Crit­ics cir­cle Swift hit

The Sunday Times - - NEWS -

TAY­LOR Swift is ei­ther a mas­ter ma­nip­u­la­tor or an as­tute cul­tural ar­chi­tect, de­pend­ing on your level of fan­dom.

As her sixth al­bum Rep­u­ta­tion cat­a­pulted straight to No.1 on its re­lease on Thurs­day, there was no ques­tion­ing the loy­alty of the Swifties le­gions.

They pre­pared the way for her tri­umphant re­turn with pre-or­ders of more than 400,000 copies in the US alone, dou­ble the num­ber they ordered for Swift’s in­ex­haustible 2014 al­bum 1989.

It ap­pears likely Rep­u­ta­tion will as­sist Swift, right, to boost her col­lec­tion of 10 Gram­mys and sales of more than 40 mil­lion al­bums and 130 mil­lion singles world­wide.

But the mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar ques­tion is how long can Rep­u­ta­tion stay in the up­per reaches of the charts and does the 27-year-old singer, song­writer, ac­tor and so­cial me­dia pup­pet­mas­ter still have the cul­tural clout to feed her fan ma­chine and win more wor­ship­pers?

Rep­u­ta­tion’s ar­rival was pre­ceded by two more singles Gor­geous and Call It What You Want, both of which ap­pear to be in­spired by and ref­er­ence her ro­mance with Bri­tish ac­tor Joe Alwyn. And that is per­haps why the back­lash drums have beaten so loud this year.

Ev­ery­thing she does is cal­cu­lated for max­i­mum, mul­ti­plat­form sat­u­ra­tion and when she achieves that goal, Swift at­tempts to act like there was no mas­ter plan.

Per­haps the great­est dis­ap­point­ment in the run-up to Rep­u­ta­tion’s re­lease was its pre­dictabil­ity. Hit-maker Di­plo took a cheap shot at her again this week, la­belling Swift more mar­ketable than re­lat­able.

“That mu­sic doesn’t re­late to (kids) at all,” he said. “I don’t think it ever did. They were only given that by ra­dio and mar­ket­ing bud­gets.”

While he may be dis­count­ing the mil­lions of peo­ple who re­late to Swift and her nav­i­ga­tion of mat­ters of the heart, it is un­likely Rep­u­ta­tion is go­ing to win her mil­lions of more fans.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.