reputation X taylor swift – album review

pop culture plug

Much ado has been said about Taylor Swift. Country’s pop chanteuse left the stable last year with 1989 and doubles down on the pop styling in her new offering “reputation“.

As a body of work, the word reputation gets thrown around a lot and it focuses heavily on her deep love for new boyfriend Joe Alwyn and his loyalty to her in the last few years of her life when the media turned on her after she was exposed as a liar by Kanye and Kim. As well documented on the single and subsequent video for “Look What You Made Me“, Taylor Swift is trying to flip the image she has cultivated of being a victim on its head. Multiple references to “they took my crown away” and losing her “kingdom” fill the pages of Swift’s latest work. So let’s review each song track by track!

Ready For It – 3/5

Taylor’s first foray into rapping peaks with “He don’t try at all though, younger than my exes but he acts like such a man so“. There is nothing really much to say after that. “In the middle of the night, you should see things we do baby“. It’s mediocre songwriting but the beat goes off.

End Game (ft. Future and Ed Sheeran)  – 3/5

The first song to directly reference “reputation” (“Reputation precedes me, they told you I’m crazy / I swear I don’t love the drama, it loves me”). It reiterates that she wants Joe to be her endgame and not for he someone he forgets even with his love for the bad girls. I wanna think with the caliber of collaborators that this will end up as a single but I’d really hope not. It’s a bit childish but the beat and the production goes off. I mean, childish songs sell all the time and it’s sure to be a hit on the name alone.

I Did Something Bad – 5/5

This song goes OFF. I love it. It’s Swift as a classic mustache swirling villain. If the theme of reputation was to embrace being a villain this is the song that truly hits it. It’s Swift giving no fucks and having no regrets. The production from Max Martin and Shellback is electrifying. This was such a A+ class pop song, it would have been a stellar first single as opposed to the lame duck “Look What You Made Me Do“. The lyrics are unapologetic af.  (“I can feel the flames on my skin / Crimson red paint on my lips /If a man talks shit, then I owe him nothing /I don’t regret it one bit, ’cause he had it coming”) and (“I never trust a narcissist / But they love me / So I play ’em like a violin / And I make it look oh so easy / ‘Cause for every lie I tell them / They tell me three”) ending it with a defiant verse about lighting her up like the witch they think she is but despite it all “I’d do it over and over again if I could, it felt so good”. This deserves the single treatment, issa BOP.

Don’t Blame Me – 4/5

This song sees Swift declaring Joe’s love is a drug that made her crazy. (“Don’t blame me, your love made me crazy / If it doesn’t, you ain’t doin’ it right / Lord, save me, my drug is my baby / I’d be usin’ for the rest of my life”). It’s your standard, ride or die for your man kinda track.

Delicate 5/5

The second song to reference Taylor Swift’s reputation is another declaration of love to Joe Alwyn.  (“My reputation’s never been worse, so you must like me for me…”). It’s about those early stages of having a crush and liking someone where there is this literal delicate uncertainty of mutual feelings and how deep it goes for each party.

(“Is it cool that I said all that? / Is it chill that you’re in my head? / ‘Cause I know that it’s delicate (delicate) / Is it cool that I said all that / Is it too soon to do this yet? / ‘Cause I know that it’s delicate / Isn’t it? Isn’t it? Isn’t it? Isn’t it?”).  It peaks as the flirtation crosses the line into total intimacy (“Do the girls back home touch you like I do? / Long night, with your hands up in my hair / Echoes of your footsteps on the stairs / Stay here, honey, I don’t wanna share / ‘Cause I like you”) It’s vulnerable and set against the upbeat production by Max Martin and Shellback, it’s an honest account of the delicate tightrope of holding yourself back to someone you feel an instant attraction to. #relateable. Another awesome potential single.

Look What You Made Me Do – 2/5

Set against the body of work thus far, LWYMMD is ultimately filler but was put out as the face of this era to torch Taylor’s old image. It’s only serves as a place-mark in pop culture simply for  “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now / “Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead!” 

