Taylor Swift’s sixth studio album Reputation will drop on November 10. The months and weeks leading up to Swift’s releases have become occasions to debate the meaning of cryptic lyrics, vague Instagram posts, and the sides of UPS trucks. Here’s everything we know about this fall’s most picked-apart album.
“End Game,” featuring the “James Taylor” to Taylor’s “Carole King” and the leading Atlanta rapper, is the second track on the album. Recently released single “…Ready For It?” will be the first, and “Look What You Made Me Do” will be the sixth.
The album cover alludes to news coverage about her
The black and white album cover uses fonts from The New York Times and The New York Post to reference news coverage about the singer.
Reputation will amplify the synthy, beat-driven sound Swift explored on 1989.
The animatronic keyboard pulse of “Gorgeous,” the aggressive dubstep blare of “…Ready For It,” and the goth-glam whirlwind of “Look What You Made Me Do” all seem to confirm that Swift is indeed going big. Jack Antonoff, who worked on 1989‘s “Out of the Woods,” is back, as is Max Martin, who produced pop hits like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “Shake It Off.”
Yes, you can expect lyrics about her relationships and various celebrity feuds.
“Look What You Made Me Do” was a barely-concealed response to Kanye West, with one obvious lyrical reference to the tilted stage that West floated on during his Saint Pablo tour. The song’s video was far less subtle, with a pastiche of memorable moments in the Kanye-Tay war, including the endlessly-memed VMAs trophy grab.
Reputation will also undoubtedly reveal details about Tay’s recent romantic entanglements. “Gorgeous,” for example, centers around a lovely-accented, blue-eyed boy…could it be Tom Hiddleston? Joe Alwyn? Calvin Harris? All are British (ok, Harris is Scottish) and have cerulean-hued irises. “…Ready For It” strikes a more confrontational tone, with a litany of references to robbers, jailers, vendettas, and bad-romances past— like Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, the king and queen of relationship dysfunction.
Taylor Swift wants you to know she is an adult woman who drinks and takes home men from the club
Swift has written more explicitly about sex as the years have gone on, notably in 1989’s sweeping ballad “Wildest Dreams” and the winking turns of phrase on “Style.” “…Ready For It” picks up where those two tracks left off, with Swift teasing, “I-I-I see how this is gon’ go / Touch me and you’ll never be alone / I-Island breeze and lights down low / No one has to know / In the middle of the night, in my dreams / You should see the things we do, baby.”
“Gorgeous” is a bit more direct, but still vague enough to maintain innocence. We learn that Tay prefers “whiskey on ice” and after some light hand-touching and drowning in the deep blue sea of club-boy’s eyes, is down for a one-night tryst: “Guess I’ll just stumble on home to my cats / Alone, unless you wanna come along, oh!”
She filmed a video in London for an unknown song
Earlier this month, Swift shot a video in London. She was seen filming at the Millennium Bridge and with other requisite London tourist photo-ops, like a double-decker bus and a black cab.
You can score two Taylor Swift magazines to complement your album listening
Target, one of Swift’s longtime corporate sponsors, is selling an exclusive album package that includes two 72-page magazines filled with Swift’s poetry, watercolors, and photography. If her past extra-album material is any indication, there will be countless clues for Swifties to dissect. “There will be no further explanation. There will just be reputation,” we are told.
There are snakes
The array of snake-GIFs that accompanied “Look What You Made Me Do”‘s primetime release were likely a nod to Kim Kardashian-West’s famous Snapchat call out after Swift denied signingoff on Kanye’s controversial lyric, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex/ I made that bitch famous.” Swift has also used snakes as promotional items for Reputation, handing out serpent keychains at a private album listening session on October 13 in London.
Swift has been communicating with fans via Instagram comments
Swift (via her verified Instagram account) has been quietly commenting on fan’s posts. She also commented on livestreams with cutesy emojis. Perhaps these direct-to-devotee interactions are meant to replace the traditional press ramp-up before an album release—Swift has not given a single interview about Reputation.
In the same vein, Swift has launched an AT&T app and plastered UPS trucks with the Reputation cover.
Swift and AT&T launched an app that lets fans watch Swift do any number of totally normal, non-staged things, like fighting Andy Samberg, eating cookie dough, and chasing her cat, Meredith. You’ve likely seen the fleet of UPS trucks branded with Tay’s album cover, but if not, look for them on suburban streets near you.
It’s not official, but a massive world tour is inevitable
Last week, Swift announced two live performances on radio stations in San Jose and Chicago. She also launched a collaboration with Ticketmaster to make a direct-to-fans ticket website. If you use iTunes to pre-order Reputation, you’ll receive a special code for presale tickets.
Reputation drops on November 10 from Big Machine Records. Click here to read SPIN’s breakdown of who each of Swift’s songs are about.