Taylor Swift “Midnights” (Republic Records)
“Everything about me changed like midnight,” Taylor Swift confesses midway through her latest album. The electric “Midnight Rain” is lyricist Swift’s moment at her best, a reminder of her unparalleled ability to make her every emotion feel universal.
The chorus of the song begins like this: “He is the sun, I am the midnight rain.” and continue. He wanted a bride, I was making a name for myself. he remained. ‘ Then, that lyric: ‘Everything about me changed like midnight’. The sound feels experimental for her Swift, with her own vocals artificially pitched down and opening with an almost unrecognizable tone. One of the album’s most sonically interesting indie pops her on her beats, reminiscent of what her producer Jack Antonoff did on Lorde’s “Melodrama”, but also fresh and engaging. I have.
The song’s lyrics, by Swift and Antonoff, are steady and detailed, but not distracting, allowing you to sink into the rhythm, flow, and feel with her.
On track 13 of “Midnights,” the self-aware Swift once again shows off her ability to evolve. On her tenth original her album, the 32-year-old pop star approaches themes she’s been writing about since adulthood, including love, loss, childhood, and fame, with her honed vocals. and maturity in lyrics that focus more on her inner than inner self. external persona.
“Midnight Rain” could be the project’s thesis statement, which she described as a song written during “13 Sleepless Nights.” This is an appropriate approach to a concept album for someone who has long had a lyrical appreciation of late night (think ‘style’: ‘Midnight, you come pick me up, head No lights…”). Of course, she has worked around themes before — “Red,” an ode to color and the emotions it represents; Quarantine albums, and more recently “Folklore” and “Evermore,” expressed vulnerability in a way only loneliness can.
But Swift presents “Midnights” as something else. It doesn’t necessarily have to go together, but it’s a collection of songs that fit together as she declared them to be the product of late-night inspiration. Not thematic, but contextually placing the listener in the dark of a quiet, thoughtful night is a natural fit for a songwriter so prolific that her albums are synonymous with the zeitgeist of her pop culture. It feels like a creative experiment.
With that comes a slightly darker, more experimental and always electric tone.
Track 1, “Lavender Haze,” combines a muffled club beat and Antonoff’s high-pitched backing vocals with Swift’s distinctly engaging melody. “Maroon” is a grown-up, weathered version of “Red,” diving into lost love with rich depictions of rust, spilled wine, and red lipstick.
“Labyrinth” makes it clear that she has some of the best pop experiments to date, including the synths of “1989” and the soft alternative sounds of “Folklore.” It’s on top of a track featuring Bon Iver-esque electronic trills.
Swift shines when she manages to combine her signature lyrical musings with this new electronic beat arena. While this isn’t another album with her indie sound acoustic like “Folklore,” it’s clear that Swift has taken a step forward in the indie pop genre.
The album’s weaker moments are those that feel out of balance. “Jeweled” is a little candy-sweet, and the lyrics are a sparkling update to “Me!”. The long-awaited “Snow on the Beach,” featuring Lana Del Rey, is poetic, pretty, and at times sassy, but not as emotionally deep as the lyricist’s collective strength might suggest.
Even in moments like that, “Midnights” finds Swift comfortable in her musical skin, with a slew of subtle self-possessions sprinkled throughout her very public life and lyrical confessions. Revealing a sharp, ever-evolving artist’s strengths that can always wink through enigmatic allusions (see “Anti-Hero” and “Mastermind”), even the casual listener finds them engaging and engaging. It will probably captivate you with its amazing beats.
But like the love-filled “Lover,” the intimate “Folklore,” and “evermore,” “Midnights” feels like both a confession and a playground, and it’s all about Taylor Swift we’ve ever known. Created by version. The new Taylor Swift shines. Then, as usual, we set off for a thrilling late-night ride.
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