor there.) Anyway, she’s real up front about being chill as hell now: “All the liars are calling me one, Nobody’s heard from me for months, I’m doing better than I ever was, ’cause” CAUSE SHE’S IN LOOOOOOOOVE. Today’s Take: The more that I listen to this song, the more I like it. It’s just a simple love song, no frills. The ONLY bone I have to pick with it is comparing her boyfriend to a brother. Trust is important but dropping a bro comparison into the mix is a little odd for romance. It’s like comparing your sig other to your dad or something. Too far.
Best Lyric: I want to wear his initial on a chain round my neck / Chain round my neck / Not because he owns me / But ’cause he really knows me (Modern day romance…this will 100% be a new trend.)
15. New Year’s Day*. This song gives me all of the chills. And I love that it’s the last song because it should stick with listeners the most after all the womp womps and badass sassy Tay fades. It’s true T. Swift and dare I say it, the most like All Too Well–not that anything will ever compare. Nothing but a little piano playing and some lovely words about a relationship that lasts through the party. Sigh. So sweet. It’s almost like Taylor knows how to warm this icy cold heart of mine and end the album in tears.
Best Lyric: Hold onto the memories and they will hold onto you.
Overall Opinion: Even though her sound is much different and more pop & hip hop influenced, the core of Taylor, which is her boss songwriting skills. She could be rapping right at my face but if her lyrics are still top dog, then I’m down. She’s maturing her storytelling (except for Gorgeous) and I support it wholeheartedly.