Arts, Music

‘Midnights’ Toys With Every Emotion as Taylor Swift Dreams Up Her New Pop Phase

★★★★★

Taylor Swift’s new album Midnights is both a continuation of the themes of previous albums and a reflection on Swift’s current life. 

Midnights reflects the anger of reputation, the magic of Lover, the freedom of 1989, and the complex emotions present in all her other albums. In its own right, Midnights addresses the complexities of love, life, and feelings of inadequacy.

Swift released her 10th original album, Midnights, fittingly at midnight on Oct. 21. Far from her recent alternative albums folklore and evermore, Midnights is a transcendent and magical visit to her previous pop albums.

While some listeners were disappointed by the stark difference Midnights has from folklore and evermore, Midnights provides a mature take on her pop albums. It features a peppy pop sound that contrasts the mature emotions written about in her lyrics. 

Swift reflects on her feud with Scooter Braun, who bought her music without her consent, and Kanye West, who exploited her in his music video for “Famous” on the scathing track “Vigilante Shit.” 

At the same time, Midnights features songs like “Lavender Haze,” on which Swift sings about her continued love for her boyfriend Joe Alwyn. 

Swift further explores her revised outlook on her past in the lyrics of “Karma.” 

“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?” she sings.

Swift reflects on the freedom and joy she gets from believing in Karma and caring about revenge. But her revenge isn’t malevolent. Her revenge is knowing bad things are going her enemies’ way while good things go her way because she is a good person. Swift is addressing the song to someone who has wronged her and thus does not have good Karma. 

On the song “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” her lyrics captivate the emotion anyone in a transitional period of their life can relate to. 

“’Cause there were pages turned with the bridges burned / Everything you lose is a step you take / So make the friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste it / You’ve got no reason to be afraid,” she sings.

“You’re on Your Own, Kid” resonates with many college-aged fans, as it touches on themes of anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, and being away from home. These themes are even more fitting because “You’re on Your Own, Kid” is a track-five song. 

Track-five songs in the wonderful world of Swift are notorious for being the most emotional songs on her albums. Songs like “All Too Well,” “The Archer,” and “Dear John,” which are famous for their heart-wrenching lyrics, are all track fives. “You’re on Your Own, Kid” does the same. 

Though originally released as a 13-track album, Swift struck again on the release night with another surprise for her fans. At 3 a.m., Swift released a “chaotic surprise,” as she announced days prior on her Instagram, of seven more songs for the deluxe, 3 a.m. edition of the album.

A shocking and chaotic treat, fans got seven more insights into the story of Midnights. The 3 a.m. edition is a deeper dive into the wondrous imagination of Swift. Not every midnight ends exactly at 12 a.m. Sometimes we stay up in a flurry of emotions for hours or even days, and these seven surprise songs captivate that chaos.

The album as a whole continued to prove Swift’s dominance in the music industry. Whether you are a folklore person or more of an early-era Swiftie or not even a Swift fan at all, Midnights establishes itself as a classic concept album. It is a continuation of Swift’s incredible ability to draw all kinds of emotions in her lyrics and bring them into an entirely new, glittery, and colorful light.

November 3, 2022
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