Midnights: A media review piece on Taylor Swift’s newest album release

By: Lenora Kirkland

On Oct. 21 Taylor Swift released “Midnights,” her first album release in almost a year. Like many other Swifties, I had high expectations. That being said, I must confess that Taylor did not deliver to the extent that I believe she is capable of. I am wary of defining the value of Taylor Swift’s album in my own terms, since I know each reader is, of course, entitled to their own opinion. That being said, don’t cancel me for mine. 

Waltonian | The Waltonian Source: Spotify

After you’ve heard the poetic stories of “Folklore” and “Evermore,” it’s hard to hear her belt mediocre lyrics like “Karma is my boyfriend” and “thick as thieves with your ex-wife.” It is also impossible to not visibly cringe when you hear lines like these. The rest of her song “Karma,” which is where the first quote is from, only gets worse. That being said, I know that her writing can be better. 

 I lived in Greece for ten years where our COVID-19 restrictions were much stricter than those in the United States. Around the time “Folklore” and “Evermore” were released, I was in the middle of a city wide lockdown that would prevent me from leaving my house for six months. Taylor Swift’s music got me through a dark time of isolation, and so I know that she has the capacity to write meaningful music. It’s disappointing to know that she under-delivered this time around. 

The collaboration element on this album also seems to be below her normal standards. Lana Del Ray’s inclusion in the album through “Snow on the Beach” had the potential to be a fantastic addition. You can imagine my disappointment then when the song turned out to really just be a solo. Taylor Swift has a right to take up the spotlight on her own album of course, but the words “feat Lana Del Ray” in the song description, feel misleading. 

Her music video for the song, “Anti Hero” was good. The video makes many 1980 era references which I hope are hints at the release of “1989 Taylor’s Version” in the near future. Maybe it will rectify my feelings of disappointment and sadness over “Midnights.” 

According to the singer, this album was meant to be a collection of music written at night. The artistic potential of this concept is great, but in the end, didn’t really seem to come through. Even her best lyrics didn’t show any correlation with the predetermined theme, at least not any more than her other albums. I was expecting her to do more with the idea. 

All that being said, not every song on the album is a flop. I have been listening to “Sweet Nothing” on repeat since the album’s release. The melody is soothing, and reminds me more of her “Folklore” era. “Labyrinth” is also quite a lovely melody, the kind you can easily fall asleep to. 

Taylor Swift has meant a lot to me throughout my life. I like to claim that I was a fan before she was really famous, belting out lyrics from her “Speak Now” album before it was cool. That being said, I also feel it is necessary to critique her when she drops the ball, which I believe is the case with this new album. Maybe Taylor Swift’s next debut will deliver the music every Swifty knows she’s capable of delivering. 

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