For the first time in history, one artist occupied all Top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart: Taylor Swift.
Her unprecedented achievement spoke to the massive popularity of Swift’s latest album,“Midnights,” and solidified Swift’s almost mythological status as a pop icon.
Many UB students found themselves drawn to the album and its chart-topping hits. “Anti-Hero,” Swift’s No. 1 track still holds Billboard’s top position for the week of Nov. 19, even shutting out Rihanna’s first release in nearly three years, “Lift Me Up,” and Drake and 21 Savage’s “Rich Flex.” In “Anti-Hero,” Swift’s most enduring No. 1 song since “1989,” she tackles facing her inner saboteur.
As a Vietnamese student studying abroad in Buffalo, senior pharmaceutical science major Harley Le felt as though “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” formerly No. 8 on the charts, addressed her own difficult experiences adjusting to a new way of life at UB.
“I have to do everything independently and I have to take it, do it myself and not ask others to help me with that,” Le said.
“Lavender Haze,” runner-up to “Anti-Hero” on the charts, enjoyed a similarly positive reception. Students embraced Swift’s fresh return to her usual stomping grounds: pop music.
“It’s a new different phase for Taylor in the sense of her music. Honestly, ‘Lavender Haze’ is really giving. I love the vibe,” sophomore neuroscience major Adda Villalobos said. “It’s new, it’s cheerful. She’s putting her real attitude into it and I really mess with that.”
For freshman psychology major Casey St. John, it took her multiple listens before she fell head over heels for “Midnights.” St. John says that as a fan of the artist’s recent stripped-down folk releases, “Folklore” and “Evermore,” Swift’s return to pop was a massive adjustment.
“I didn’t care for it the first time because it was more of a poppy vibe,” St. John said. “Personally, I’m more into her ‘Folklore,’ ‘Evermore’ type s–t… The lyricism is what sold it for me.”
Riding the hype of her album and journey to re-record her previous catalog, Swift announced “The Eras” Tour, a hodgepodge traveling concert celebrating her entire discography.
St. John says she’ll be there somewhere in the screaming crowd of Swifties; her dad is already tasked with securing her tickets.
“I’m broke, but if I do have the money, yes,” Ashley Allegretti, a sophomore public health major, said about the odds of her attendance.
Although there are certainly mixed opinions regarding “Midnights” and Swift’s upcoming tour, there is little doubt regarding the significance of Swift’s unprecedented domination of Billboard’s Top 10.
“Taylor was such an iconic person in the past,” Villalobos said. “Especially in 2014-2015, that was her real peak. But honestly with her new music coming out, as she should, that’s where she has to be. She’s always a classic and she’ll never stop being one.”
By claiming all of Billboard’s most coveted chart positions, this bejeweled pop star still sparkles. With “Midnights,” Swift furthers her musical legacy and proves that she never goes out of style.
Alex Novak is an assistant arts editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Novak is an assistant arts editor at The Spectrum.