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Taylor Swift hits it big again with her new album

1. Taylor Swift - VT
(File photo: Jordan News)
1. Taylor Swift - VT

Jean-Claude Elias

The writer is a computer engineer and a classically trained pianist and guitarist. He has been regularly writing IT articles, reviewing music albums, and covering concerts for more than 30 years.

American mega pop star Taylor Swift released a new album just two weeks ago. It is titled Midnights and includes 13 original songs, co-written by Swift and Jack Antonoff. Amazingly, it has already won the Guinness World Record for the “Most Streamed Album on Spotify in 24 Hours”, and international music charts are giving it an average rating of 80 percent to 85 percent, which is quite exceptional. Time magazine said that it was one of the most anticipated records of fall 2022.اضافة اعلان

Are these global acknowledgments, awards, and accolades well deserved? Are they justified?

This time, Swift’s main inspirational theme when working on this new release with Antonoff is, in her own words, self-revenge. She puts it rather explicitly in one of the songs: “I don’t dress for women, I don’t dress for men, lately I’ve been dressing for revenge.”

This may reflect partly in the lyrics, but not particularly in the music, which remains soft, gentle, and perfectly in line with her previous recordings. Nothing vindictive at all.

According to Wikipedia, the music on Midnights can be described as a mix of “electronica, synth-pop, bedroom pop, chill-out, (and) dream pop”.

Perhaps these diverse adjectives, especially the rather amusing “bedroom pop”, may apply to this or that song, but I would simply qualify the album as mainstream pop with, indeed, a dash of electronica.

Certainly, there are slightly more electronic sounds and autotune effects here than in previous albums of the celebrated artist. As it is often the case with Taylor Swift’s productions, there is strong emphasis on the visuals that can be enjoyed on YouTube and that have already got tens of millions of views. She is also known to be a great performer on the stage.

And, again, according to Swift’s tradition that goes back to her debut 16 years ago, she is essentially a storyteller. The words of her songs tell of her experiences, old and new, of her childhood, her loves, and her friendships, current and past. This trait has, understandably, helped make her very popular amongst those listeners who are closer to her generation. Swift is now 32.
From the purely musical viewpoint I do not find it as good as its excellent sales figures and awards would let one believe.
What is remarkable about the music in the album is the superior quality of the production. It is easy to guess all the hard work and arduous recording sessions it must have taken. If the melodies are nothing extraordinary — they are even plain on about half of the 13 tracks — the sound itself is superlative.

Perhaps the most beautiful music is that of track 12, Sweet Nothing. The voice is as attractive as ever, and her singing skills remain impressive, by any measure. After all, you do not become and remain a megastar for 16 continuous years, staying at the top of the charts, without a good reason: talent, and a substantial amount of work.

The instruments are richly orchestrated and sophisticated, the sound full bodied, and the overall sonic atmosphere varies from one song to the other, making the entire album very enjoyable to play. Among the songs I liked best: Anti-Hero, Karma, Midnight Rain, Question, Bewildered, Labyrinth, and, as said above, Sweet Nothing. As for Snow on the Beach, it is a fine duet interpreted with Lana del Rey that nicely adds the subtle touch of her charming singing style.

All the vocal harmonies, overdubbed by Swift herself, are perfectly done, interpreted with computer-like precision, but definitely with a human spirit and genuine feeling. What is missing, I feel, is a really catchy tune, the kind you remember and perhaps sing along.

Like many singers who have been popular for many years, Swift has become an acquired taste, regardless of the intrinsic quality of the music. I like the new album enough, but unconditional fans would probably like it even more.

From the purely musical viewpoint I do not find it as good as its excellent sales figures and awards would let one believe.


Jean-Claude Elias is a computer engineer and a classically trained pianist and guitarist. He has been regularly writing IT articles, reviewing music albums, and covering concerts for more than 30 years.


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