Counting Down to TS7: 4 Clues That Taylor Swift is Releasing Her Next Album & 4 Predictions Based on Her Social Media Teasers

 

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Taylor Swift is counting down to 4/26. // Screen shot captured via taylorswift.com

 

If you’ve read my blog or follow me on social media at all, then you’ve probably figured out that I’m a pretty big Taylor Swift fan.

And if you know me in real life and have texted me recently (Hi Brenna!), then you know I was freaking out when I saw the notification from Miss T-Swizzle about new music coming on 4/26. And that I’ve been freaking out about everything she’s teased since.

Palm trees, butterflies, and pretty pastel colors, oh my! Plus, what is she hinting at?

Here are four clues that Taylor is getting ready to release her next album and four of my predictions about TS7:

 

First, Taylor is definitely releasing an album this year.

Despite many rumors, Taylor isn’t getting ready to announce her engagement to her boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. I also doubt she’s going to launch another app like The Swift Life. (Especially when she wound up shutting it down). A new fragrance? Maybe, but it’s a stretch. (The last time she released a fragrance was in 2013 ). Logically then, the only obvious thing left is new music, and according to Perez Hilton, Taylor told him that her next album would be out before she turns 30 in December backstage before she played the Rose Bowl on her reputation Stadium Tour. Taylor also mentioned how excited she was for “the next chapter” of her career at the American Music Awards this past October, which prompted the initial talk of TS7. (Watch the video below).

 

Second, Universal Music Group and Republic Records are promoting Taylor’s 4/26 countdown.

Taylor’s contract with her former label, Big Machine Records expired in November. Upon becoming a free agent, she chose to sign with Universal Music Group and Republic Records, where she’ll own all her master recordings going forward. Now this seems obvious, but why would her new label promote her social media teasers if she wasn’t releasing new music? They wouldn’t. That means the first single from TS7 is, in fact, coming in less than two weeks!

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My new home 🎶

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

 

Third, Taylor said she’d let her fans know when she’s going to release new music.

And she did. Three times, actually. First, in her 2019 calendar where April 13th is stamped; second, at the iHeart Radio Awards during her acceptance speech for Tour of the Year (watch the video below); and finally, in her “30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30” piece published in ELLE under item #26, which reads, “I make countdowns for things I’m excited about.Pretty clever, huh?

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Screen shot captured via ELLE.com

 

 

Fourth, Taylor’s updated her social media avatars and bios.

When Taylor teased her sixth studio album, reputation, she blacked out all of her social media channels, eventually posting the now iconic snake video series associated with the LP’s explosive first single, “Look What You Made Me Do.” (In doing so, she even overshadowed the solar eclipse). This time around, she’s changed her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr avatars to a plain pastel background and has edited her profile bios to simply read “4.26.” One era ends, and another begins. (Insert tears here).

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Screen shot captured via Twitter

 

Okay, great. So, what about the actual teasers she’s been posting?

This is where things get tricky and a host of fan theories drive all kinds of ideas about the album and its sound. However, thanks to what photos Taylor’s shared thus far, there are at least some definite confirmations about TS7’s overall feel.

1) The TS7 era is all about pastels.

A stark contrast to reputation, TS7 is all about soft pinks, blues, and yellows. The bright feel of the era is closely connected to the idea that Taylor’s “doing better than [she] ever was” (as expressed on reputation track #14, “Call It What You Want“), so I’m pretty confident we, as fans, can expect more love songs.

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Screen shot captured via Instagram

 

2) Genre-wise, TS7 might fall in between country and pop, or it might be something entirely unique.

Looking at the photo of the seven palm trees Taylor posted on Instagram back in February, the first four trees are situated on the left (Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, and RED, Taylor’s country albums), while the next two trees are situated on the right (1989 and reputation, Taylor’s pop albums). This is followed by a single tree positioned directly in the middle (TS7). Of course, we won’t know for sure until the album drops.

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🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴🌴

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

 

3) Thematically, TS7 could be centered around victory or growth.