So It Goes… – 3/5

Another love song about Joe. But this one gets a little more explicit. (“And our pieces fall / Right into place / Get caught up in the moments / Lipstick on your face / So it goes… / I’m yours to keep / And I’m yours to lose / You know / I’m  not a bad girl, but I / Do bad things with you / So it goes…”). It’s another ride or die for your man standard filler.

Gorgeous – 1/5

Another love song. This was released as a promo single in the lead-up to reputation’s release. It reads like a Lonely Island parody song. It has no depth, no heart and it’s utter gar-bage. The production is alright at best.

Getaway Car – 0/5

This song reminds me of Harry Styles and Out of The Woods (from previous album 1989). Maybe it’s the sing-talky style of the song. It sounds like leaving a dude for another guy. It’s honestly boring and should have been cut from the album. It has no impact.

King of My Heart – 1/5

This sounds like a follow-up to the much superior ‘Delicate’. The attraction is new and mutual, when everything feels fiery hot and nothing feels impossible. The themes are all the same, he’s everything she’s ever wanted and different from everyone else. It all sounds like filler to me and the production is loud and messy but this verse is quite nice – “Late in the night, the city’s asleep / Your love is a secret I’m hoping, dreaming, dying to keep / Change my priorities / The taste of your lips is my idea of luxury

Dancing With Our Hands Tied – 2/5

A love song about being scared of losing someone because of outside interference. I feel like this song is a grower that needs multiple listens to get into it. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Taylor Swift song (on an album or unreleased) where she is genuinely scared of losing someone because of what people thought of her.  (“You said there was nothing in the world that could stop it / I had a bad feeling / And darling, you had turned my bed into a sacred oasis / People started talking, putting us through our paces / I knew there was no one in the world who could take it / I had a bad feeling”)

Dress – 5/5

Dress is probably my favorite song on the album. It reminds me of a follow-up to my favorite Taylor Swift song of all time – Enchanted. Whereas Enchanted is about the idealized emotional heights of  the initial meeting and attraction, Dress is the evolution of what happens when idealized emotional heights cross over into physical idealized heights. It’s the most outright sexual song Swift has ever recorded. While previous work (Treacherous, Sparks Fly, State of Grace and All Too Well – all standout tracks of her career) allude to physical intimacy in metaphors and clever asides, Dress is assertive and straightforward –  “Say my name and everything just stops / I don’t want you like a best friend / Only bought this dress so you could take it off / Take it off / Carve your name into my bedpost / ‘Cause I don’t want you like a best friend / Only bought this dress so you could take it off / Take it off“.This should definitely be a single. This is Taylor Swift at 27.

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things – 0/5

Let’s keep it 100. This song is about Kim and Kanye. Even naming it after an internet meme is even more lame. Taylor has had a long list of specific burn book songs – Dear John (over 7 minutes long about John Mayer), Bad Blood (about Katy Perry fucking said John Mayer), Better than Revenge (about Camilla Belle for “stealing Joe Jonas” and basically calling her a whore) and Mean (which was about music critic Bob Lefsetz and won two Grammy Awards for Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance in 2012) but while those songs were fun for drama, ….Nice Things wasn’t really needed. She already did LWYMMD. Choose one of the two because no one cares about this stale beef to have two songs about it.

It was so nice being friends again / There I was giving you a second chance / But then you stabbed my back while shaking my hand / And therein lies the issue / Friends don’t try to trick you / Get you on the phone and mind-twist you /And so I took an axe to a mended fence“.

There is also a part where she stops singing because she can’t even be brought to sing about forgiving him again. “‘Cause forgiveness is a nice thing to do, Haha, I can’t even say it with a straight face”. It’s really stupid and it sucks that it follows an awesome some like Dress because it’s precisely the worst thing about Swift following the best: for fuck’s sake take the L and go home.

