On Reputation (Part One)

In which Mattie analyzes and rates the first half of the Taylor Swift’s sixth studio album, Reputation.
  1. …Ready For It?

Rating: 4/5 stars

On the opening track, Swift hilariously begins this song by clearing her voice — a sign to everyone that Her Great Swiftness has returned after her three year hiatus. The bass at the beginning is the type of bass you would hear only if you were at the very front of a concert, and that’s where Swift keeps her captive audience; front and center, with an unwavering power one could never expect from a 27 year old girl from Reading, Pennsylvania. Her clever lyrics (see “Burton to this Taylor”) coupled with the addictive trap beat makes this song an instant chart-topper.

2. End Game

Rating: 2/5 stars

Swift moves on to the R&B, star-studded track where she collaborates with up and coming rapper, Future, and a crowd favorite, Ed Sheeran. This is an unlikely collaboration to say the least, but Swift makes it work for her as best she can. As much as the song wants to come off as cool and unbothered, it cannot manage to do this with so many different voices singing at once. This song can easily come off as awkward at first listen, but will slowly grow on you just as all other Swift songs do. This song shines at its best during Swift’s own rap verse.

3. I Did Something Bad

Rating: 5/5 stars

I Did Something Bad is quite ironic for the title because Swift did something so right when making this song. Perhaps one of the best songs on the album, and my personal favorite, this punchy track exhibits just how bad the media claims Swift can be. This track is somehow annoyingly bubblegum pop, but not annoying at all, because the anecdotes Swift offers throughout the song are too funny to be annoying. If one looks past the facade of this song, it is clear Swift is cutting and sarcastic with every line. And that’s what makes this song so good. Swift makes a simple pop song so complicated.

4. Don’t Blame Me

Rating: 4/5 stars

Another win for Swift, Don’t Blame Me recalls the sound of “Take Me to Church” by Hozier, and seemingly picks up where he left off. Swift tells the tale of being so in love with her partner that she compares him to being her drug — a stark departure from her early days of comparing her lover to a prince or hero. Complete with low vocals we’ve never heard from Swift and a church choir backing up the high points of the song, Don’t Blame Me will take her fans to church while still in concert.

5. Delicate

Rating: 4/5 stars

I almost gave this song 3 stars, but that would be undercutting the success this song has already found within the Swift fandom. Swift is notorious for placing her most intimate and confidential song on track 5, and Reputation is no different. Swift unleashes her innermost worries about a new relationship throughout the song, with the resounding question, “Isn’t it? Isn’t it? Delicate?” asked over and over. This harks back to “Out of the Woods”, from her last album 1989, where Swift’s voice is put on a loop asking “Are we out of the woods yet? Are we in the clear yet?” Swift later explained on Out of the Woods that she did this purposefully to get across the feeling of anxiety and overthinking she felt in the relationship, so is it the same notion she is trying to get across in Delicate? That’s for us fans to decide.

6. Look What You Made Me Do

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Already infamous, LWYMMD has been received with catastrophic success despite its mixed reviews. Even though Swift is known for revenge, this is the first song to hint at the prospect at getting her revenge on the album so far. Her voice is cool and conniving, crawling across the nearly silent music that was picked for the chorus. Her producers did this on purpose, stripping the music so it was mostly just her voice, to make it sound even more sinister. She sings, “look what you made me do,” and yet, I have a feeling we don’t know exactly what it is they made Swift do. Make great music? Have legions of fans at her mercy? Sell out all of her tour dates? I think we all know she will do just that.

7. So It Goes…

Rating: 3/5 stars

This song marks the first use of an electronic-sound that is very much present on the latter half of the album. Moody and dark, Swift ponders over the livelihood of the relationship she’s in. As the chorus sets in, Swift confides in us that all is right (for now) with the lyric, “And our pieces fall right into place”. This may be a song one could easily forget about, being stuck in the middle of the lineup and having arguably vaguer lyrics than the rest of the album, but there is something so beautiful about this song that it’s hard to put it into words. This song is the moody stepsister of Look What You Made Me Do.

Order Reputation now on iTunes. medium.ucVmUEyq9WEBTlMkphp6pcwU3_usZlKWlwbGZXhJ4cg


On Poetry

In which Mattie shares a couple poems she has written lately.

His Hands

He was born with intricate prose and beautiful words written in his hand. And, oh, how I longed to read the poems that I knew were lurking in between the lines of his palm. I often wonder if he knows there is no poem in the world as beautiful as his hands. And I find it quite strange to see him fumbling for words when he faces me. Because you see, my darling, all he had to do was look at his hands.


Relationships remind me of buildings. You take something from scratch and build it from the ground up until it becomes magnificent. You left tonight (for good) and I’m alone now, looking at an unfinished building we created. A gust of cold wind blew through me and shook the building too; I just now realized how flimsy it really was.