Along with the image of the palm trees–which is a symbol of victory–the recurring image for the TS7 era has been butterflies. (Taylor even wore butterfly shoes to the iHeart Radio Awards a month ago–see the photo below ). With that in mind, the theme of TS7 could be growth or change. After all, butterflies do symbolize metamorphosis. Similarly, butterflies can also represent the idea of resurrection, which Taylor has previously iterated on reputation lyrics like, “Honey, I rose up from the dead/I do it all the time” on “Look What You Made Me Do” and “Is this the end of all the endings?/My broken bones are mending” on “King of My Heart.” I’ll admit, this is the part I’m most excited for. Knowing what a talented lyricist Taylor is, I can’t wait to hear how she’ll put her most recent experiences and feelings into song on TS7.

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🦋 💗 📸 @presleyannphoto

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

 

4) The photo teasers Taylor’s been posting could create a larger image.

Thus far, Taylor’s shared photos of a pink heart pendant; a yellow coat; a pink dress; her cats, Meredith and Olivia (no disrespect to the ladies, but I’m not sure how they fit); and what looks like a blue dress. Assuming she’s going to continue posting a teaser–or two–every day until 4/26, then perhaps she’ll keep alternating the color pattern–remember: pink, blue, and yellow pastels–and have the pink images match up with each other, the yellow image match up with another yellow image, and the blue image match up with another blue image until all the photos create one larger photo. On the flip side, maybe each image is its own entity and the series will collectively make up the album art for TS7. Or maybe they’re all stills from a music video photoshoot. Either way, I’m sure Tay Tay will answer that for us in a little less than nine days. ; )

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4.26

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

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4.26

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

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4.26

A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift) on

 

So, until then, I–and many other Swifties–will keep theorizing. I’ll also keep obsessively refreshing Taylor’s Instagram feed for more clues.

If you’re a Taylor Swift fan, what are your TS7 theories? What are you most excited for?

Comment below or tweet me at @cmsellers14.

 

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What is NaPoWriMo? + 8 Tips for Participating (With GIFs!)

Fact: April is National Poetry Writing Month.

To celebrate, both amateur and established wordsmiths take on the annual NaPoWriMo challenge of writing a poem a day for the entire month. Then at the completion of the challenge, each participant has thirty poems to continue editing, shelve, or choose to send out for potential publication.

The task is arduous, yet fun. Exhilarating. Mind-boggling. Valuable. Revelatory. It can also be a bit overwhelming if you’ve never done it before.

Interested in trying it out, but don’t know where to start? Want advice on the best way to approach NaPoWriMo? Here are a few tips I’ve compiled based on my own experiences with this 30-day writing challenge:

First, practice beforehand if you can. I participated in NaPoWriMo for the first time in 2016. In order to gauge the level of difficulty it’d require, I wrote a poem a day every day in December 2015. It was extremely daunting at first, but after a while, it got easier. I also learned that I could participate for real in April with confidence because I’d done it before and succeeded.

Two, know that you won’t be satisfied with every poem you write. If you’re writing a poem a day for thirty days, not every poem is going to be your best. Some days, you’ll be excited to write and you’ll produce something great. Others, you won’t be inspired and you’ll scrawl out anything just to meet your quota. (I know I have). And guess what? That’s okay. The object of NaPoWriMo isn’t to write a bunch of poems that would make Shakespeare envious. It’s about consistently building and refining your craft and developing your voice as a writer. Half of your poems might be great and half might not. Write anyway.

Third, do what works for you. Some NaPoWriMo-ers search for writing prompts to help guide them and what topics they want to write about. Some don’t. (I personally fall into the latter category). With that in mind, I advise you to do what you feel will work best for you. And if you don’t have a preference either way, try mixing things up and using both techniques. It’ll definitely make your experience that much more interesting and memorable.

Fourth, decide what medium you want to use. Would you rather write out each poem in your journal or notebook? What about typing your poems in a Word document or a series of posts to share on your writing blog? Again, this is all personal preference. If you have a writing blog, but don’t want to share your poems until you’ve edited them more, keep them on your computer or in your notebook. If you’re ready to share them with the world, then post away. (Pro Tip: NaPoWriMo is a big deal on Tumblr. If you want to share your poems there, use the tags #napowrimo, #spilledink, and #poetry, and you can connect with fellow participants and read their work. They can also read yours–a win win).

