I Have a “Reputation” of Feeling “Bound 2” Kanye, So I Listened to Taylor Swift’s Music


Isabella Dudley-Flores

I show off Taylor Swift’s profile on Apple Music.

Henry Butler, Staff Writer

As a huge Kanye West fan, I listened to all of Taylor Swift’s albums on Apple Music to see if I could better understand “Swifties’” point of view: Why do they think their beloved Taylor Swift is so good? West is known for having drama with Swift ever since he interrupted her at the 2009 VMAs. 

He is by far my favorite artist of all time (with Kendrick Lamar). I have listened to all his albums multiple times. I became a true fan in eighth grade. 

I have listened to unimaginable amounts of West’s music, from his graduation trilogy to his newest album, “Donda.” He simply does not miss.  

I listened to all of Swift’s music recently, though, and ended up with songs ranging from her country days to her recent alternative music on my playlist. Many Swifties also often go beyond her music and talk about her influence on the music scene and her listeners. 

“I think she’s a great role model for the kids,” said junior Amelie Farrar, a longtime Swiftie. 

“Taylor Swift” (2006) 

I immediately knew I would like this album after listening to the first song, “Tim McGraw,” and that is saying a lot because I do not listen to country music often. I liked this track because you can hear the youthfulness in it, and when you hear this quality in her music now, it is like a full circle moment. 

Though the album is good, it fails to come close to my enjoyment of her later albums due to the lack of quality lyrics. 

“Fearless” (2008) 

Her next album, “Fearless”, was almost a signal of what was to come with her later music: this album is more up-beat and less country-like. 

“Fearless” has many good songs, such as the popular, “You Belong with Me,” whose music video has 1.3 billion views.  

“I have watched that music video so many times,” said sophomore Cruz Rockwell, a fellow “Kanye super-fan.” 

I also loved the song “Fifteen” because I can relate to feeling discontent with growing up and it also reminds me of some friends’ experiences with guys. 

The album unfortunately also has many skips, though, due to the repetitive feel of songs. I sometimes felt like I was listening to the same song over and over. 

“Speak Now” (2010) 

In 2010, Swift released her third studio album describing failed relationships. “Speak Now” also has both country and pop qualities to it. Making music about ex-lovers is a common theme for Swift and Kanye, but Swift does it more often.  

This album was not as good as others, but I can tell this was a turning point for Swift’s career because she was straying even further away from her country roots. 

The best song off the album, “Long Live,” is about a fantasy world Swift imagined herself in, fighting dragons alongside her love and breaking down castles as well. 

“Red” (2012) 

In 2012, Swift released her last country album, but even then, it has pop elements. This is my favorite album of hers. All its 16 tracks are great, and sophomore Ella Gehrig agrees with me on that. 

“I have never and will never skip a song on this album,” she said. 

This album showed off Swift’s talents, specifically within songs like “All Too Well” that show some of her best lyricism to date. 

My favorite line from the song is, “Maybe we got lost in translation / Maybe I asked for too much / but maybe this thing was a masterpiece / ‘til you tore it all up.” I will admit I love the attack at her ex-boyfriend in this one. 

“1989” (2014) 

Finally, in 2014, she released her first fully pop album. It has her most catchy song, “Style,” on it, which also happens to be my favorite song out of her very long discography.  

This album does not fail at anything: the storytelling, emotion, lyricism and shady roasts at her past relationships hit hard. She does a good job of dissing her exes in both subtle and more direct ways in “1989.” 

This album has some of Swift’s top grossing songs of her career, “Blank Space”, “Shake it off” and “Wildest Dreams”. Although they are successful, I don’t think these songs live up to the hype. They are each a little catchy, sure, but they don’t have anything else to them.  

“reputation” (2017) 

With “reputation,” my enjoyment for Swift’s songs took a decline as she went in a different direction thematically. 

This album is very “smash-the-patriarchy” until the singer Future, who is known for being misogynistic, is featured in the song “End Game.” The irony. 

Taylor was going through some of her biggest hate when this LP was released, and she created “reputation” to take a jab at haters. While she does this, though, she sometimes seems like a bully herself.  

Instead of backing away from past feuds with other artists like she would normally do, she attacks them head-on. 

This album could have been a great opportunity for tracks of self-realization. Instead, the songs are mean and not catchy, especially the popular “Look What You Made Me Do.” 

One of the song’s first lines, “I don’t like your tilted stage,” is an attack at West for one of his set designs. 

This album totally rebranded Swift. I am not a fan of that.  

“Lover” (2019) 

This is simply a bad album minus a few rare flashes of Swift’s greatness sprinkled through, like with the title song “Lover.” This is arguably one of her best songs in her discography, and I wish the other songs on this LP could be even half as good.  

“ME!” is probably one of her worst songs to date. It fails to do everything Swift is known for doing in her music like sneaky disses, lyricism, storytelling or any other redeeming quality that appears so often in her music. 

The lyrics in the song were plain bad. She even had to take out a line saying, “Hey kids, spelling is fun!” due to backlash after the song’s drop. After removing it, she received even more hate.  

Besides its one highlight of the song “Lover,” this album was pitiful from the start and is her worst.  

“folklore” (2020) 

This collection of 16 songs shows change and maturity from Swift. She once again began a journey with a genre: alternative. While this style was new to Swift, she did an excellent job of executing it. 

She has great singing on this album, especially on “seven” where she reminisces about a childhood friend. 

I’m generally not a fan of sappy songs which are kind-of the basis of this album, though. The LP is dragged down by the slowness of the tracks. 

The “808s and Heartbreaks” album from West’s discography, which falls very low on my rankings of his works, is also full of moody tracks like this. 

“evermore” (2020) 

After “folklore”, Swift quickly released another album during the pandemic, surprising fans who are used to her hiatuses. The album “evermore” is one of her best from the latter half of her career. 

It had many elements that proved Swift’s broad range and duality. She fit features of folk, pop and alternative all in one album.  

This album gives me the same feeling I got when I listened to “ye” by West. These two albums feel as if a cap has sealed off the singers’ careers that came before these projects. 

A beautiful song from this LP is “willow,” whose music video portrays her story of climbing into her pain and discovering love inside of it. 

Though I have found joy in listening to Swift’s music, I am a diehard West fan at heart.  

As the wise rapper once said, “I made that [woman] famous!”