Swaying flowers rustle

Pretty girls twirl

In their bright skirts

A baby’s eyes brighten

At the sight of the slide

The healthy grass sparkles

Against the blue backdrop

Summer has begun

And I think

Everyone’s soul

Gets a little lighter

Rest In Peace

Rest In Peace to the world as once percieved

Rest In Peace to those desperately in need

Rest In Peace to these endless summers

Rest In Peace to the everlasting thunder

Rest In Peace to those wanting it to last

Rest In Peace to those wanting to end it so fast


On Holiday Activities in Louisville

In which Mattie discusses some of the holiday-themed events and activities you can participate in if you find yourself in the Louisville area.
  1. Cakes with Kris Kringle


Start off the beginning of December right with the Kentucky Derby Museum at Cakes with Kris Kringle! Starting December 2nd, this is going to be a fun event for families with small children. There will be a pancakes and hot chocolate bar, photos with Santa, story time with Mrs. Claus, ornament workshop, meet and greet with resident miniature horse, Winston, and more. The price will be $25 per person and children under 1 are free.

2. Santa’s Safari


One weekend later, the Louisville Zoo is hosting Santa’s Safari, an interactive experience for children of all ages. Children will get a photo with Santa, and get to meet Mrs. Claus and Frosty the Snowman as well. Along with these complimentary photos, children will get to participate in a holiday craft, be served holiday treats and beverages, and sing-along to holiday tunes. To wrap it up, families will take a tour through the Zoo’s heated buildings and talk to zoo educators along the way. Children 2 and under are $11 and children 3 and over are $20.95.

3. Derby Dinner Playhouse: A Fairy Tale Christmas


Derby Dinner Playhouse is the perfect place to have dinner and a show. This show in particular, A Fairy Tale Christmas, was specifically written with children in mind. Following the adventures of Cinderella and Snow White as they get ready for the Crystal Christmas Ball, families will be sure to have fun at this playful show including all of your favorite fairy tale characters. Running from Nov. 18- Dec. 23, all seats are $17.


On Last Sunday

In which Mattie discusses Sunday, October 29th, 2017.

Sunday is usually my favorite day of the week. After a week of being tensed up and socialized, it is my day to recharge and be away from the masses that tire me so much. Every Sunday morning, I start with two chocolate chip waffles, coffee, and reruns of Friends and it is my only me time I allow for myself throughout the whole week. I just don’t have time for myself anymore. I’m either always at school, work, or drowning in my own thoughts surrounded by the dim lights in my room. Being plagued with depression and anxiety has caused my productivity to plummet this semester and it seems I can’t get anything done without doing it 30 minutes in advance to its due date. Hell, even this blog is late.

This past Sunday, two days ago, was probably the hardest day I’ve had in over a year. I’d like to say that the constant feeling of loneliness that follows me like a shadow had reached an all-time high, that it was the strongest I had ever felt it, but I would be lying. It’s just been awhile since the last time. Maybe I was triggered by the stress of being rear ended on Friday night, or having no friends invite me out for Halloween weekend despite supposedly having over 100+ friends in my sorority, or because my mom hasn’t attempted to contact me since my birthday in August… I don’t know. I think it was all of it having accumulated and not dealt with for so long. Me vs. the monsters in my head.  After spending what felt like forever in my car thinking about everything from every angle, I decided –no, I knew— I can’t live like this anymore. Either I have to change or I can stay miserable.

I guess the day to start looking for ways to change starts today.


On My Favorite Books

In which Mattie recommends her favorite books.

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

A haunting fictional account of a little girl’s experience of the Holocaust intertwined with a present-day journalist digging into a dark past history tries to hide. A heart-racing action/mystery book, I instantly fell in love with this book when I read it four years ago, so much so that it still tops my list after all this time.


Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt

This non-fiction work based in 1980s Savannah, Georgia is an homage to the events that occurred after Jim Williams, important antiques dealer and Savannah socialite, reportedly killed a local male prostitute, Danny Hansford. Berendt’s characters are vibrant and colorful, practically leaping off the page to help the audience along. What makes this book particularly interesting is all of the quirky characters that we meet along the way are actual people Berendt encountered on his trip to Savannah. This is by far one of the best murder mysteries I have ever read.


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephan Chbosky

The best coming-of-age novel I’ve come across in my time as a young adult. This novel follows the story of a young and troubled 15-year-old freshman, Charlie, as he begins to navigate his way through high school. He quickly befriends two quirky seniors who take it upon themselves to teach him about life, love, and everything in between. Written in the form of letters Charlie is writing to an unknown recipient, Perks has the charm and depth every teenage novel dealing with mental illness should. MV5BMzIxOTQyODU1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDQ4Mjg4Nw@@._V1_UY1200_CR91,0,630,1200_AL_


On Anxiety

In which Mattie discusses her most inconvenient and self-hindering personality trait — anxiety.