Call It What You Want – 4/5

Taylor really knew what she was doing sandwiching her worst song between two of her albums better songs. It’s a good palate cleanser. Call It…. clocks in as the album’s eighth ode of love to Joe Alwyn. I feel like Lena Dunham had a pass at these lyrics with this feminism era lyric: “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“. It’s not entirely impossible as Dunham’s longtime boyfriend and frequent Swift collaborator Jack Antonoff also produced the track. By now, you can already guess what the theme of the song is having someone love you despite the “castle crumbling” around you. The song’s production lends to the sincerity of the lyrics and it gets points for creating the sure to be go-to Facebook status quote of girls in love everywhere: “My baby’s fit like a daydream / Walking with his head down / I’m the one he’s walking to / (Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it) / So call it what you want, yeah / Call it what you want to / My baby’s fly like a jet stream / High above the whole scene /Loves me like I’m brand new”

However there is one thing a little off though, see if you can spot it – “And I know I make the same mistakes every time / Bridges burn, I never learn / At least I did one thing right / I did one thing right / I’m laughin’ with my lover, makin’ forts under covers / Trust him like a brother / Yeah, you know I did one thing right / Starry eyes sparkin’ up my darkest night”. Call It… was the best of the promo singles and despite that weird incesty remark was one of her better love songs on reputation.

New Year’s Day – 3/5

Taylor Swift has written better ballads but one lyric stands out to me “Please don’t ever become a stranger whose laugh I could recognize anywhere”. I get it. It’s the attachment that feels so special you never want there to be a time where it ever ends. It has minimal production and is probably the most stripped down track of the track which sells the song’s vulnerability. It’s sincere but ultimately bland.

OVERALL: I think this album was should be called repetitive instead of reputation. A lot of the songs don’t stray too far from being about Joe saving her from people being mean. I think generally I love Taylor’s songs about love more than the ones about heartbreak and she did some really solid work on this album. Dress to me, is a landmark song for her because it’s a more mature theme as she approaches her 30s. Two songs about Kim and Kanye? No one has the time. As a body of work, it’s more interesting than 1989 but whereas 1989 had stellar songwriting on cuts like Style, Blank Space, Clean and Wildest Dreams, reputation doesn’t have that. Production wise, the album leans a lot into pop, more so than 1989. reputation is probably also her most transparent work. While it’s always fun to decode the liner notes and clues Taylor lines into her album artwork to secretly detail who her songs are about, this time around it was all pretty obvious.

I still think Red and Speak Now remain her strongest and most compelling albums to date. The songwriting on those two albums are miles better than this. The tracks on reputation that are really good hit hard but the ones that miss, miss the mark by a lot. One thing no one can deny though, she is a compelling figure of pop culture, one that can move album sales like mountains. I have no doubt in my mind this album will cross 1M in sales, even without being available on streaming. That’s just her reputation.


reputation is available on iTunes now and coming soon to streaming services worldwide.




pop culture plug

Miss Miley performed two stellar tracks off of her latest album “Younger Now” this weekend on SNL. Younger Now was Cyrus’ first entirely self written album. It was Cyrus embracing her country roots and the influences that have made her one of the biggest pop stars of this decade.

The one that I want to highlight today is Miley’s saccharine love song to Liam Hemsworth: “I Would Die For You”. Her first single “Malibu” was another stirring declaration of love lost and found again (“It’s a brand new start, a dream come true in Malibu”) but “I Would Die For You” is so sincere in its honesty and vulnerability (“I’d give up all I have in exchange for who I love more than anything”) and while watching Hemsworth off stage she adlibs “That’s you”. It’s a moving ode to love that has endured and grown stronger.

SHADOWHUNTERS – 101 – The Mortal Cup

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Art student Clary Fray’s life is turned upside down when she discovers that she is a Shadowhunter and part of a hidden world on the brink of war.


