I’m back and bearing great news. After 1,109 days, Taylor Swift released a new album. reputation. (“1989” was released Oct 27, 2014 and “reputation” was released Nov 10, 2017)
Let me give you a slight backstory.
Those of you who know me personally know that I love Taylor Swift. I have been a #swiftie since her release of “Tim McGraw” back in 2006. I was there when she became T-Swizzle and did a parody collab with T-Pain; thus “Thug Story” was born (I still know every word and refer to her as T-Swizzle on the reg). I have loved every era of Taylor and will continue to do so.
Whenever she would be performing a show in the central NC area, me and my friends would make shirts and wear them to the concerts. Tie-dye, puffy paint, iron on pictures, rips, bleach, puffy paint, glitter, all of it. We did it all. Each shirt was representative of the new era. We “forced” (not really forced because we all know he loved it) my dad to chauffeur us to the concerts with her album blaring through the speakers and we were all so excited.
I will never forget the Raleigh show during the Speak Now World Tour when one of my best friends, Maddie, won pit passes and we got to see her right in front of us. Maddie tweeted to get on the Jumbotron and she thanked me and my family for inviting her to go to the show with all of us. She got a text saying she won passes and then we were all running out to go meet the person to hand us the magical bracelets that would get us closer to Taylor. This was when Taylor would still walk through the crowd from the back of the coliseum and make her way through to the front. She put her hand out as she passed me and I put my hand out and she grabbed onto mine and I cried because Taylor Swift’s hand was in my hand for .5 seconds. It was glorious.
I couldn't find any pictures from the Red Tour so here is me and Maddie at the 1989 Tour. We used so much glitter on our shirts and ourselves, we were basically walking jars of glitter. And thus the saying was born, thanks to Maddie, "I have glitter on my glitter."
From the beginning, I woke up early to go to Target and get Taylor's new album and whatever else extra Target had to offer. Some years it was the "Deluxe Edition" with some extra songs on an extra CD. For "1989," it was polaroids and voice memos. This year, for "reputation," it was two versions of a magazine (an orange hued one and one with her in camo) that came with a poem and pictures and prints of her paintings and a poster and of course the album. (Yeah, sorry for that run on, I got excited).
Honestly, this is my favorite album yet. Yes, I love every album and I say that for all of them, but this one really is amazing. Lyrically, musically; literally in every way, it's so good.
You may wonder, "why the heck does she like Taylor Swift so much?" Okay, let me tell you. When I was younger, I wanted to play guitar. I listened to Hilary Duff, The Dixie Chicks, and N'Sync. At the moment, I was not wide-eyed-excited about playing guitar like I am now. Since Taylor was so young when she began her career, I felt I could relate to her BECAUSE of that. She wrote songs about the boy she liked in class but he had no idea. She wrote about people being mean to her. She wrote about things I totally understand and still do.
One of the things I have learned while being in the music business is that it is just that; a business. And Taylor Swift is a great business woman. Every move she has made in her career has been a good one that has only allowed her to continue to do what she loves. She stands up for musicians, like when she wrote that open letter to Apple when Apple Music first came out. She took her music off of Spotify for a while because, literally, Spotify streams barely pay the artists anything at all. Most of all, she finds ways to connect to her fans. If you look, she actually talks to her fans, invites them to her house for Secret Sessions to listen to her album before anybody else, and interacts with them on social media. Many of her fans have actually grown up with Taylor Swift meaning that we were all going through the same stage of life around the same time she was. The only difference is that she is in the spotlight and many of her fans are not.
Each album reminds me of a certain time in my life and the people I hung out with during that time. Like, for example, "Red" was my senior year of high school and that's when I played the cymbals in marching band (yes, I was in marching band for a semester and I don't regret it). I made awesome friends that semester. "1989" was my sophomore year in college and I was going to graduate with my Associate's Degree a few months after the album was released. That was when I hung out with my two best friends from Florida before they moved again and they always asked me to bring my guitar to play music for them.
To conclude this rant, "reputation" is amazing and I love making memories to a new album. I'll be able to look back on where I'm at and feel exactly how I'm feeling in this moment.
So, thank you, Taylor Swift, for inspiring me at such a young age to pursue music and also thank you for putting out amazing, relatable albums. Thank you for allowing me to make memories with all of my friends at your shows. You will forever be my favorite artist.