Fifth, acknowledge that you’re going to feel like giving up. Whether it hits you on day 5, day 15, or day 28, know that it’ll happen at some point. It doesn’t matter if you’re participating for the first time or the twentieth time, NaPoWriMo is draining, both physically and emotionally. Do all you can to keep pushing through to the end and remind yourself what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Something else that also helps me is telling myself that I’m taking the entire month of May off and 1) not writing anything or 2) writing very few things. A large part of NaPoWriMo is perseverance. Don’t quit.

Sixth, if you do give up, know that it’s not the end. I participated in NaPoWriMo for the first time in 2016. I enjoyed it so much that I couldn’t wait for my second go-around in 2017. That year, I had a nine-month-old puppy. I was also maintaining a volunteer gig in PR and was still trying to land my first post-grad job.  I started the challenge but only made it to day 10 because I had a lot of other things going on. Of course I was bummed that I had to quit–I didn’t want to–but it helped prepare me that much more for the next year. In 2018, my puppy was nearing two years old, and I had my first post-grad job. And guess what? I made it to the end of NaPoWriMo. (!!!)

Seventh, have fun. I continually reiterate how important it is to have fun when you’re writing. It enriches your experience that much more and motivates you to keep learning how to become a better storyteller.  NaPoWriMo is the same. Yes, it can be draining and stressful at times. However, I firmly believe that the fun outweighs the stress if you stay open-minded. It’s not some kind of writing torture designed to make you miserable. It’s actually quite the opposite. I speak from experience when I say that I’m continually reminded how beneficial NaPoWriMo is to me as a writer. Plus, it’s really cool to look through the poems I wrote each year and note how much my style has evolved and how I’ve improved. It can be the same for you.

Finally, congratulate yourself when you reach the end. You did it! You made it! Before you start sorting through what you’ve written and decide to edit some things or send your poems out for potential publication, treat yourself to a celebratory cup of coffee, a good night’s sleep and an entire month–or two–off from writing. You have a lot to be proud of! : )

Have you ever participated in NaPoWriMo? What was your experience like? What tips can you offer your fellow wordsmiths?

Comment below or tweet me at @cmsellers14.

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On Music & Storytelling

 

I’ve been in love with storytelling since I was a child.

To me, form—novels, films, poetry, music—doesn’t matter, I gravitate toward stories that are relatable, honest, evocative, and raw.

I love listening to music, in particular because the artist is inviting you to get to know them in an intimate setting. It’s like reading their diary or flipping through an album of their photos and other personal mementos. Like they’re letting you in on a secret they may or may not have ever intended to share with the rest of the world. 

I think this also reinforces why I’m a firm believer in owning physical copies of albums.

I value the ability to hold something tangible, to remove the CD from its packaging and pore over the lyrics and liner notes. To be able to visit and re-visit the entire body of work as many times as I want, whenever I want.

From my pre-teen years to my present life, my favorite artists releasing new music has always been a big deal to me.

It’s something to look forward to and count down to, something to make a trip to the store for, something I hope to pass on to my future children or nieces and nephews someday, something that never loses its magic. It’s a constant in a world that often is cold and chaotic.

Music has value.

It’s healing, cathartic, powerful, spiritual.

Music is a universal language understood and loved by many and I’m proud to include myself in this category.

Do you love music? If so, what does it mean to you? What do you enjoy most about music as a form of storytelling?

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Remembering Why I Started + 5 Tips for Combating Writing “Burnout”

Honesty hour: Writing has been really difficult for me lately and I haven’t enjoyed practicing my craft.

When I started this blog last July, I was excited to have my own space to grow and develop my voice. In more recent months; however, I’ve felt the pressure to keep producing and pushing content, so that this space stays “current.” I’ve also been obsessively monitoring my blog’s analytics and have felt preoccupied by clicks, likes, comments, and new followers.

