Muse Monday

Muse Monday – This month might as well be called, Reputation…

Muse Monday, Reputation

Reading

‘Big Magic’ By Elizabeth Gilbert. I’m late to the party I know. But I was curious to see what all the fuss was about, and yes, the eat-pray-love writer lives up to the hype. It’s an easy read that hits the spot. Gilbert unveils the negative power of fear, how to tap into creativity and live a more fulfilling life. Her humorous, relatable and straightforward voice is an instant motivational boost. I’m only a fraction of the way through, and I’m already feeling the magic.

Watching

Stranger Things Season 2. This show seriously gives me the warm and fuzzies, how is it possible the eighties could be so wholesome. The art department, overall design, techno – ballads and lovable child characters are an homage to the greats like IT, Stand By Me, and The Goonies. The self-aware narrative blends bouts of childlike imagination and hints of darkness without ever crossing the line into downright discomfort. Watch it for the impressive child actors, feel-good drama, classic storytelling, and homey, nostalgic vibes. Next up, Stranger Things: The Game.

Listening

Reputation. Taylor Swift.

Despite what “Look what you made me do,” claims, Tay Tay is very much alive. Her signature red lips, better than revenge tunes, self-aware lyrics and heartfelt love stories are back.

“You’ve been calling my bluff on all my usual tricks / So here’s a truth from my red lips”

The unapologetic songs reveal she’s more true to herself than ever. No longer walking on egg-shells to protect her public persona she is free to be the intelligent, sassy, girl boss she has always been without PG constraints.

“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.”

Reputation is a boldly addictive synergy between 80’s synth pop, trap raping, and raw acoustics.
“Delicate,” is hands down my favorite track. In an honest reflection, Taylor describes the sweet delights and agonizing self-doubt circulating the early stages of a relationship. Swift’s ability to lyrically and musically capture these intimate moments remains to be one of her greatest strengths.

“Is it cool that I said all that? Is it chill that you’re in my head? Cause I know that it’s delicate. Isn’t it. Isn’t It.”

“Call It What You Want” is a close second, revealing a rare dichotomy of raw passion and sheer nonchalance.

“All the drama queens taking swings, all the jokers dressing up as kings… they fade to nothing when I look at him.”

Honorable mentions to “I Did Something Bad” it’s brazen beats, and bold words solidify her stance as a relentlessly driven industry veteran. Beyond “Blank Space” and “New Romantics,” Swift had only hinted towards her equal contribution in manipulative game-play.
Here, Swift blatantly asserts her cunning and self-awareness were essential to thriving in a ruthless industry.

“This is how the world works; you gotta leave before you get left.”

The album is not without its flaws. Personally, I’d swap out the lord hailing gospel “Don’t Blame Me” for an insightful, tongue-in-cheek tune about feminism and the double standards of the entertainment industry. Also, erase the cheerleader chant “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” in favour of a fun-loving ode to sisterhood.

“I swear I don’t love the drama it loves me.”

In saying that, Swift makes a subtle homage to other pop queens through sampling. “It just felt soo good” she croons, mirroring Haley Williams’ “Misery Business.” While lyrics like “X marks the spot where we fell apart” directly borrow from Hilary Duff’s “Breathe In Breathe Out.” Not to mention, the unmistakable whispy Lorde overtones.

“Cause all the boys with their expensive cars never took me to quite where you do.”

To perceive ‘Reputation’ purely as a rebrand would undermine the subtle nuances of her musical evolution and severely underestimate Swift as a wildly talented, multi-faceted artist.

“I’m a mess, but I’m the mess that you wanted.”

Overall, Swift’s ability to remain several steps ahead of the curve make for a fiercely liberating, dangerously addictive album.

“Honey, I rose up from the dead. I do it all the time.”

 Making

My days at home have turned me into Betty Crocker. I’ve been baking Banana, choc muffins with a baking tray I recently acquired from our neighbor. I use a simple, healthy, tasty recipe from my new favorite food blogger, Ambitious Kitchen.  Great for a quick on the go snack.

Feeling

Resilient

Loving

Back in Melbourne just in time to catch the end of “House of Dior Exhibition.” Step into the sophisticated, ladylike world of the 50’s where Christian Dior emphasized feminine curves and boldly redefined the waist. The gallery weaves through decades of designers including my favourite, Raf Simons. Highlights include; a beautifully lit shoe room of statement heels, a grand projection of the latest runway collection reflected onto historical pieces and a revolving circle of ‘once in a lifetime’ dresses. It’s a dreamy, enchanting and dazzling escapade of all things darling. J’adore Dior…

 

Anyone else get a chance to see the exhibition? Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Reputation.

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