Hello all, and welcome back to my extremely inconsistent blog! Today we will be discussing the thing that seems to control my life most of the time — anxiety! Yay!

Anxiety has been a problem for me for as long as I can remember… even before I knew it was an actual problem. When I look back on my years in elementary and middle school, I can now identify that I even had anxiety back then. It just manifested itself in ways that could be passed off as being shy. But as I’ve grown older, and the pressure to be social is higher than ever, I realized that what I was experiencing was so much different than what everyone else seemed to be experiencing. I would look around a room of familiar faces in my high school and I felt so lost among the crowd. I still get that feeling today, all these years later.

I moved away for my first year of college without any friends by my side and it got so. much. worse. Shocker. I began to have bouts of dissociation, something I struggle with more than ever today. Then came the panic attacks, something I also still struggle with today. The list of symptoms could go on and on, but I won’t bore you with the pitfalls of my neuroticism.

Although you can have anxiety without having depression, I am not so fortunate. And although, we all could stand to work on ourselves constantly throughout life, I especially need to keep this in mind as I move into my last year of college. I’m beginning to panic about what comes next, and yeah, sure, everyone does but my GOD, do I panic like no other. I know I’m going to have to start making some decisions soon but, just like my mental health, I’ll probably push it aside until I absolutely have to come to terms with it. Not the healthiest of plans, but I guess I’m just not ready. Who is ever ready for what comes next?


On The Top 15 Taylor Swift Songs

In which Mattie conveniently lists out the best 15 songs Miss Swift has ever released since her debut album.

Being on the cusp of a new Taylor Swift era, I thought it would be fun to take a look at Taylor’s past work and perhaps help other people decide which songs they should start with when beginning to listen to Taylor Swift’s music. Although my list is completely subjective, keep in mind that I have now been a Swift super-fan for 10+ years and I probably know what I’m talking about. Without further ado…

15. Hey Stephan

Beginning with a sweet hum, Hey Stephan is an adorable ode to a crush who doesn’t know he’s being crushed on — otherwise known as a classic Taylor Swift theme. Although it masquerades as a simple song, lyrically this song inspired tween girls all over the world in 2008 to begin their attempts at writing songs and to perfect their humming.

Favorite lyric: “Hey Stephan, I could give you fifty reasons why I should be the one you choose/ All those other girls, well they’re beautiful, but would they write a song for you?”

14. Innocent

After the infamous incident at the 2008 VMAs where Kanye West took the mic from then-19 years old Taylor Swift, who could’ve predicted the wreckage that would come from it? Innocent was young Swift’s way of telling Kayne (and anyone else who listened to this song) that she forgave him for embarrassing her in front of the entire world. Mature and moving, Innocent is worded just vaguely enough so any teenager can apply the lyrics to their own life.

Favorite lyric: “Time turns flames to embers/You’ll have new Septembers/Every one of us has messed up too/Minds change like the weather/I hope you remember/Today is never too late to be brand new”

13. Love Story

The quintessential Taylor Swift song that everyone enjoys when it’s play — this song was inescapable back in 2008 when it was released. Becoming one of Swift’s most successful songs to date, this song was the perfect pop-country crossover that became Swift’s brand at the start of her career. This song is also important to note as it is the first song in her discography that uses the “mention something at the beginning of the song and then refer to said thing at the very end to tie the whole song together” scheme that Swift has employed in countless songs since.

Favorite lyric: “You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess/It’s a love story, baby just say ‘Yes'”

12. The Best Day

A personal favorite of mine, The Best Day is the song Swift wrote for her mother, Andrea Swift. Not only is this song incredibly touching and intimate, it showed how much Swift’s songwriting grew in between 2006 and 2008 (when the song was released). The way the verses are set up and how they seamlessly flow into the chorus is something that professional songwriters envy from afar; The Best Day showcases how Swift is truly a writer at heart.

Favorite lyric: “I have an excellent father, his strength is making me stronger/God smiles on my little brother, inside and out, he’s better than I am/ I grew up in a pretty house and I had space to run/And I had the best days with you”

11. Our Song

Another classic Taylor Swift song, Our Song was one of Swift’s first singles off of her debut album. This song struck me back in the day when I heard Swift’s twangy voice sing “He’s got a one-hand feel on the steering wheel and the other on my heart.” I remember looking it up on Google and finding that she was only 15 when she wrote those lines — 15! If I could write a lyric half as well at 21 as she wrote that one when she was 15, I would consider myself set for life.