As if the quality of how “good” my writing is rests on how many people read and respond to a particular post or don’t. As if this should influence my decision as to whether or not I continue to maintain this space.

Validation culture in 2019 is a dangerous thing for creatives. It makes us doubt ourselves, it impacts our ability to create for the pure joy of doing so, it sparks feelings of frustration, sadness, and even jealousy. It pulls our focus from what’s truly important.

I admit this is something I’ve had to remind myself of a lot lately. I don’t write for Internet validation–though it is nice when my words connect with others and they share this with me–I write because I like telling stories. I write because I enjoy sharing my knowledge and perspective on certain topics (see Music Journalism). I write because it’s therapeutic.

I write because I find happiness in creating. 

And you know what? That’s enough for me.

In thinking about why I started this platform again, I still say that I wanted a space where I could grow and develop my voice as well as hold myself accountable, “show up,” and commit to my craft even when I don’t always feel like it. I’ve done that, and in my opinion, that’s the true measure of my success. (The power of positive thinking, am I right)? Pursuing a creative life isn’t easy–as I’m often reminded–but continually “showing up” and cultivating my craft is how I’m going to become a better storyteller.

I believe in myself and I am my primary audience. If I write for me and with the intent of  becoming a better storyteller–if I just be myself–then I’m confident I’ll connect with people who believe in me and in my words. And if not, then that’s okay, too. No matter what, I always want writing to be a part of my life.

So then, how do I combat writing “burnout” and continue practicing my craft for the pure joy of it? How can you?

First, I suggest finding a platform to practice your craft. That could be a blog, journal, or even a freelance gig at a website or newspaper. There is no right or wrong choice here. Determine what you want to write about and where.

Second, disregard validation. This is a tough one, but if you focus on just the recognition aspect of writing, you won’t be happy. Write for yourself. Write to improve. Write because there’s joy in creating. Believe in your own abilities and grow as a storyteller. If people like what you have to say, then they’ll find you. Just relax and be yourself.

Third, take breaks when necessary. It’s okay to step away from your work if you need to. A lot of the time this is helpful and doing so gives you perspective. Maybe you’re writing something and you just can’t get the words out the way that you want to. Stepping away and shelving your work for a day–or a week–can give you insight on what might not be working and how you can correct that.

Fourth, connect with fellow writers. Do you have friends who also write? Trade anecdotes about how your writing is going over coffee or lunch. Or if you maintain an online blog, seek out writers with similar content. Read what they’re writing and figure out what you can learn from them. They may even offer you valuable tips on how to improve your craft.

Finally, have fun. Writing is no good if you’re not having fun. Take creative risks and embrace your artistic license. Experiment with your style, voice, and form. Experimenting with your art can show you exactly who you are and what you want to say as a writer. It may also help you develop an appreciation for a writing style you previously disliked or never considered utilizing. (For example, I used to hate poetry. Then I read more poems. Soon after, I fostered a deep love for it and now I write poems for fun). You’d be surprised at what can happen. : )

If you’re a writer–or other type of creative–how do you keep practicing your craft when you’re struggling? Do you combat creative “burnout” or seeking validation? What tips can you offer your fellow creatives?

Comment below or tweet me at @cmsellers14

 

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You Say

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Photo Cred: https://weheartit.com/entry/319461359?

You know when you hear–really hear–a song for the first time? When the lyrics hit you at the exact moment you need them to?

That’s how I’m currently feeling about Lauren Daigle’s “You Say.”

It’s a song I’ve put on during moments of spiritual reflection, a song I find absolutely beautiful, and a song that I didn’t know how much I needed until this past weekend.

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Sunday

I was trying to rest, but I just couldn’t calm down. I had my earbuds in, only half paying attention to the sounds coming out of my phone speakers. A powerful wave of anxiety had taken over and I couldn’t stop it.

It was so loud.

Whatever song I’d been playing finished. I scrolled through my music library and stopped when I came to artists under “L.” I tapped “You Say,” closed my eyes, and tried to breathe deeply.

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough. Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up.

The moment I heard that first line of the song, I felt the tears slip from my eyes. The lyrics described my emotions perfectly.

