Taylor Swift released her new album Reputation on Friday, along with two magazines that are full of lyrics, photographs, and poetry. In the past, her liner notes have included "secret messages" that devoted Taylor scholars could then interpret at will, but Reputation features no such thing. Both the CD liner notes and the Reputation magazines begin with one essay where Taylor lays out her philosophy for this album, with no conspicuously capitalised letters in sight.
"We think we know someone, but the truth is that we only know the version of them they have chosen to show us," she begins. "We know our friend in a certain light, but we don't know them the way their lover does. Just the way their lover will never know them the same way that you do as a friend." She then goes on to marvel at the fact that her generation is the first one capable of revisiting their entire histories via the internet, and pauses to wonder if maybe that's not so great after all. "Ultimately, we post photos online to curate what strangers think of us," Taylor writes. "But then we wake up, look in the mirror at our faces and see the cracks and scars and blemishes, and cringe. We hope someday we'll meet someone who will see that same morning face and instead see their future, their partner, their forever." (Taylor, you'll recall, deleted her entire Instagram and Twitter in the run-up to the release of Reputation.)
The juiciest part of this essay, however, is the part where Taylor addresses whether or not any of the songs on Reputation are about anyone in particular. In short, no, though that certainly won't stop anyone from noticing lyrical parallels to Taylor's life. "When this album comes out, gossip blogs will scour the lyrics for the men they can attribute to each song, as if the inspiration for music is as simple and basic as a paternity test," she says. "There will be slideshows of photos backing up each incorrect theory, because it's 2017 and if you didn't see a picture of it, it couldn't have happened right?" To be fair, there are at least two women — Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian — who keep showing up in interpretations of Taylor's newest lyrics, so really there are also maternity tests going on, but fine. The point is that Old Taylor still can't come to the phone right now.
SOURCE: COSMOPOLITAN US