Taylor Swift’s sixth album Reputation finally came out on the 1oth of November and her fans’ three-years wait to hear what their idol has been working on is finally over. The 27-year-old acted as executive producer on the Big Machine Records’ release, and it is now finally time to sit down, listen and decode the meanings of and inspiration behind every single song.
It seems like the Pennsylvania-born singer-songwriter once again drew inspiration from important people in her life, but do you know who they are?
1. Joe Alwyn
The release of the single “…Ready for It?” late last month was a big thing for Taylor Swift fans, and the track proved a fitting opener for the new album, with speculation about who and what is about beginning minutes after its release.
In the song, Taylor sings, “Some boys are tryin’ too hard // He don’t try at all, though // Younger than my exes but he act like such a man, so,” so it wasn’t hard to decipher the song is about her boyfriend, actor Joe Alwyn, with even more clues appearing in the single’s music video.
2. Cherry Seaborn… and Joe Alwyn?
Interestingly enough, it kinda seems like “End Game” which features Ed Sheeran may be about the English songwriter’s fiancée more so than anyone in Swift’s life at the moment.
In Ed’s feature, he talks about knowing Cherry Seaborn from when he was young and reconnecting with her once they got older, saying, “Even when we’d argue we’d not do it for long // And you understand that good and bad end up in this song.”
But, after all, who’s to say this song isn’t also about Taylor wanting Joe Alwyn to be her “End Game,” so it could very well be about him, too!
3. Calvin Harris
Remember when Taylor came forward with the cold, hard truth that she wrote ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris’s hit song, “This is What You Came For,” under the pseudonym Nils Sjoberg? Well, it might just be that “I Did Something Bad” is her way of never letting him live it down.
When Taylor revealed that she was Nils, the English DJ defended himself on Twitter, saying, “Initially she wanted it kept secret, hence the pseudonym. Hurtful to me at this point that her and her team would go so far out of their way to try and make ME look bad at this stage though.”
In this track, the Pennsylvanian responds by saying, “If he drops my name then I owe him nothing // If he spends my change then he had it coming.”
4. Joe Alwyn
There’s that name again. In “Don’t Blame Me,” Swift acknowledges the reason why she has been breaking hearts for a while might be her inability to find the right person. She sings, “I’ve been breaking hearts a long time // And toying with them older guys // Just play things for me to use.” She goes on to explain that someone (a.k.a. Joe), who just so happened to be much younger than the guys she’s dated in the past, came around and changed that.
A theory by some lucky fans who got to attend the Secret Sessions supports this, as they’ve said Taylor believes Joe is really the one. She goes on to sing, “Lord save me // My drug is my baby // I’ll be using for the rest of my life.”
5. Joe Alwyn
You didn’t think we’re done with Joe Alwyn, did you? In “Delicate,” Taylor acknowledges that her “reputation’s never been worse,” referring to her media portrayal in recent years, putting the message that her boyfriend likes her for who she really is across.
6. Kanye West
When Taylor released “Look What You Made Me Do,” as the first single off Reputation, fans immediately realized the track was meant to be a direct response to her ongoing feud with Kanye West.
Throughout the song, the 27-year-old makes several references to the rapper, including one very specific reference to the “tilted stage” he used on his Saint Pablo Tour.
7. Joe Alwyn
“So It Goes…” is a look at every relationship’s inevitable complications. It seems like Taylor is singing how although her and Alwyn’s relationship isn’t perfect, it all seems to come together and fall into place when they see and spend time with each other.
8. Joe Alwyn
In “Gorgeous,” the country star mentions an older love interest, which made many fans rule out her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn.
However, one lucky fan who attended a Reputation Secret Session revealed, “Basically Taylor made us all promise that if anyone made any accusations of who this song is about, we tell them it is 100% about her angel boyfriend of one year (this isn’t a secret, she wanted us to tell people).”
The line about a pair of “ocean blue eyes” also adds credence to this theory.
9. Calvin Harris
Several different references in this song point towards Swift’s ex, Calvin Harris.
In the song, she alludes to “shades of grey,” which is almost the exact name of the movie soundtrack she was part of in that same year with her song, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” singing, “The ties were black // The lies were white // In shades of grey and candlelight // I wanted a reason // I needed to leave him.”
Could it be that English actor Tom Hiddleston was her “getaway car” from her relationship with Harris, since she sings “With three of us, honey, it’s a sideshow”?
10. Joe Alwyn
This one is kind of self-explanatory, don’t you think?
After all, she does describe herself as Joe’s “American Queen” in this song, singing about a “body and soul” connection.
11. Joe Alwyn
This one is another Alwyn-dedicated song that’s not all sunshine and daisies, as Swift addresses some of her early-relationship fears.
In “Dancing with Our Hands Tied,” she sings about dancing and enjoying their time together despite the “bad feeling” she had that something would come along and ruin it, similarly to her past relationships.
12. Joe Alwyn
Probably the sexiest song in her catalog, in “Dress,” Swift mentions meeting Alwyn when he had a buzz cut – a clear reference to the 2016 MET Gala which they both attended.
13. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
The Swift-West feud obviously still runs deep, as “Look What You Made Me Do” is another song referencing it.
In it, Taylor sings, “It was so nice being friends again // There I was giving you a second chance // But you stabbed me in the back while shaking my hand,” adding, “And therein lies the issue // Friends don’t try to trick you // Get you on the phone and mind-twist you.”
14. Joe Alwyn
“Call It What You Want” is a message that Taylor has finally found a peaceful harbor in her love life.
“I want to wear his initial on a chain ’round my neck, chain ’round my neck // Not because he owns me // But ’cause he really knows me,” she sings, and the fact that over the past few months she has indeed been spotted wearing Alwyn’s initial is another giveaway.
15. Joe Alwyn
This album could have easily be titled Joe Alwyn, such is the North London-born actor’s presence in the songs. “New Year’s Day” is a ballad Swift’s determination to weather the storm in her relationship with Joe, even when the going gets tough. She sings, “I want your midnights, but I’ll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year’s Day.”
If that wasn’t enough to quell your thirst for everything Taylor Swift-related, here are fourteen crazy conspiracy theories surrounding the life and career of the country star.