Monday, February 26, 2024

Connecting Taylor Swift’s ‘Midnights’ With 13 Songs From Her Previous


That brings me to immediately’s playlist. It’s, basically, my very own expanded model of “Midnights,” putting every of its 13 tracks as a response to an earlier Swift track.

(Hear alongside on Spotify as you learn, and discover YouTube hyperlinks beneath.)

Making your means by its 26 songs, you’ll hear how Swift’s songwriting, perspective on love, vocal stylings and aesthetic preferences have all developed over time. The G-rated romantic of “Love Story” turns into the fed-up 30-something bristling at “the Fifties [expletive] they need from me” on the “Midnights” opener “Lavender Haze.” Swift’s adopted house of New York Metropolis goes from an idealized abstraction to the locale of a extra particular heartbreak within the development from “Welcome to New York” to “Maroon.” The pining narrator of “Teardrops on My Guitar” feels miles away from the wizened lady singing “Midnight Rain,” who has realized that love and marriage received’t remedy all her issues. Within the lengthy arc of Swift’s chronology, “Enchanted” steadily turns into, nicely, disenchanted.

Evolutions in instrumentation and manufacturing selections emerge, too: not simply how banjos and guitars morph into drum machines and synthesizers, however how a lot darker most of “Midnights” sounds even compared to her first “official” pop album, “1989.” Jack Antonoff produced each the bouncy “How You Get the Woman” and the later “Query …?”, which appears like a hazier and extra melancholy variation on an identical theme.

In dropping her illusions, although, Swift positive factors power, perspective and resilience — not a foul trade-off. In “Nothing New,” a track she wrote when she was 22 and rerecorded with Phoebe Bridgers in 2021 for the rerelease of her 2012 album “Pink” — she worries concerning the future; a decade later, on the incisive “You’re on Your Personal Child,” she tells her youthful self, with earned knowledge, “You’ll be able to face this.”

Within the spirit of the Eras Tour, I hope this playlist stands as a testomony to the depth and emotional acuity of Swift’s catalog. The particular connections between these songs will likely be a bit simpler to clock for those who’re already a card-carrying Swiftie, however for those who’re solely conversant in one facet of Swift, this playlist also can function a crash course in her many transformations.

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