Taylor Swift released her tenth studio album on October 21, and ever since, it seems I can’t escape the references, analysis, theories, and opinions of this album. Seriously—they were playing Taylor Swift at Target (exclusively Taylor Swift the whole time I was there, which was about an hour and a half), the NMSU dive team was playing Taylor Swift at practice, the frats that have tables outside Corbett were playing Taylor Swift, and then, of course, my social media is full of Taylor Swift.
I didn’t really have clear expectations for this album. From the track titles announced on Swift’s late-night TikTok special, “Midnight Mayhems with Me,” I was expecting something that sounded a little more experimental than her regular pop genre sound. What we got, however, was very similar-sounding elements from a lot of her previous albums and some elements that were taken from Lorde’s ‘Melodrama’ made possible by producer Jack Antonoff. This is nothing new from Antonoff. Though his projects are always very different from one another, the artists he works with are all inspired by each other, and he brings elements of those albums into new projects.
Lyrically, I was expecting a lot more serious themes as her announcement on Instagram made it seem like the subject matter would be extremely existential and self-reflective. Honestly, I was expecting to cry, and that wasn’t something that happened.
“We lie awake in love and in fear, in turmoil and in tears. We stare at walls and drink until the speck back. We twist in our self-made cages and pray that we aren’t – right at this minute – about to make some fateful life-altering mistake.”
This collection of music was written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams. The floors we pace and the demons we face. For all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching – hoping that just maybe when the clock strikes twelve… we’ll meet ourselves.
Midnights, the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life, will be out October 21. Meet me at midnight.”
I had a couple friends listen to the album the night it came out, and I asked them their overall opinion of the album, and they both disliked it. I kept that in mind as I went into the album, but I also wanted to keep an open mind. I listened with the lyrics pulled up and watched the two music videos for Anti-Hero and Bejeweled. I did not listen to the 3am version because I was honestly ready for the album to be over.
My first impressions of the first few songs were very worried and a bit underwhelmed. I liked the opening track and wondered why I felt like I already knew the words. Turns out the melody of the chorus is exactly like I Think He Knows on 2019’s Lover. And leading into the first chorus, there was a drum melody that sounded like Hard Feelings/Loveless on Lorde’s Melodrama. This song