Were we ready for this track list?
On Tuesday, Taylor Swift released the complete list of 15 songs off her upcoming album Reputation. While four of the songs have already come out — lead single “Look What You Made Me Do,” rally-anthem “…Ready For It?”, cheeky love bop “Gorgeous” and final advance offering “Call It What You Want” — the rest of the song titles shed a little more light on just what to expect, come Friday.]
The biggest item of note is her one track with featured artists: “End Game” includes her friend Ed Sheeran and rapper Future, an unexpected collaboration across genres. Below, find the full list, with our conjecture and commentary.
1. “…Ready For It?”: This makes sense as an album opener. And we’re here. We’ve accepted the new Taylor. We’re ready. Go on, Swift.
2. “End Game (featuring Ed Sheeran and Future)”: While Sheeran and Swift have a long history together — and both share a radio-friendly pop style with acoustic roots, making them a natural match for collaboration — the addition of Future on this track adds a serious twist. Swift has worked with rappers before, namely Kendrick Lamar on her hit “Bad Blood” off 1989. Sheeran has proved himself quite capable of spitting bars. And Swift’s singing on songs like “Look What You Made Me Do” veer in the rap direction. So maybe it’s not such a far reach.
3. “I Did Something Bad”: Could Swift be referencing some headlines about her feuds? Or will this song explore something else entirely?
4. “Don’t Blame Me”: Never mind. Swift does not seem to be in the mood to get saddled with drama, as this phrase suggests. She is not part of this narrative. Or any other narrative, perhaps, assuming we take the title at face value.
5. “Delicate”: This song could go in a number of ways. Relationships, for instance, are delicate; they don’t always stand the test of time. Swift’s love life is under the harsh light of the paparazzi’s flashing cameras. Swift herself, despite her fame and power, is still a real-life human who can feel pain; she even won her case against a DJ for allegedly assaulting her.
6. “Look What You Made Me Do”: In brief: “Look What You Made Me Do” is a catchy clapback to Swift’s detractors over the course of her year, announcing her return and a new era forthcoming. But here, a lengthier dive into the many references.
7. “So It Goes…”: Hard to say if this is a riff on Billy Joel’s timeless “And So It Goes” lullaby tune, but the title at least suggests that this track will show Swift resigning herself to the path she’s on. (She’s also got a thing for the ellipsis in this new era.)
8. “Gorgeous”: The internet has spoken, and it’s pretty confident Swift mined her relationship with actor Joe Alwyn “Gorgeous” for inspiration.
9. “Getaway Car”: Swift loves an adventure. (“Out of the Woods,” “Bad Blood,” “Style”). Here, she is probably going to return to her roots in narrative-based storytelling and go into the story of a great escape — perhaps from paparazzi. Alternately, the titular “getaway car” could be a metaphor for a person or experience that helps take her out of whatever situation she found herself in.
10. “King of My Heart”: Self-explanatory.
11. “Dancing With Our Hands Tied”: Love is tricky. Timing is everything.
12. “Dress”: Many of Swift’s closest friends are denizens of the fashion world, like models Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid, Lily Aldridge and Martha Hunt. Maybe this tune discusses her relationship to fashion, or with these women. Or maybe not.
13. “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”: By snagging one of the popular internet phrases of the year for a song title, Swift cheekily retains relevance in the pop culture pantheon. But why can’t we have nice things, Taylor? For answers, we’ll have to hear the full song.
14. “Call It What You Want”: In which Swift obliquely references her year in the tabloids and her new relationship.
15. “New Year’s Day”: Fresh starts. New resolutions. The old Taylor is dead; the new one is here for 2018. No matter what this song is actually about, you can bet it will get a lot of airplay on Jan. 1.