At twenty-something years of existence and in a weird place career-wise coupled with the pervasive nature of social media and the ability to click through everyone else’s “highlight reels,” I’ve been driven by fear and the pressure to perform lately. I’ve been consumed by it.

And all I’ve wanted is for it–the negativity, self-doubt, what-ifs, and fear of failure–to go away.

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I’ve prayed for this–admittedly, sometimes half-heartedly–but it still remains. And the anxiety still hits–usually when I’m trying to fall asleep or just waking up. But Sunday felt different.

The fear of failure, what-ifs, negativity, and self-doubt–the lies–were still there. But God was there, too.

For the entirety of that song, and even after, I felt His presence. I felt Him saying, “I know you’re going through this difficult time, but I’m here. And I’m bigger than this, than any fear or anxiety or negativity or what-ifs or self-doubt, give these things to Me.”

And I listened to the lyrics and I cried some more.

You say I am strong when I think I am weak.

In You, I find my worth, in You, I find my identity.

Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet.

You have every failure, God, and You’ll have every victory.

And I think this was exactly what I needed.

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One of my favorite writers, Hannah Brencher says, “Thank your limp,” or “Thank the thing that makes you need God more.” (A Side note: Go follow her, she is seriously amazing and she writes about a host of topics–faith, social media, mental health, the importance of community–so well). 

I don’t know how you feel about God, reader, but I do know that we each need to be reminded of our own worth and that we were made for more than anxiety, self-doubt, negativity, what-ifs, and fear of failure.

That doesn’t mean that we don’t struggle with these things or that we don’t sometimes feel consumed by them or that we say a prayer and things are instantly better. It means that we’re all human, we’re all imperfect, and we should all be kind to each other. Christian or Atheist, I think we can all agree that love is bigger, louder, and more impactful.

With that in mind, let’s speak words of positivity over ourselves and others, let’s remind ourselves of our worth, let’s lean on God in our lowest moments, and let’s bring His love to everyone we encounter. 

Our world could always use more love.

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In loving memory of J.P. (1952-2019)

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Enjoy this post? Comment below or tweet me at @cmsellers14.

My Top 10 Favorite Love Songs of All Time

 

Fact: I’m a hopeless romantic. Soul mates, butterflies, finding the kind of love that exists in Nicholas Sparks novels–I believe in all of it.

The only thing I enjoy more than watching a good love story play out in one of those novels or a sappy Netflix movie? Listening to a love song.

I think there’s something so special and beautiful about someone expressing their feelings for another to music and then sharing it with the world. In honor of Valentine’s Day then, I’ve compiled a list of my Top 10 Favorite Love Songs of All Time:

10. “Love Song,” Sara Bareilles

I remember being obsessed with this song when it came out. (I still am). I thought it was a unique take on a “love song,” and Sara is both sassy and clever on this track. You want me to write a love song about you? That’s a little presumptuous considering we’re still kind of early on in this “relationship.” Oh wait, let me write about that. Bam, instant #1. (And rightfully so).

9. “Better Place,” Rachel Platten

The top two things I love about this song? First, the piano sounds gorgeous and maintains a steady presence throughout the track. Second, the feelings Rachel expresses are not only relatable, but also stated in a way that is both simple and elegant: love has changed my life for the better. We should all aspire to find something similar.

8. “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” Aerosmith

I wouldn’t normally consider a rock song “tender,” but this one is an exception. The emotional quality of the lyrics paired with the drums and Steven Tyler’s signature growl also make for an interesting combination that is unmistakable to the listener. This isn’t just one of the greatest love songs of all time, but one of the greatest songs in music history.

7. “I Hate Love Songs,” Kelsea Ballerini

When I first heard this track from my girl, KB, it reminded me of how I felt the first time I heard Sara Bareilles’ “Love Song.” And I know that’s because this one is also not a “typical” love song. I dig Kelsea’s ‘tude and the way she pokes holes in a variety of cliches (kissing in the rain, catching the bouquet, Cupid, the honeymoon phase, etc.). Plus, I also agree that violets are purple, not blue.

