Two Hot Takes on Taylor Swift’s New Album

November 17, 2022

The Biggest Disappointment of 2022

The new Taylor Swift album was coming with a lot of hype. There were reports that the gloves were coming off and that this would possibly be Taylor’s best album yet. Released at midnight, hence the album name Midnights, and the followup drops at 3 AM, labeled the 3 AM Edition, the album may have flown too close to the sun in some respects.

Everyone was excited for the late night drop, in fact, my sister even stayed at her friend’s dorm so that they could stay up and listen together as soon as it came up. She, along with many others, were mildly let down. I’m not saying that the album is garbage, but what I am saying is that so much more was promised and not enough was delivered. 

The career of Taylor Swift has been made up of banger after banger, from You Belong With Me in her Fearless album, to Don’t Blame Me out of Reputation, she has never disappointed anyone except Ye at the VMAs. This allowed for her to gain a massive following and extreme hype for her albums. If this was an early album of hers, one that she released when she was new into the sphere of music, it would have been fine but when you are someone like Taylor Swift who has made a reputation for having amazing music, the album was simply bland.

I could personally see this lack of spark when I first heard Karma. The lyrics to the chorus are “Cause karma is my boyfriend

Karma is a god

Karma is the breeze in my hair on the weekend

Karma’s a relaxing thought

Aren’t you envious that for you it’s not?

Sweet like honey, karma is a cat

I’m sorry but that isn’t music, at least not good music. For 3 minutes, I am sitting here listening to Taylor Swift, someone I had previously stated was on the same level as Rihanna, list off things that karma are. This was a clear disappointment that personally fell to the bottom of the list of the album. On the flip side, there was one song that really stood out to me personally and that was Lavender Haze. Lavender Haze both sounded good and was the most original, non-generic song on the album; in fact it’s the only one that I would choose to listen to again.

One thing that is very apparent and common throughout the album is the nearly overwhelming use of bass and I think that the reason for this was to cover up the blatant lack of substance. I felt like I listened to essentially the same song over and over again for twenty minutes.

As a self-proclaimed Swiftie, I caught a lot of backlash for calling the album boring. I’ve been called a fake fan, but on the contrary I think that being able to call out a bad album for what it is is important. It makes a true fan to be able to say that an album is not good but sticking by the artist anyway. Denying that certain artists have albums or periods in which they aren’t at their peak is normal but to truly appreciate the golden era of Taylor Swift, you have to recognize the times where her music didn’t live up to the hype.

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“Mid” Nights

Throughout Taylor Swift’s career she seems to go through a new phase with every album. This has delighted fans for years and is one of the main reasons she is considered such an icon today.

Taylor’s new album “Midnights” is no exception.

Although it may not be as good as some of her previous albums like “Evermore” and “Folklore” albums, it definitely has helped Taylor re-solidify her status as an icon, once again. She broke the U.S record for single-week vinyl sales, selling 575,000 vinyl LPs of “Midnights”. She also broke the record for biggest U.S streaming week for a female artist with 549.26 million streams. In addition to these mind blowing records, she also filled the entire Top 10 of Billboard’s Top 100.

Despite these records, Midnights did not live up to the infinite hype produced by the millions of Swifities shouting Taylor’s name. To be fair, that’s a hard bar to reach when the aforementioned albums, Folklore and Evermore, have made their way to the top of so many people’s rankings.

Some of my favorite songs from Taylor have been songs that produce a more upbeat vibe, rather than some of her other songs with a slower tone, like “Cowboy Like Me”. Luckily for me, this was exactly the vibe of “Midnights” and I was happy to hear “Lavender Haze” (the first track on the album), when I realized Taylor would be resorting back to her pop, upbeat sound, last seen in “Reputation” and “1989.”

Obviously some of the songs were disappointments, namely “Maroon” and “Labyrinth”, which bored me more than anything. As someone with a playlist containing every song I find remotely pleasant to listen to, Labyrinth did not make the cut.

However, that was the only song I didn’t enjoy, and while none of the songs will be making my Top 5 list of Taylor Swift songs, I wouldn’t write off the entire album.

I especially loved the songs “Mastermind” and “You’re On Your Own, Kid”. I would have loved to hear more of Lana Del Ray in “Snow on the Beach” considering she is one of my favorite artists, but I thought the song still held some of the Lana vibe she is so known for.

Now the 3am tracks: a pleasant surprise and one I was definitely not expecting when I opened Instagram the next morning. Controversially, I might even say these tracks were better than the original 13 from Midnights. I especially enjoyed “The Great War” and “High Infidelity”, both of which reminded me of Evermore, one of my favorite albums.

Overall, I thought the album was solid, not as black and white, good and bad, as people have been saying but definitely somewhere in the middle. Nevertheless, I will definitely continue listening to Midnights and crossing my fingers and hoping I get tickets for her upcoming tour, like the rest of the Swifties complaining about Taylor Swift’s newest addition to her iconic album lineup.

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