The games have begun now that Taylor Swift dropped her hotly anticipated sixth studio album, Reputation, Friday (Nov. 10). The singer is known for packing her tracks full of hidden meanings that always manage to leave fans guessing.
Reputation may have gotten 1.5 million tweets around the Twittersphere upon its release, but Billboard sifted through them to find the most intriguing fan theories.
1. The ellipses in the title of “…Ready for It?” is symbolic of the longer break she’s had between albums over the past three years. “The fact that Taylor starts the track by clearing her throat before going off shows that she is not messing around and she is back,” one fan wrote on Tumblr.
2. Speaking of ellipses, there’s an idea going around that beginning with opener “…Ready for It?” all the way to the track “So It Goes…,” Swift is singing about her public reputation, while the remainder of the album — after the songs caught in between the ellipses — addresses her personal life. This theory is mirrored on the album cover, where one half of her face is covered with fake headlines.
I read this theory everything within the ellipsis of ready for it and so it goes is about her reputation, and everything after is more personal and i think that sort of fits with how one half of her face on the cover is plastered in headlines and the other is clear
— Ms Frizzle (@fuckyle) November 10, 2017
3. The typographical nuances had fans theorizing about the album, too.
theory i’m living for: songs with rep font are based on the media’s perceptions of taylor and songs in taylor’s handwriting are her side
— holly ? REPUTATION (@swiftymuffin) November 3, 2017
4. Some theories veered toward the identity of her lyrical subjects — which Swift knew would happen. In her Reputation introduction, she wrote, “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.” Keeping that in mind, and just for fun:
What if “Dress” is for Ed Sheeran? Taylor in the song says shape of you and she says she doesn’t want him as a bestfriend ——#Reputation
— Maddy– (@enchvanted) November 10, 2017
Here’s my theory: gorgeous is about Tom not Joe #reputation
— Brie (@Brie_Rothan) November 8, 2017
MY NEW CONSPIRACY THEORY: Taylor Swift wrote all of Reputation about Tom Hiddleston and swapped a few choice lyrics to make it about Joe. pic.twitter.com/MLYmkOOT8T
— Kelsea Stahler (@KelseaStahler) November 9, 2017
HAYLOR IS STILL ALIVE TILL THIS DAY ?I NEVER THOUGHT HAYLOR WOULD MAKE IT TO THE REPUTATION ALBUM BUT THE FIRST TRACK OF IT
— bea DNA– (@itsfeyre) September 3, 2017
5. In particular, many fans think the clever lyrics of “Getaway Car” paint a super clear picture about its inspiration.
okay so obviously getaway car is about tom and it just clicked that in the chorus she says ‘think about the place where you first met me’ and they MET at the MET gala i love a lyrical genius
— georgia (@repvtations) November 10, 2017
6. Swift is no stranger to hidden messages, but some very observant fans pored over the graffiti in the “…Ready for It?” music video.
— Taylor Swift Updates (@TSwiftPR) October 27, 2017
7. One fan on Tumblr speculated that “…Ready for It?” is about Taylor’s relationships being in the public eye. The fan connects the lyrics ““touch me and you’ll never be alone” to the paparazzi constantly hounding her. In other words, it’s kind of like the sequel to “I Know Places,” and this fan is “HERE FOR IT.”
8. Each of the 15 tracks on Reputation represents one of the Taylors from the “Look What You Made Me Do” music video.
Theory: LWYMMD Taylors and New Year’s Day
NYD not being sonically cohesive with the first 14 is related to the airplane Taylor in the LWYMMD mv. I mean, airplane TS is the only one not in line, just like NYD is different from the other tracks. #reputation pic.twitter.com/EuJBTfb2Hs
— swift bitch (@swiftiekloss) November 10, 2017
9. But one fan posited that each of those Taylors could actually be represented by unreleased tracks that fans have never heard.
— Brittany Elyse (@Britt_Elyse8) August 31, 2017
10. The quiet album closer, “New Year’s Day” — with its emotional lyrics that tell of a longterm love story unfolding — harkens back to the singer-songwriter fans first grew to love over the years. In Reputation terms: “New Year’s Day” might just be Old Taylor picking up the phone again.
“I’m sorry the old taylor can’t come to the phone right. Why? Oh cuz she’s DEAD”
*listens to New Year’s Day
BITCH THE OLD TAYLOR IS STILL ALIVE CALL 911!!!—— #Reputation
— Chester Jade (@tienza_CJ) November 10, 2017