It’s November, which means Taylor Swift season is finally in full swing. Are you ready for it?
The now-enigmatic pop star’s sixth album, Reputation, slithers its way into the world on November 10, more than three years after 1989. It’s her longest gap between albums, and the world is wondering: What has she been up to all this time, besides cunningly dodging paparazzi and not doing interviews? It’s hard to tell — Reputation is one of the winter’s most fiercely guarded secrets… and therefore one of the most hotly anticipated ones.
Ahead of its release, here’s everything we know about Reputation so far, from the music to the tour to the potential features.
Taylor re-teamed with some of her most trusted collaborators.
The 15-track album’s lead single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” arrived on August 24, introducing us to a vengeful, new-and-improved Taylor. Its moody, electro-pop bite is courtesy of Jack Antonoff, who produced three tracks on 1989, as well as last year’s Zayn/Taylor collab, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.” Reputation’s other two singles, “…Ready For It?” and “Gorgeous,” were produced by Max Martin and Shellback, the hit-making team behind, well, a ton of pop smashes, including Taylor’s own “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space,” and “22.”
But you can count on her to switch up her sound.
Working with the same people doesn’t mean Taylor’s not pushing herself sonically. In fact, she’s never made the same album twice, and judging by Reputation’s first three singles, she’s digging deeper and going darker this time around.
She has a clean slate and a new look.
Just before releasing “Look What You Made Me Do,” Taylor deleted her entire Twitter and Instagram histories, even removing her avatar on both platforms. When she finally resurfaced, it was to debut the black-and-white Reputation artwork, which shows her staring at the camera through newspaper headlines spelling her name. Her lips are painted black, her hair’s slicked back, and she’s wearing a sweatshirt that eagle-eyed fans noticed has a tear with five peaks: one for each of her albums thus far. In subsequent posts, Taylor’s looked a little grungier and much less sparkly than her pristine 1989 era. R.I.P. Old Taylor.
She has a new relationship (and two old ones) to talk about.
Since 1989, Taylor’s dated three men: Calvin Harris, Tom Hiddleston, and Joe Alwyn, her current flame. Just because she now seems to be in a happy relationship, does that mean she’ll keep her silence about the first two? Don’t count on it — silence isn’t her style, and the tea about those two exes is still ripe for sipping.
Reputation comes with two special-edition magazines.
Swifties, it’s time to switch your allegiance from Walmart to Target if you haven’t already. That’s because Target will release exclusive editions of Reputation with two 72-page magazines (Volume 1 and Volume 2). According to the retail giant’s website, “you will find a variety of art created and curated by Taylor herself including her music, her paintings, her handwritten lyrics and more.”
It could possibly, potentially, feature Drake. Or Ed Sheeran.
Taylor and Drake are both Apple Music artists, and they lip-synced each other’s music in self-deprecating commercials last year. A collaboration seems possible, and after the two partied together last winter, Page Six reported that they also hit the studio together: something British tabloids insist is part of Tay’s plan to deliver “a real mix of edgier hip-hop and R&B sounds.” Intriguing.
Elsewhere on the rumor front, Ed Sheeran told E! News that he and Taylor were “definitely” going to release another collaboration at some point. Taylor added fuel to the fire when Chinese characters spelling “Eddie” appeared in her recent “…Ready For It?” music video.
She’s previewed the album at intimate “Secret Sessions.”https://twitter.com/UgSoHeCallsMeUp/status/919597721106907136/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mtv.com%2Fnews%2F3045072%2Ftaylor-swift-reputation-guide%2F
In keeping with tradition, Taylor’s hosted “Secret Sessions” in select cities around the world, beginning in London on October 13. Several fans, hand-picked by Taylor and her Taylor Nation team, were on hand to hear the album in full and take cute photos with Tay, who swore them to secrecy. Even so, those lucky fans have been able to give vague (but still welcome!) hints at what’s to come — according to one guest, Reputation is “sexy, shady, a nighttime album, more emotionally complex than 1989, and better than Red.”
Her music videos are still top-notch.
So far, we’ve seen two Reputation visuals, both helmed by Swift’s go-to director Joseph Kahn. The first, “Look What You Made Me Do,” premiered during the VMAs on August 27 and is packed with nods to Swift’s old personas. As polarizing as that song may have been, the video proves people are still in awe of Taylor: it quickly shattered Vevo records. The second, “…Ready For It?,” is a CGI-heavy, cyberpunk-themed visual feast starring two competing Taylors. Both videos have spawned a ton of illuminating fan theories about Swift reclaiming and deconstructing her, well, reputation.
Long-awaited live performances are imminent.
Taylor’s first live performance of the Reputation era (that we know of, at least) will be just one day after the album arrives — she’s slated to perform on Saturday Night Live on November 11. After that, she’s lined up for a handful of performances as part of larger holiday events, including iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball in Los Angeles on December 1, 99.7 Now!’s Poptopia in San Jose on December 2, and the B96 Jingle Bash in Chicago on December 7.
She’s really leaning into the snake imagery.
From the red snake slithering across the “LWYMMD” lyric video, to the coiled snake that curled across her revamped Instagram page, Taylor’s clearly embracing her unflattering nickname (which stemmed from a certain Snapchat incident). Snakes have been used throughout the promotional campaign for Reputation, and Taylor’s leaned into the symbolism even more by wearing snake-printed Gucci boots and selling $60 snake rings on her official online store.
She’s coming for you on a Reputation tour.
No dates have been announced yet, but it’s only a matter of time. A hub titled Taylor Swift Tix, which is partnered with Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program, popped up back in August. There, fans looking to purchase concert tickets can “boost their place in line” via “boost activities” that verify their status as true Swifties, not ticket resellers. Even so, expect there to be a mad rush for seats once that official tour announcement arrives. Seeing the “New Taylor” up close and personal is the hottest ticket you can get.