6. “Speechless,” Dan + Shay

There are an infinite number of reasons why I love this song, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll share these five: the melody, the guitar riff, Dan + Shay’s vocals on the chorus, the fact that this would be the perfect first dance song if I get married someday, and finally, that I tear up every time I listen to it. The only thing I find better than a good love song is a good country love song.

5. “The Difference,” Tyler Rich

I recently heard this song on my local country station, and it was love at first listen. The track is equally flirty and sweet. In addition, it’s catchy, fun, and it makes me want to dance.  And what’s better than that? Nothing.

4. “Call It What You Want,” Taylor Swift

This song isn’t just one of my favorites from reputation, it’s also one of my favorite songs that my girl, T has ever written. Here’s why: she wrote it about finding love when she’d lost everything that mattered (her name, the career that she worked so hard to build, people she thought were her friends). And when she met her guy, he didn’t care about any of that, he loved her for her (an idea iterated on fellow reputation track, “Delicate” as well). In addition, I love this song’s soft, cozy vibe and its honest, heartfelt lyrics like, “I want to wear his initial on a chain ’round my neck, chain ’round my neck/Not because he owns me/But ’cause he really knows me” and “[He] loves me like I’m brand new.” It’s a song that should be sad, but instead will make the listener smile for its entire three-minute, twenty-three-second duration. I know I do.

3. “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” Elvis Presley

I’m going to be a little bit ambitious with this one and say that it’s the quintessential love song. Elvis has been gone for a while now, but this song maintains great longevity and has been covered by countless artists since his passing. Great songs transcend all time because of factors like emotional reach and relatability and this song does exactly that. Another song that will go down as one of the greatest in music history.

2. “I’ll Be,” Edwin McCain

I’d be foolish not to include this signature track from Edwin McCain in my list. This may fall under the pop genre, but rock sensibilities are definitely palpable in Edwin’s vocals. The horns complement the guitar sounds well (particularly at the end of the song) and the chorus contains some of the most recognizable lyrics ever written (My personal favorite is: “I’ll be better when I’m older/I’ll be the greatest fan of your life”). Overall, a top-notch track.

1. “Iris,” The Goo Goo Dolls

My final spot on the list goes to this little gem. It’s a song that I constantly heard on the radio as a kid (and that has stuck with me through adulthood), a song I’ve always admired, and a song that I can’t help but sing every word to. I love that instantly recognizable guitar intro; the way Johnny Rzeznik’s vocals start out smooth, then gradually become grittier and more rocker; and of course, the sweeping, completely instrumental breakdown that follows the second chorus. Iconic.

And that’s the list! If you’d like to give any of these songs a listen, I’ve put together a Spotify playlist you can check out (linked below). The songs appear in chronological rank from one to 10.

Have any exciting plans for Valentine’s Day? Want to share your thoughts on my list or tell me your favorite love songs of all time? Comment below or tweet me at @cmsellers14

Review: Taylor Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour on Netflix

Taylor Swift released her reputation Stadium Tour movie on Netflix exactly a month ago.

Having seen the tour live when it stopped in my hometown this past summer, I was excited to watch the concert again and re-live all of my favorite moments in stunning HD from the privacy and comfort of my bedroom.

I was also eager to see what kinds of behind-the-scenes content Taylor had to share with her fans. Would there be cameos from surprise guests? Bloopers? Brand-new footage?

I recently watched the reputation Stadium Tour movie since its New Year’s Eve premiere, and let me just say that Taylor did not disappoint. Here’s my breakdown of all the fun:

 

Stunning Visual Quality

I think what I enjoyed most about the movie was the quality of the footage. (I’ll never shut up about how stunning HD footage is. Seriously). There was a good balance between close-up shots of Taylor and her band and dancers as well as pan-overs of fans in the crowd. Every detail is magnified–from the costuming to the choreography to the confetti raining down throughout the stadium.

And here’s why this matters: when I saw the tour live with my friend over the summer, we were seated in Section 216. Our seats weren’t terribly high up, but we also weren’t as close as the fans sitting in the 100 level. We had a great time dancing and singing along, but if we looked away from the video screens and down at the base of the stage, Taylor was a tiny speck that was barely visible to us. (I’m not kidding. I have a video on my phone where my pinky finger is bigger). 

