Artist: Taylor Swift
Label: Republic Records
Release Date: Oct. 21
Taylor Swift is well known for her sharp-witted lyrics and her excruciating heartbreak songs.
Any self-respecting “Swiftie” can describe, in great detail, specific songs that keep them company during their loneliest hours.
Each and every one of her fans has a few tracks that changed their lives the second they first listened to them.
Her 10th studio album was supposed to be overflowing with those types of songs. And while “Midnights” demonstrated a new style of pop that Swift hadn’t tried until now — the new album also revealed a huge disparity between her usual lyrical talent and the one presented in “Midnights.”
“Midnights” is just that: mid.
One of the biggest disappointments on the album was “Snow on the Beach.” The artist regularly advertised that this song, track four, would feature the co-queen of heartbreak, Lana Del Rey.
But after listening to the highly anticipated collaboration, it became clear that it wasn’t much of a collaboration at all. Del Rey was just used for publicity. “Swifties” braced themselves for what was expected to be one of her most gut-wrenching songs ever written.
Del Rey, who is also known for her stomach-churning lyrics, acted as more of a backup vocalist than an actual featured artist. That could be why the song itself, while catchy and rhythmically creative, was a lyrical flop that didn’t come close to meeting either artist’s usual standards.
The chorus consisted of cheesy and outdated lyrics that failed to invoke any emotional responses — besides cringing.
“And it’s like snow at the beach / Weird, but f—ing beautiful,” sounds like a Colleen Hoover novel or a Buzzfeed-quality poem. This comes nowhere close to matching Swift’s typically entrancing lyrics.
That’s the overriding theme of the album: catchy beats but cheesy lyrics.
“Vigilante S—t” is a great example. Lyrics such as, “Draw the cat eye sharp enough to kill a man,” are neither empowering nor quirky.
The same goes for the lyrics in her 11th track, “Karma.” For a song that was supposed to be about overcoming obstacles and exacting revenge, it features some lazy lyrics like “Me and karma vibe like that.”
All that lyric’s doing is reminding us that Swift is, in fact, a millennial.
But a few of the tracks showed snippets of Swift’s past lyrical genius.
Songs like “Maroon” demonstrate a sense of lyrical maturity that the rest of the album was lacking.
“The mark they saw on my collarbone / The rust that grew between telephones / The lips I used to call home / So scarlet, it was maroon.”
That unique ability to work with imagery has put 95 of Swift’s songs on the Billboard Hot 100, won her 10 Grammys and two Albums of the Year.
Another track that won over Swift’s listeners was “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” a bonus track which dropped at 3 a.m. following Midnights’ original 13-track release.
The song takes on an agonizing yet familiar topic for most women: grooming.
While Swift has released better written songs, this track will forever catch the attention of “Swifties” due to the sentiment and the amazingly distressing lyrics.
“If you would’ve blinked, then I would’ve / Looked away at the first glance / If you tasted poison, you could’ve / Spit me out at the first chance,” breaks the heart of the women around the world that have also had their “girlhood” taken from them too young.
Overall, Midnights demonstrated Swift’s ongoing ability to change her style — If only she hadn’t lost her lyricism in the process.
Kayla Estrada is a senior news/features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kayla Estrada is a senior news/features editor at The Spectrum. She is an English major who enjoys rainy weather, “Bob’s Burgers” and asking people who they voted for. When she’s not writing, she can be found hunting for odd-looking knick-knacks at the nearest thrift store.