Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ Is Almost Here. Let’s Discuss.

Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ Is Almost Here. Let’s Discuss.


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Taylor Swift has given some clues as to her new direction on her sixth album, “Reputation.”

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Suzanne Cordeiro/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Popcast is hosted by Jon Caramanica, a pop music critic for The New York Times. It covers the latest in pop music criticism, trends and news.

After the steady drip of four new songs, Taylor Swift season is about to intensify. Around midnight on Friday, the singer will release “Reputation,” her sixth album, and first since the self-proclaimed death of the “old Taylor.”

Ms. Swift, one of the biggest pop stars of her era, has given some clues as to her new direction: The first two singles, “Look What You Made Me Do” and “…Ready for It?,” along with their corresponding music videos, are drawn from a darker palette than albums past. But two follow-up songs — “Gorgeous” and “Call It What You Want” — are lighter and more bubbly, reminiscent of the melodic, pop-oriented Taylor Swift of “1989.”

Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ Is Almost Here. Let’s Discuss.

Rather than speaking for herself, though, the singer has been largely mum on what it all means, avoiding interviews and public appearances in the run-up to the release of “Reputation.”

To assess the music so far and read the tea leaves about what we might expect from “Reputation,” the pop music team of The New York Times convened a pregame podcast: The critic Jon Caramanica, a longtime chronicler of Ms. Swift’s career, is joined by the chief pop critic Jon Pareles, the music editor Caryn Ganz and the reporter Joe Coscarelli to discuss where Ms. Swift sits in today’s Top 40 landscape, how she’s addressed her unfinished business (including with her off-again-on-again rival Kanye West) and where the old Taylor meets the new Taylor.

Also on the agenda: Ms. Swift’s relationship with technology and the internet, including her savvy use of the blogging platform Tumblr, where she engages regularly with her most die-hard fans, and reports that she may withhold “Reputation” from streaming services to boost early sales.

Email your questions, thoughts and ideas about what’s happening in pop music to popcast@nytimes.com.

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