Well, well, well. At long last, Taylor Swift released Reputation, her first album since 2014's 1989. The album has a total of 15 songs plus a prologue track, and as fans of the singer know almost all of Swift's tunes are inspired by real life people, events, and most notably — relationships. But is Reputation all about Joe Alwyn? It wouldn't be a huge stretch. Swift is currently dating actor Alwyn, known for his starring role in 2016's Oscar nominated Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Though we don't know how long Swift and the 26-year-old have been dating, the content of the new album makes it pretty clear that a great deal of it could have been inspired by her new beau.
Three out of the four singles Swift dropped ahead of Reputation's release help make this case. On October 20, Swift released "Gorgeous," a track that referred to a man with "ocean blue eyes" that could potentially be Alwyn or another one of Swift's exes — Tom Hiddleston. But the Hiddleston theory was quickly shut down when Swift invited fans to a secret listening party for the new album at her home, where she apparently told her guests that "Gorgeous" is about, you guessed it, her beloved Alwyn.
"Call It What You Want" is single off the album, and the lyrics certainly point towards Alwyn as the inspiration for the track. She sings:
I recall late November
Holding my breath, slowly I said "you don't need to save me, but would you run away with me?"
The November reference could point to the time of year when she and Alwyn apparently first met. And in another one of Swift's singles, "...Ready For It?" there are even more clues that supposedly reference her current boyfriend.
For example, in the song she says the phrase, "...younger than my exes," likely referring to the age gap between her and Alwyn. And as fans have pointed out, there are easter eggs in the "...Ready For It?" music video that seem to reference the British actor. The numbers 91 and 89 appear next to each other above a keypad in the video, perhaps referencing Swift ('89) and Alwyn ('91)'s birth years.
So there's a good chance that at least three out of the four singles released by Swift ahead of Reputation were inspired by her current flame. But what about the rest of the songs on her album? Is it possible that the vast majority of songs are in fact a tribute, or love letter, to her significant other?
Absolutely. Take "Don't Blame Me," in which Swift sings:
I've been breakin' hearts a long time, and
Toyin' with them older guys
Just to play things for me to use
Something happened for the first time, in
The darkest little paradise, shaken
Pacin', I just need you
In this song she makes another reference to dating older men, indicating that the thing that "happened for the first time" could be in reference to someone who was different, i.e., not an older man like her last two boyfriends, Hiddleston and Calvin Harris (both in their 30s). Swift is seemingly making many references to Alwyn's younger age, and this could be another one of those instances.
In "Delicate" she makes another pointed reference to the color blue. She sings:
look at you
Oh damn, never seen that color blue
Just think of the fun things we could do
'Cause I like you
It's unclear whether or not she is referencing eye color, but it would be the second time on the album Swift called out Alwyn's icy blue eyes.
And in "King of My Heart" Swift makes two references that could easily point to Alwyn. She sings, "So prove to me I'm your American Queen..." which could be a call-out to him being from London. In that same vein, she sings, "Say you fancy me, not fancy stuff..." In this instance the word "fancy" is used as a verb, as in, "to fancy someone." This is likely referring to Alwyn's British roots, also, as it's a common turn of phrase in the UK.
Until Swift flat out tells her fans who the songs or the album as a whole is about, it's difficult to say for certain, but all signs points to Reputation being an album heavily influenced by her current beau.