Taylor Swift kept things simple — or at least as simple as she’ll go — for her appearance as musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” on Nov. 11, the day after her sixth studio album “Reputation” was released. The singer performed the standard two songs and did not appear in any skits, although she did stand alongside host Tiffany Haddish for the show’s curtain call (and, rather oddly, whooped when Haddish thanked her social worker).
The first song, “Are You Ready for It?,” found Swift and her four dancers/backing singers performing to a pre-recorded backing track of the song’s throbbing electronic rhythm. Swift sort-of danced on the choruses but for the most part just strutted and posed.
Surprisingly, given the electronic sonics of the new album, she was seated with an acoustic guitar for her second song, a gentle version of the album’s fourth single, “Call It What You Want.” Accompanied by a cellist, an acoustic guitarist and the four singers, she threw the song’s lyrics, interpreted by many as being about her public beef with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, into stark relief.
She also wore a long-sleeved printed t-shirt with roses and what appeared to be a milk snake on it — make of that what you want.
As expected, “Reputation” is off to a roaring start, sales-wise: The album is not available on streaming services (except for an isolated iHeartRadio promotion) and rang up more than 717,000 units in first-day sales in the United States, according to early reports from Buzz Angle Music, which puts it on track for a 1.5 million first week.
Watch Swift’s “SNL” performances below: