By Jane Asher
Updated Nov 14, 2017 @ 12:15 pm
Taylor Swift
Credit: taylorswift/Instagram

The lyrics that launched a thousand memes and broken Swiftie hearts across the world: "The old Taylor can't come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, 'cause she's dead!"

When I first heard, "Look What You Made Me Do," I knew my girl Taylor was turning a corner with her sound. 2014's 1989 revealed the country singer had gone full happy-go-lucky, shake-it-off, this-love-is-pure pop—and it was perfection. I couldn't have been the only one who thought Swift might stick with the sound that won her a Grammy for Album of the Year, the one that blasted from every radio station, from every teenager's car, and from my own headphones the months following 1989's release. With the release of Reputation, I was ready for 1989 part two. Clearly, was I wrong.

My first Reputation listen did not go well. To put it lightly, I was pissed. This was not the Taylor I used to know, my trusty, lovestruck, sparkly bodysuit-wearing BFF for the past 10 years. We cried over boys together! We sang about turning 15 and 22 together! And then she was gone. I felt lost and, honestly, betrayed. I had rooted for the pop princess when everyone was hating, and now, it seemed, she was letting me down.

Taylor Swift
Credit: Scott Legato/Getty

Then I gave the album another listen.

During my third round of "Getaway Car," I heard it. a faint glimmer of the Old Taylor. Once buried deep in the sound, within the New Taylor. And suddenly, I knew exactly how I was going to get over the loss of Fearless Taylor, Speak Now Taylor, and Red Taylor—the same way I'd gotten over everyone else who's betrayed me: with the latest Taylor on loop. The New Taylor was going hold my hand and guide me through the heartbreak, and come out better for it with me at the other end. After all, heartbreak is what Taylor Swift does best.

Try it with me...

Mourn "Breathe" with "Getaway Car"

When Taylor sings in her new song "Getaway Car":

I'm in a getaway car
I left you in a motel bar
Put the money in a bag and I stole the keys
That was the last time you ever saw me

I can't help but think of "Breathe," off her album Fearless:

I see your face in my mind as I drive away
'Cause none of us thought it was gonna end that way
People are people, and sometimes we change our minds
But it's killing me to see you go after all this time.

The New Taylor has more agency and direction, and instead of not being able to "breathe without you," Taylor fully knows, "we never had a shotgun shot in the dark." It's the same devastating feeling, but she tackles the emotion with more understanding. Listen to both back to back, and you'll see that your favorite singer didn't disappear; she evolved.

VIDEO: Taylor Swift Delivers Two Killer Performances on SNL

Mourn "Treacherous" with "Don't Blame Me"

In both Red's "Treacherous" (an all-time favorite of mine) and Reputation's "Don't Blame Me," Swift sings about a risky love that has her obsessed.

In "Treacherous," she sings:

And I'd be smart to walk away,
But you're quicksand
This slope is treacherous
This path is reckless
This slope is treacherous
And I, I, I like it

The lyrics to "Treacherous" are scary similar to those of Reputation's "Don't Blame Me," but in the newer track, they come from a more mature (and risqué) place:

Don't blame me, your love made me crazy
If it doesn't, you ain't doin' it right
Lord, save me, my drug is my baby
I'll be usin' for the rest of my life

Swift knows the roller coaster that is love like the back of her hand, and she's ready for the crazy ups and down, as long as her baby is by her side. "Treacherous" is basically the PG-13 version of the R-rated "Blame." This new, mature sound? I, I, I, like it.

Mourn "Enchanted" with "King of My Heart"

"Don't Blame Me" isn't the only Reputation track that seems nostalgic for one of Taylor's oldies. "King of My Heart" offers somewhat of a throwback to Speak Now's "Enchanted" (another all-time favorite Swift song) too. Both start with Taylor resigning herself to loneliness.

She sings in "King of My Heart:"

I'm perfectly fine, I live on my own
I made up my mind, I'm better off bein' alone

And "Enchanted" begins:

There I was again tonight
Forcing laughter, faking smiles
Same old tired lonely place.

But in both, she finds an antidote to the sluggish habit of loneliness in an exciting encounter with a love interest, that feeling when you meet someone and you just know it's all going to be okay.

In "King of My Heart":

And all at once, you are the one I have been waiting for
King of my heart,
body and soul, ooh whoa
And all at once, you're all I want I'll never let you go
King of my heart,
body and soul, ooh whoa

While in "Enchanted:"

This night is sparkling, don't you let it go
I'm wonderstruck, blushing all the way home
I'll spend forever wondering if you knew
I was enchanted to meet you

The messages and journeys here are similar, even if they're packaged in different sounds. The New Taylor is less naive, maybe a little less swept up in fairytales—but she still believes in love.

Mourn "Mean" with "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things"

"This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things," is really just a more pointed update of Speak Now's "Mean." Hear me out.

Both tracks are about calling out bullies. But while in "Mean," Taylor was all about taking the high road ("Someday I'll be big enough so you can't hit me / And all you're ever gonna be is mean"), not so much in "Nice Things":

But then you stabbed in the back while shaking my hand
And therein lies the issue
Friends don't try to trick you
Get you on the phone and mind-twist you
And so I
took anaxe to a mended fence

It's hard not to hear these lyrics and think be reminded of the hurt Taylor experiences on "Mean":

You, with your switching sides
And your wildfire lies and your humiliation
You have pointed out my flaws again
As if I don't already see them

But that was then. These are the same feelings she's singing about, but by the time she wrote "Nice Things," she's experienced them one too many times. No more walking all over Taylor. "Nice Things" is one of my favorite tracks on Reputation for that reason.

So if you're a Swiftie still reeling from the release of Reputation, give it a few more listens. You owe it to your girl, who's helped you through every breakup and every makeup—and I promise, the new Taylor will hold your hand through this heartbreak too.