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The CW has a long time honoured tradition of having the best TV any young woman who enjoys trash and heart could want. The lineup this year has been mostly locked up into its new role as the official home of DCTV but this is the CW and it is a requirement to us all to have the trashy cheese that we all want. Let’s break down the new series on the schedule for the CW this fall.

Powerless: A Very Special Episode ft. Adam West

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Powerless was unfairly canceled earlier this year by NBC with three unaired episodes. The late great Adam West (Batman) guested on one of these unaired episodes and in honour of his memory, DCTV has released the episode for a limited time.

The new episode only further highlights how the rocky Powerless was getting its footing with time but alas, it was not meant to be. I love the surprise plot twist with Jackie’s character, it would have been an awesome plot for Season Two. Also the meta commentary on President Luthor and his vacationing at “Mar-a-Luther”.

Check out this very special episode below and let us know what you think in the comments.


The Flash 321 – Cause and Effect

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Previously | Iris gonna die. Caitlin goes full Killer Frost. The 2017 Team Flash enlist Tracy Brand to help them create the tech that will eventually trap Savitar. Oh yes and after 20 episodes of dragging this shit out: Future Barry Allen is Savitar.

THE FUTURE IS EMO | Future Savitar is actually one of the time remnants that Barry creates in his repeated quests to save Iris. As 2024 Barry specifically notes “he kills MOST of the time remnants”. This one survived, and was shunned for being an aberration. He was Barry Duplicate not Barry Actual and this repeated rejection and loss drove Barry Duplicate to seek out becoming a God to feel no pain. 2017 Barry tries to take on Savi-Barry but his Savitar suit is pretty badass and attacks 2017 Barry.

CONTINUITY | This is used to justify that Easter Egg from Legends of Tomorrow where Barry can’t be trusted. The theory that we’re meant to believe is that Duplicate Barry upon becoming Savitar went back into time to kill Iris, this setting the stage in motion for 2017 Barry’s descent into darkness and confirming the time remnants that 2024 Barry made that would lead to his eventual creation. It’s some sort of closed loop ish but once Savitar is formed he doesn’t care about the rules of time travel and somehow the time wraiths don’t get him. Thus “I created myself” and “I am the future Flash” now add up. There is one other thing he needs but he keeps that to himself. Once fully formed as Savitar, Savi time travels all over time creating his myth of him being the strongest speedster, which adds in to how Jay Garrick refers to him as the first speedster ever created. Barry Duplicate was basically his own hype man.

FORGET ME NOT | Savitar has 2017-Barry’s memories because he lived them. Even 2017-Barry can acknowledge he sees the coagulation of pain and loss that created Savitar: the losses of Nora, Henry and Iris is too much to bear. Added to the rejection of the team to Duplicate Barry and it all creates Savitar. Cisco comes up with the idea to stop Barry’s short term memory in order to kill Savitar’s preview pass to Barry’s life. Of course it doesn’t work but the big payoff of this the revelation that Carlos Valdes can act off of anyone and here proves to have lovely chemistry with Tom Felton. Barry’s brain is fried and he can’t remember much of anything. No Iris, No Henry, No the Flash. He doesn’t even remember his own name. In a nice Easter egg “Bart Allen” gets a little name check.

WESTALLEN REVISITED | This new memory scrubbed Barry doesn’t have the weight of the multiple losses and pain on his soul. It’s Iris that leads Barry through the darkness, reminding him of all of their trials throughout the year. The sweetest part of this episode is seeing this Barry fall in love with Iris once more. Iris tells him of the moment when their love story began: as children, when Iris comforted Barry after the loss of his mother. One thing that stands out about this episode is how much Iris wants to protect this new light Barry who wants to help her plan their wedding and go through their high school yearbooks and doesn’t have years of guilt on him. It’s never mentioned anywhere that if Barry stays this way, Iris doesn’t die. Is that because Iris is truly selfless or the writers just dgaf?

