When it comes to trends in the music industry, Taylor Swift is a leader, not a follower. While many artists have experimented with nontraditional album releases this year—such asNiall Horan releasing a number of singles without an album in sight and John Mayer dropping his latest release in sets of four songs rather than a complete record—Taylor Swift is bucking the trend and sticking to what has worked for the singer’s past five albums.
Announcing her sixth album Reputation in August (due out November 10), Swift then returned to the charts with her lead single “Look What You Made Me Do.” Now the singer is back with yet another track, again leading her own charge and dropping “Ready For It” during an ESPN college football game on a long weekend. While this may be musical death for other tracks, the ‘new’ Taylor Swift (the one who can still come to the phone) is already topping the charts as one of her strongest singles ever.
Going full pop while playing with hip-hop, “Ready for It” starts with a bombastic bass that begs for a music video in which we see more of Swift’s new and improved dance moves, on display in the “Look What You Made Me Do” video.
“Ready For It” shows Swift is continuing to grow. The singer was just nominated for a Country Music Award for writing the song “Better Man” for Little Big Town, with Swift the only solo writer in a category stacked with writing teams.
Continuing to pull from her personal life, Swift appears to reference her relationship with boyfriend Joe Alwyn, citing his age in the line, “Younger than my exes but he act like such a man,” and acknowledging the difficulties they face in the spotlight (“Touch me and you’ll never be alone”).
Swift’s word play is, if you will, a touchdown. She compares herself and Alwyn to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (“Burton to this Taylor”), takes on the media’s portrayal of her as a serial dater (“Me, I was a robber / First time that he saw me / Stealing hearts and running off and never saying sorry”) and delivering a line that most people would love to scream at their exes (“Every lover known in comparison is a failure / I forget their names now”).
It’s no surprise that her second single from Reputation has left Swifties shook. Here are just a few times we weren’t ready for Taylor Swift’s “Ready For It.”
When Taylor Swift made the world into football fans by premiering “Ready For It” during an ESPN college game.
someone: watching the game tonight?
Taylor: watching the game tonight? #readyforit?
me: YES OF COURSE HIT ME WITH THAT FOOTBALL
— trimfantum (@StarlightTSwift) September 2, 2017
When people forget that Swift has a history of spitting straight fire.
— Jacqueline Lawson (@lawsonjaycie) September 3, 2017
When her whispers became a religion.
— emma wasn’t ready (@shookswiftie) September 3, 2017
When Taylor is the best person to describe “Ready For It.”
*Ready For It starts playing
Taylor: *clears her throat
— Taylor Swift Updates (@TSUpdatesNY) September 4, 2017
When Taylor was the only worthy opponent to Taylor.
— Miguel Castrillón (@Miguel_CBedoya) September 3, 2017
When Taylor’s lyrics speak to our most inner self.
I see nothing better
I keep him forever
Like a vendetta-tta
— ‘Zel (@_crxzxl__) September 3, 2017
When Taylor was her own featured artist.
Taylor could have collabed with a rapper for this song, but she did it herself . Slay queen slay #ReadyForIt
— Brad (@bradswiftiz) September 3, 2017
When Taylor added ‘Rap’ and managed to cover all genres in six albums.
— ✘ (@Iordeandsaviour) September 3, 2017
When “Ready For It” hit the airwaves and fans knew it was going to make for the ultimate tour opener.
Taylor is gonna start of the Reputation tour and say “are you ready for it” and pop from under the stage, and I’m gonna cry so hard
— Dayton (@inyourbaddreams) September 3, 2017
And then she’ll obviously go into “Look What You Made Me Do.”
— (@luckyxswift) September 3, 2017
When Taylor’s track record speaks for itself.
It’s just amazing, Taylor Swift STILL HAS IT. 5 albums later, 2 AOTY Grammys, and she STILL HAS IT. I don’t think we are #ReadyForIt
— Zac (@_GuySwiftie13) September 3, 2017