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Taylor Swift's talent remains intact on 'Reputation,' her most focused, most cohesive album yet

Taylor Swift's talent remains intact on 'Reputation,' her most focused, most cohesive album yet

Diary entries, as a rule, don’t constitute art. Songs do.

That’s what drew me in to Taylor Swift and her music upon the release of her 2006 debut album, “Taylor Swift,” and that’s what has kept me closely tracking the remarkable arc of her career since then, up to and including today’s release of her sixth album, “Reputation.”

From the beginning, Swift — then a precocious, uncommonly smart, gifted and ambitious teenager — has written deeply personal songs that often sound like they’re ripped directly from the pages of a diary.

That hallmark of her songwriting has nurtured an especially close bond between Swift and her fans, along with her savvy use of social media from...

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