CAUSE AND EFFECT | Barry’s memory scrub has consequences: Barry doesn’t know he has powers and Savitar can’t remember who he is either. The B story here involves newly minted Team Flash member Cecile who needs Barry’s testimony as the CSI expert to testify against budget Heatwave “Heatmonger”. Barry flops his testimony in a hilarious scene orchestrated with some special glasses designed by Cisco and Julian feeding Barry the answers. How no one in the court room doesn’t notice this transparent tomfoolery is beyond me. Anyway, Heatmonger is released. Memory scrubbed Barry eventually taps into his powers right before kissing Iris for the first time. This Barry is thrilled and irreverent at having powers but is thoroughly unfit to be a hero. Heatmonger eventually decides to tear shit up though and Kid Flash can’t save the day because with the memory scrub, he doesn’t get his powers!

Killer Frost shows up to help the team restore Barry and thus Savitar, but refuses to say what she gets out of his revival. Cisco tries to thaw Killer Frost’s heart with memories of Ronnie, Hartley and their early Star Labs days. They eventually create a device to help Barry’s memories. Julian’s admission of love is thrown back to his face but in private, Killer Frost’s eyes flicker briefly to Caitlin.

FILLER | The HR and Tracy storyline is complete filler. Basically they like their other and like coffee. They build the speed trap by the end of the episode. The end.

I REMEMBER | Barry’s memory returns with your standard Iris West pep talk. Barry’s memories trigger Kid Flash’s powers being restored and Savitar revived. Wally and Barry save innocents from Heatmonger. Barry admits to Iris that he had the perfect pain free life in Flashpoint but the cost of losing Iris, Cisco, Caitlin and everyone else was too great. Those hardships helped shape him. The episode closes with Team Flash and Tracy going over the Speed Bazooka and the gigantic amount of energy it needs to power up (more energy than the sun!) to trap Savitar and then we cut to King Shark swimming away in Argus.
Stray Observations | How do they really afford to live in that bomb ass apartment?

“Hartley was such a dick, you reminded me of him when you joined the team”

The current Team Flash had more than enough power in Cisco to battle the metas while memory scrubbed Barry trained to be The Flash

I would have liked it if memory scrubbed Barry could have understood the gravity of restoring his memories would lead to the revival of Savitar and Iris’ death. I wanted to see him confront the reality that they could live this life and be happy.

FFFASHION | I’m living for this pink dress that Iris is wearing in this episode. Cisco’s hair is completely beautiful. Gawd he’s gorgeous.

Next: Captain Cold returns somehow to help Barry release King Shark

The Flash 3×22 “Infantino Street”  – With only 24 hours left until Savitar murders Iris (Candice Patton), Barry (Grant Gustin) struggles to save the woman he loves and makes the choice to use any means necessary to do so. Realizing he has one option left to save her, The Flash turns to Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) for help.




Riverdale 109 – Le Grande Illusion

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Though I haven’t been writing about Riverdale, I’ve been watching all the episodes and though I did post on Facebook that I was on another hiatus till May, I’m gonna sneak in 15 minutes to discuss last night’s Riverdale.

AIN’T NO OTHER MAN BUT YOU| With Jason still being dead, the future of the Blossoms’ maple syrup empire lies in jeopardy. The board of the company comes to town to suss out how fast they can oust the Blossoms from their company. I’m assuming with all the red hair, that the other board members are extended family members. To boost the image of stability, the Blossoms court Archie (KJ Apa) with the promise of getting him into a prestigious music school to help them make their appearances to the board stronger and more stable. Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) is next in line as the heir apparent but after her breakdown at Jason’s funeral, no one has any confidence in her, thus enrolling Archie into the fold somehow adds credibility to Cheryl because she isn’t nuts! she has a quarterback escort! Of course nothing comes free with the Blossoms, and that one appearance at a company event leads to family dinners, expensive gifts and Cheryl taunting Valerie (of Josie and the Pussycats, guest star Hayley Law) that she will take Archie from her.

