Earlier this week, the social media accounts of Taylor Swift went DARK, went PITCH BLACK, temporarily FELL OFF THE EDGE OF THE INTERNET, because we live in a glorious moment in the collective human experience where someone not tweeting for like three days is cause for significant alarm. Happily, our dark times are over, for the mystery of Taylor Swift’s Comms Team Not Using Its Phones for a Little Bit has been solved: Swift is releasing a new album, it’s called Reputation, it’s out November 10th, and I think I speak for all of us when I say: Wait, November 10th, like in three months November 10th? Three solid months of Taylor Swift internet hot takes, all autumn long? Awesome.
Before those kick in (checks Twitter, they’ve already kicked in, nevermind), let’s take a moment to dissect T-Swift’s announcements in such a way that our ironic detachment doesn't at all mask legitimate excitement at the prospect of new Tay Tay music and we don't even know why you brought it up, stop looking at us like that.
1. Wait, you can make your social media accounts vanish? The amount of money I would pay to have this power over other people’s accounts is legitimately troubling. (First up: Phil Mickelson. He knows why.)
2. The album is called Reputation, indicating that it will probably be about the exhausting tabloidery surrounding Swift’s personal life, which is great, because people really love to hear about the problems of famous people, particularly those who date each other. How’s Steve Mnuchin’s wife today, has anybody checked on her, is she still keeping Kansas alive with her taxes?
3. Reputation looks SERIOUS. Exceedingly serious. Not that 1989 wasn’t serious, but the vast bulk of its serious emotions seemed directed at gentlemen who could use a comb. This is all black and white and stuff.
4. The promotional blitz has kicked off with a cryptic video of a snake, indicating that Swift is either preparing a venomous strike at her enemies or sending a coded message to Cobra Commander. (“ARM THE H.I.S.S. TANKS, WE INVADE THE U.S.S. FLAGG AT DAWN.”)
5. You may remember the Reputation font from Nas’s Illmatic, the original draft of the Magna Carta and 85% of the tattoos you saw at Myrtle Beach this year.
6. You know what audiences really love? When pop singers, even those as thoughtful and respected as Swift, turn the lens on themselves. The music world is still talking about how much it adored that Katy Perry album.
7. The album cover is loaded with fake-gossipy newspaper headlines, which is absolutely fantastic news for the newspaper industry. Seriously what could possibly be a stronger free-PR windfall than appearing on the cover of a Taylor Swift album? THIS IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE, PRINT MEDIA. Ugh, if this got here faster maybe we could save the Village Voice.
8. How in the wide world of sports do you keep a copy of an album off the internet for three months? Does this thing exist only on Maxell tapes? Is this like that Wu-Tang album where there’s only one copy in existence, and it’s in some vault buried in the Earth’s mantle? Announcing this three months out is like me asking my kids to carry drinks to the living room: It’s possible it could work, but the chances are very high that someone will screw some s**t up.
9. Regardless of how the album is, or what it’s about, Swift has already scored two major coups in today’s announcement: 1. Creating a significant amount of internet buzz and 2. Spending at least one whole day not on Twitter.