Director Paul Dugdale puts the viewer directly on the stage in a way that almost feels 3D. (A great example of this is when Taylor sings “Blank Space” on the B-Stage and reaches directly into the camera). He also has his cinematographers use other shots that keep the viewer a little bit further back from the action, though still close enough to be aware of everything going on, which is both a cool and clever technique. Note: Pay extra close attention to this during the “Long Live”/”New Year’s Day” mash-up when the viewer’s placement within the stadium moves from hovering over Taylor’s shoulder as she sits at the piano to standing in the crowd multiple times–it’s awesome.

A Killer Setlist

What’s a concert without a setlist? Answer: nothingAnd the setlist for rep Tour Netflix is killerTaylor pulls out all the hits from her catalogue, both old and new–from “Love Story” to “Look What You Made Me Do” to “You Belong With Me” to “Delicate.”

There are even mash-ups of some of her most beloved tracks like “Bad Blood” and “Should’ve Said No” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.” (My personal favorite is the aforementioned “Long Live” and “New Year’s Day”).  Her tour mates, Charli XCX and Camila Cabello join her for “Shake It Off.” She slows things down mid-way through the concert with acoustic versions of “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” (which sounds amazing acoustically, by the way) and “All Too Well” (one of the most popular songs she’s written to date).

She also keeps the crowd entertained while she runs backstage to change costumes with a video intro to “Look What You Made Me Do,” a reading of her poem, “Why She Disappeared” before “Getaway Car” (the poem is featured in one of the reputation album magazines from Target) and an extended drum solo during “King of My Heart.” Most of all, she jokes around with her band and dancers while performing and works the stage with the confidence of a seasoned entertainer–which she is–the entire time.

 

Touching Speeches and Tributes

As someone who’s attended Taylor’s concerts for years now, one thing I always look forward to is her speeches and tributes between songs. While watching rep Tour Netflix, viewers will note quite a few of them.

She pauses to reflect about how damaging gossip and bad reputations affect things like finding real love and friendship before singing “Delicate” and thanks her fans for all the love they’ve shown her song “All Too Well” throughout the years, despite it never being a single. (Side note: It’s seven years later, and I’m still upset that song was never a single. It should’ve been. It’s one of her best songs and one of my favorites). 

But the most touching tribute happens right before the “Long Live”/”New Year’s Day” mash-up when she thanks everyone involved with the tour–the crew, technicians, and security, etc.–for sacrificing their time with their loved ones to travel the world and help her put on a great concert every night. This is followed by the camera cutting over to a member of security who flashes a thumbs up from the crowd and Taylor leading her fans in a round of applause for everyone’s hard work. It’s a very sweet and poignant moment that stands out–not only because this is the point in the film where viewers will realize there are just a few songs left, but also because it was shot on the last night of the U.S. leg of the tour. (A word of advice: If you’re like me and this makes you emotional, have some tissues nearby). It’s a moment I won’t ever forget.

Behind-the-Scenes Bloopers

Something I’m always eager to see at the end of any film is bloopers. At the conclusion of rep Tour Netflix, Taylor treats her fans to some behind-the-scenes goofs where things just didn’t go as planned during rehearsals.

Laugh along as Taylor forgets her choreography, gets lost on her massive stage, and demonstrates just how quickly she needs to carry out her quick changes. (Fun fact: During the bloopers, one of Taylor’s techs shares that the decking for her stage alone is “bigger than a 767 airplane.” Again, massive). It’s the perfect ending.

Overall, rep Tour Netflix is more than just a “concert film,” it’s a magical musical production that will captivate and entertain viewers for the entirety of its two-hour, five-minute run. It’ll make you sing and dance along, cry, and laugh. Best of all, it’ll make you keep pushing “play” again and again.

Are you a Taylor Swift fan that’s seen rep Tour Netflix? What were your favorite moments? Comment below or tweet me at @cmsellers14.