It’s all very creepy and weird that they use Archie as a Dead Jason substitute with Mother Blossom commenting that in the right light, Archie likes just like Dead Jason. Archie eventually uses his gigaho position to negotiate for Cliff Blossom to help out his dad (Fred Andrews played by Beverly Hills 90210 veteran Luke Perry #dylanandbrendaforever) and the struggling Andrews Construction. It all comes to a head when Cheryl eventually moves in on Archie and kisses him, which Archie takes a good 5 seconds to eventually reject. Archie decides he doesn’t want to be the Blossom’s quasi Dead Jason gigaho substitute and bounces, even though Cheryl tells him if he leaves, he leaves his opportunity to get into the music school behind too.

NO SCRUBS | Of course by the time Archie finally rebukes the Blossoms, Valerie is OVER IT. She is over him treating her like shit and doesn’t take his disrespect. Archieval is over. It’s not like ever knew ye anyway, as most of this relationship always happened offscreen. I will say though, I like that Valerie didn’t take that shit and stood up for her standards and self worth. Too often girls just accept the shit they are dealt and never really walk away. You go pussycat!

MADCHEN AMICK 4 LIFE| From episode two to present, Mama Coop (Madchen Amick) is by far one of the show’s MVPs. Arrestingly beautiful and blissfully nuts, Amick brings multiple layers to Alice Cooper, shades of crazy, fierce protectiveness of her daughters, independent and steadfast. Alice is another strong female character in Riverdale, shown in the previous episode where she separates from her husband after he scheduled an abortion appointment for their daughter and never told her; and in this one where she throws a brick at him when he refuses to help her bring their daughter back home. Last week’s episode where she breaks down over her elder daughter Polly (Tiera Skovbye) choosing to live with the insaneo creepo Blossoms was really well done. Amick is a veteran and knows exactly how to bring it.

This week, Alice is focused on writing an expose on the Blossoms as retribution for them taking Polly away from  her. Archiekins here finally has a purpose in the entire series thus far when he acts as the trojan horse in the Blossom household, feeding information back to the Coopers. Turns out that Polly is actully there to go undercover trying to solve Dead Jason’s murder herself. She’s pregnant with twins though so I’m assuming some hijnks ™ will take place when she is in her eighth month. Alice’s loser dope husband refuses to run the expose in their jointly owned newspaper and fires her. In a small consolation, she is later offered a spot at the Riverdale High school newspaper (lol) run by Jughead and Betty.

RONNIE’S REMORSE | In the seven episodes in between my last review and this one, I have to admit Veronica’s (Camila Mendes) character has been boring and has had no real development other than a reformed mean girl wanting to start over. This concept finally reaches a head when Veronica realizes what her privileged lifestyle really cost when classmate Ethel (played by Barb from Stranger Things) reads a super depressing poem in class. Ronnie, wanting to help, befriends her and invites her to a family dinner. At this dinner, we find out that Ethel’s parents have been fighting about money and Hermione (Veronica’s mother played by Marisol Nichols) pieces it out that Ethel’s father invested with Hiram (Veronica’s father currently in jail for embezzlement) and that’s why Ethel’s family is about to lose their home. Later when Ethel’s dad attempts suicide, Ronnie is devastated by the impact of the life she lived and shreds her pearls in tears with a cringey slow motion scene. Seeing the ramifications of her dad’s actions, Ronnie decides she will not lie when she has to testify and will fully testify against her father.

LOVE DOES COST A THING a.k.a. POOR HERMIONE | Hermione is also forced to come clean to Fred Andrews about her involvement in the SoDale construction and that her crooked husband is behind the development that Fred’s struggling construction company is depending on. Fred leverages this information and ends their relationship and negotiates a 20% stake in future of the development.

BUGHEAD 4 EVER | Throughout the course of the series, the Betty and Jughead relationship has moved to the front of the series. It doesn’t hurt that their actors Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse are dating IRL. It’s actually kind of hilarious and sad that their chemistry has eclipsed that of Betty and Archie making the showrunners change the course of the show and the iconic Betty-Archie-Veronica love triangle. The show will instead focus on a Jughead-Betty-Archie “friendship triangle”. In less than ten episodes, Cole Sprouse has inadvertently made himself the defacto male lead and relegated Archie to the B plot. Poor dat.

CHERYL | Cheryl does not take her rejection kindly and the episode ends with her crossing out Polly and Archie’s faces in red marker on a photograph from the event at the start of the episode. Everyone in this show is nuts.

WHO KILLED DEAD JASON | The season running mystery deepens when Archie (who has genuinely never ever been this useful in the entire series) overhears the Blossoms talking about how they were the ones that sold out Hiram Lodge and sent him to jail but despite that, they should have sent Hermione too as she is turning out to be more resourceful than they had realized. Archie relays this information to Bughead who then add Hiram Lodge to the murder board… if the Blossoms got Hiram arrested, could he have retaliated by killing their most prized possession, their son Dead Jason Blossom?



It’s the rite of passage for every teen drama: the house party where shit goes down™

Let’s first laugh at this very badly executed stage punch

one more time


AND now the trailer with the episode description:

Riverdale 1×10 “The Lost Weekend”  – When Fred (Luke Perry) decides to finalize the divorce with Archie’s mother Mary (guest star Molly Ringwald), Archie (KJ Apa) hides his true feelings. Archie tries to win Valerie (guest star Hayley Law) back with a romantic evening, however, Betty (Lili Reinhart) hijacks his plans when she decides to throw Jughead (Cole Sprouse) a surprise birthday party. Once Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) learns of the party, she decides to make it interesting and things quickly get out of control. Meanwhile, Veronica (Camila Mendes) contemplates whether she should participate in the deposition to help get her Dad released. Madchen Amick and Marishol Nichols also star. Dawn Wilkinson directed the episode written by Britta Lundin & Brian E. Paterson (#110). Original airdate 4/13/2017.

Harry Styles – Sign of the Times

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Over a year from the “hiatus” of One Direction, Harry Styles is the last member of the band to release solo material. Styles’ almost six minute long ballad laments the loss of a relationship that seems to be repetitive in its toxicity (as most ballads tend to do):

“We don’t talk enough / We should open up / Before it’s all too much / Will we ever learn? / We’ve been here before / It’s just what we know”

The ballad sounds like it could be on a One Direction album but also has a classic rock feel and it’s intentional as Styles has cited David Bowie as an influence for his yet untitled forthcoming debut album. The song has an easy breezy feel and will definitely make you wanna have it on replay.

(*Irrelevant Fact: Noted ex girlfriend Taylor Swift wrote the 7 minute song ballad “Dear John” on her album “Speak Now” about her toxic relationship with John Mayer. And her current album “1989” was full of songs with clear as day references to her relationship with Harry (Out of the Woods, Style), could this be Harry speaking to why he left Taylor Swift on a boat in the middle of their epic break up?

This picture will never not be funny)

Per “Harry’s co-conspirator on this track is Jeff Bhasker. You might not have heard of him but, since connecting with Kanye West on 2008’s moody 808s and Heartbreaks album, he’s become one of the industry’s most in-demand writers and producers.
He co-wrote Uptown Funk with Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, and his other credits include Jay-Z’s Run This Town, Fun’s We Are Young and Lana Del Rey’s National Anthem – itself a clear influence on Sign Of The Times.”

It’s also the stock track for your typical coming of age movie when the main characters realize something at the school dance. I like it but I do think it will need a radio version because no one got time for six minutes of ballads on the radio. I think this will do great with covers. I’m excited to hear a female voice belting out that last minute of the song. Demi Lovato or Adele would be great. Harry Styles will perform this for the first time on an upcoming episode of “Saturday Night Live”. If I’m not mistaken, it’ll be this week.

Click to listen to this week’s pop culture plug below: