More Than a Love Story: Unpacking My Internalized Misogyny And Taylor Swift’s Range Of Music From Thirsty to Existential

It has to be said: Taylor Swift has range. She can break our hearts or heal them, unpack gender stereotypes, and transport listeners anywhere from London to the Wild West.

Moreover, she has a knack for storytelling through song that will be studied for decades to come. And young artists like Olivia Rodrigo are already citing Taylor as their major song-writing inspiration.

As much as I currently love Taylor, there were years when I bought into popular narratives that categorized her as a calculating, manipulative, self-made victim. I even refused to listen to her 2017 album reputation because I thought she sounded “too bitter.”

But in the Lord’s year of 2022, I finally tuned in to what I’d been missing. 

In honor of my mid-life Swiftie awakening, this list compiles some of Taylor’s time-stopping daydreams, tragedies, and fictions that will stay with you long after the album’s last song.

Instagram; pictured above is Taylor Swift

Angsty Taylor: the first half of reputation

The entire reputation album has major angst, but not necessarily the way you’d expect. Yes, there are allusions to her feud with Kanye West, and I usually skip songs like “…Ready For It?” (though I like the softer pre-chorus), “End Game,” and “Look What You Made Me Do.”

But Taylor falling in love during the reputation production created an incredible dichotomy between its earlier aggro pop synth and the loving, thrilling songs in the album’s latter half. This change first registers in “Delicate.” 

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