Don't let Taylor Swift's anthemic "Look What You Made Me Do" and "...Ready For It?" singles fool you. The New Taylor certainly embraces a new sound on Reputation, out now, but she hasn't lost Old Taylor's gift for storytelling. "New Year's Day," the album's stripped-down finale, proves your girl can still make magic out of a simple tune and relatable lyrics.
"Please don't ever become a stranger / Whose laugh I could recognize anywhere," Tay sings in the bridge. These lyrics hit you in the gut just as "You call me up again just to break me like a promise" — from Red's "All Too Well" — once did.
Swift premiered "New Year's Day" Thursday night (November 9) during Scandal, three hours ahead of Reputation's worldwide release. She treated 100 lucky fans at her secret listening party to an intimate piano performance.
Like many of Tay's songs, "New Year's Day" is a love story that doesn't quite have an ending yet. Maybe that's a good thing.
"Love is always going to be a huge theme in what I write about, just because there are no two similar relationships," Swift told MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway in 2012 while she was writing Red. "There are no two times that you feel love the same way, or hurt the same way, or rejection the same way, or frustration. It's all different, and I'm fascinated by that, as is kind of shown throughout my albums."