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Monday, November 28, 2022

Life + Arts

‘Midnights’ recounts Taylor Swift’s fantasies of love, revenge


Taylor Swift’s 10th studio album, “Midnights” cover. | Courtesy of Apple Music

American singer-songwriter, director and global superstar Taylor Swift released her long-awaited 10th studio album “Midnights ”on Oct. 21.  With spectacular production, lyricism and vivid descriptions, Swift delivers a masterful record and a dreamy comeback to pop. 

The 13-track album is about sleepless nights in Swift’s life where she stayed up, thinking about what-ifs, fantasizing about revenge, self-loathing, falling in love and falling apart, as she revealed on Spotify. The 3 a.m. edition includes seven bonus tracks that were written to “find that magic 13.”

In a fitting start to the album, Swift asks to meet her at midnight with “Lavender Haze.” Swift calls out the patriarchal thinking in the media as she addresses the weird rumors about getting married with the lyrics, “the 1950s sh– they want from me.” 

“Anti-Hero,” the lead single and Swift’s most personal song yet, intimately details her struggles with fame, eating disorder and self-loathing. In the song, Swift sings “I stare directly at the Sun but never in the Mirror.” 

In my opinion, “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” an absolutely gut-wrenching track, is about Swift’s relationship with her career. It details what she did to keep her lover (career) and the lonely feeling of being the only person she could rely on, a recurring theme on the album. 

“Snow On The Beach,” a collaboration with Lana Del Rey, where I can hardly listen to her voice, serves as the only disappointment on the album although the harmonization is wonderful. 

Who knew Dylan O’Brien could play the drums? A personal favorite about, “Midnight Rain,” is the drummer being none other than O’Brien himself. A whiplash with a distorted deep voice, Swift is playing the role of the heartbreaker, flipping the tables. 

Probably the most underrated tracks on “Midnights”, “Labyrinth” and “Sweet Nothing,” are two beautiful love songs that give me the same fuzzy feeling like ice cream on a hot summer day, the blankets right out of the dryer and the feeling of spending the day with your favorite person. 

A fitting end to the album, “Mastermind,” details Swift carefully setting the stones for her relationship, when she goes to reveal this to her lover, he already knows. This song is arguably one of the most romantic songs Swift has written, someone loving you for something that you thought had to be hidden is beautiful.

What makes “Midnights” wonderful is its ability to sound familiar yet like nothing we had ever heard. Many songs sound like they are reminiscent of previous eras. The album incorporates the pop of ‘1989,’ the guts of ‘Reputation,’ the lyricism from ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore,’ and the dreamy feeling of ‘Lover.’ Yet it still has the maturity and voice that makes it stand out and shimmer. 

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