Taylor Swift Clocks in her Tenth Studio Album, “Midnights”


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Taylor Swift poses on the red carpet of a film festival in Toronto.

Chase Golem, Student Life editor

Taylor Swift has never really been a go-to for me. Her music is great, don’t get me wrong, but I sometimes find it hard to relate with. While her new Midnights album isn’t entirely relatable to me, there’s something for everyone. 

Swift released the album on Oct. 21, featuring 13 sleepless nights during her life. The day Swift’s album was released, Spotify named it the “most streamed album in a single day.”

“Anti-Hero,” my personal favorite song from the album, captures the experience Swift had with depression and altruism throughout her life. It’s emotional and creative; it captures Swift’s mind in the form of a song that you can listen to and still get the essence of Swift’s mind. 

The music video for “Anti-Hero” follows Swift and her inner thoughts with depression. It features a second Swift that creatively shows her thoughts with body dysmorphia and anxiety. The video was a masterpiece, and I couldn’t stop watching it. I could relate to it, as would probably most of Swift’s fanbase: teenagers and young adults. 

The video did get some blowback from fans, and it caused the video to be edited to remove a portion of Swift on a scale reading “FAT.” It’s a music video that depicts Swift’s own mental health. She can do what she wants with it, and she shouldn’t have cut it. 

The entire album is an emotional rollercoaster, where “Anti-Hero” becomes “Bejeweled” in several minutes. “Bejeweled” isn’t about body dysmorphia, but positivity. She’s “still bejeweled” and “can make the whole place shimmer.” It’s the combination of the two that shows the instability mental health can cause. One night she deals with depression and anxiety, next she’s making “the whole place shimmer.” 

The other songs however, I feel like they’re just kind of there. It’s not a long album, don’t get me wrong – it’s 44 minutes in total if it’s not the “3am Edition.” The songs in between “Anti-Hero,” “Bejeweled” and “Karma” just lead up to it. I got lost in where I was at in the album until it reached something I liked.  

The overall organization of the album is something I can follow, and I prefer it. The songs in my personal playlist are ordered in a way to go from the more uplifting to sad and back again. It eventually gets me to feel something out of it, and this album does it well to make someone who hasn’t listened to Swift before able to feel her emotions.  

While some might not like it, I think it works great, especially in this context. These are the 13 restless nights, and you don’t feel the same every night. “Lavender Haze” starts the album with an uplifting and electric feel. “Maroon” through “Question… ?” transitions the album into a sadder, slower state. “Vigilante S***” brings it back to the same feel as “Lavender Haze.” It’s what Swift went through, and it’s something I can personally relate to. 

But being able to relate to the songs is something I still do have trouble with. I, personally, don’t relate to love songs. I don’t have the experience that Swift does to do so. I can like how the song sounds and feels, but it’s not relatable to me. It’s what Swift tries to do with her songs, and for most people she does it well, just not entirely to me.