Favorite lyric: “I was riding shotgun with my hair undone in the front seat of his car/I grabbed a pen and an old napkin/And I wrote down our song”

10. Sad Beautiful Tragic

A dismal, but remarkably beautiful song, Sad Beautiful Tragic haunts its listeners long after the song is over. One of Swift’s best songs lyrically to date, it reminisces over a long gone relationship where neither person seemed to win after the breakup. It’s a song to experience rather than to read about.

Favorite lyric: “And time, is taking its sweet time erasing you/And you’ve got your demons, and darling they all look like me”

9. Dear John

Fighting for its deserved spot to be Swift’s best written song, Dear John is a powerful and desperately sad song written with famous ex John Mayer in mind. Swift really honed in all of her songwriting expertise to piece together this masterpiece — depicting strong emotions in every single line, this song is best listened to after a breakup with a glass of wine in hand.

Favorite lyric: “And you’ll add my name to your long list of traitors who don’t understand/And I’ll look back and regret how I ignored when they said/’Run as fast as you can'”

8. Tim McGraw

The song that started it all, Tim McGraw was Swift’s debut single off her very first album released in 2006. This song brings to mind summer nights, starry skies, and a short-lived fling who you secretly wished had stayed with you longer. After reading the lyrics, I was amazed that a 15 year old wrote this song… HOW does she do it? I guess that’s why she became famous — no one else at the time could write songs about teenage summer romance quite like Taylor Swift could.

Favorite lyric: “September saw a month of tears/And thankin’ God you weren’t here to see me like that”

7. State of Grace

A booming entrance to Swift’s fourth album, Red, State of Grace sets the tone for the rest of the album. Set against noisy drums and guitars, Swift does not struggle to be heard against her rowdy background. Another winner in terms of lyrics, Swift does not hold back in her usual way of being extremely intimate with her lyrics.

Favorite lyric: “So you were never a saint/And I’ve loved in shades of wrong/We learned to live with the pain/Mosaic broken hearts/But this love is brave and wild”

6. All Too Well

A favorite among Swift’s fan base, All Too Well is praised as being Swift’s best song of all time. Obviously, opinions can’t be shared by all seeing that it made #6 on my list, but I’m not going to deny that it is a fantastic song. Arguably her most confessional song ever released, Swift bares all in her remembrance of a relationship turned sour.

Favorite lyric: “Hey, you call me up again just to break me like a promise/So casually cruel in the name of being honest/I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here/Because I remember it all, all, all too well”

5. Enchanted

The original favorite of the Swift fandom before All Too Well came along, Enchanted was the song every Swiftie looked forward to at the Speak Now tour. One could call this just another Taylor Swift song about longing after a crush, or you could say what it really is: a striking and startlingly honest tribute to a person Swift made a deep connection with after only meeting once. I think we’ve all had the experience of clicking with someone immediately even if we don’t know and Swift perfectly depicts every moment of how that feels.

Favorite lyric: “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”

4. New Romantics

Hiding on the deluxe edition of 1989, New Romantics is perhaps the best kept secret among the Swift fandom. Glittery, exciting, and extremely sarcastic, New Romantics somehow embodies Swift’s personality all under 4 minutes. This song shows Swift has overcome all of the negativity surrounding her career and has made an empire to show off her happiness.

Favorite lyric: “Please take my hand and/Please take me dancing and/Please leave me stranded, it’s so romantic”

3. You Are In Love

Another song lurking on the deluxe edition of 1989, You Are In Love deserved to be on the regular edition of the album. Gorgeous imagery and full of emotion, this song has been taken for grated for too long. You Are In Love is Swift’s song dedicated to her friends whom she observed as their relationship flourished right before her. And being Taylor Swift, how could she not write a song about a love that was happening right before her eyes?

Favorite lyric: “One night he wakes, strange look on his face/Pauses, then says, ‘You’re my best friend’/And you knew what it was/He is in love”

2. Blank Space

I love Blank Space solely because it shows how Swift truly will always have the upper hand over everyone who makes fun of her. Media makes up stories about her being a crazy boy-obsessed ex-girlfriend? Fine, Swift thought, that would make a hilarious and witty background for a song. No matter what is thrown at her, Swift is always able to turn the tables back around and laugh at herself. And having this ability, Swift will always end up on top. A satirical song with a bite, Swift nods her head at all her critics while still keeping her poise.

Favorite line: “Darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream”

1. Style

The winner of my list!! Style stood out to me immediately when I heard 1989 sitting on Taylor Swift’s living room floor. It opens up with a cool 80’s synth-pop beat that is unheard of today’s music, but Swift’s voice remains cool and unbothered as she explains to her listeners the story of her and a former lover. Cheekily named Style after Harry Styles, the subject of the song, Swift calls both herself and Styles out for the downfall of their relationship. There is more than what what meets the eye with Style, and much of the song’s message lies in between the lyrics.

Favorite lyric: “I should just tell you to leave ’cause I/Know exactly where it leads but I/Watch it go round and round each time”