The Impact Polar Recs – Midnights by Taylor Swift

The+Impact+Polar+Recs+-+Midnights+by+Taylor+Swift

After countless conversations and semi-heated arguments about music, we, editors of the Impact, Maleek Munroe and Diannah Plaisir, have finally realized one crucial thing: we have polar opposite tastes in music. 

And honestly, that’s never going to change.

We have continuously pondered the notion of starting a weekly music recommendation column that will act as a small corner of the Impact Newspaper that we are able to discuss our obsession with music in a free space and constructive environment. 

So, with that being said, welcome to: The Impact Polar Recs, our weekly column where we recommend songs with only our highest regards.

This week we are talking about the number one artist on the billboard charts and the epitome of the entire music industry, Taylor Swift.

Although our professor is absolutely done with the constant Swift talk, it’s clear that the rest of the world is not. With Midnights selling over a million copies worldwide, and breaking multiple streaming records within seven days of its release, Taylor proves that she will always be the topic of conversation.

Midnights has become an instant classic that beautifully stands out when looking at Swift’s entire musical discography. From the amazing vocals, powerful themes that run throughout the entire record, and creative, magical lyrics that have already surpassed Swift’s best previous writing. 

Since Midnight’s release in October, it has become a large topic of conversation amongst us. 

Us being Taylor Swift fans, but refusing to take on the fandom name of ‘swifties’ for obvious reasons, we have dissected, deconstructed, and analyzed every since second of Swift’s newest pop album. And it is time, after three continuous weeks with the number one song in the United States, we have officially come together and compare and contrast our personal top three songs from Midnights. 

We have completely different music tastes…

Diannah being an avid blackpink listener and Maleek being a fan of more melancholy indie-folk artists like Phoebe Bridgers. Yet, Swift is the bridge that connects our worlds together. Our contrasting musical taste is on full display in this list, and we will attempt to convince you why we are right. 

So, without further interruption, here are our top three songs from Taylor Swift’s tenth studio album, Midnights. 

Three.

Diannah’s Take – Lavender Haze

The opening song on Midnights, Swift immediately reminds us of her best skill: writing love songs.

Yes, we know. Taylor Swift writes love songs. A lot of them. Okay…? She’s good at it. I don’t see the problem with doing something you know especially when you’re not stagnant. Her heartfelt love songs from her debut album are nowhere near songs from this album.

Lavender Haze is a term from the 50’s about wanting to stay in that sweet spot of a relationship forever, or as we call it now the Honeymoon phase.

As she mentioned in a more in depth video about this song, prior to its release, this song addresses how the media always wants her to be in a different stage of her relationship than she’s comfortable with. She sings, “All they keep asking me is if I’m gonna be your bride. The only kind of girl they see is a one night or a wife.”

Swift reiterates that she wants to stay in the lavender haze.

In the explanation video she says “lavender haze means the encompassing love glow.” She doesn’t want to get married right now. She doesn’t want to have kids and be a mother. She just wants to be in love. 

Standout Lyrics: Talk your talk and go viral. I just need this love spiral.

Maleek’s Take – Bigger Than the Whole Sky 

On the night of October 21st, I practically tortured myself to stay up till midnight to devore Swift’s new album. However, an hour later after listening to the whole record in one sitting, I was left underwhelmed and confused. This eclectic pop album wasn’t what I was expecting. 

I went to sleep questioning if I truly was a fan of her work and worried about the future of her career. So, I was relieved when it was announced that there was an entire side to Midnights that Taylor kept hidden from us: the 3am edition. In this extended version of Midnights, Swift hits us with some of the most complex, painful, and life shattering songs I have ever heard. And “Bigger Than the Whole Sky” is one of those tracks. 

It’s the type of song that feels like a knife has been plunged into my heart. It’s almost uncomfortable to listen to. It’s a paralyzing piece of music that reveals Swift’s struggle with self hatred and dealing with an unexplained loss. 

She recounts losing someone she never got to know and care for and this grief sends her down the path to question if this loss is because she was not good enough and might have not prayed hard enough to ensure the strength of this relationship. 

It’s a devastating piece of writing that shows us Swift is able to turn her darkest feelings into the most powerful of messages.

Stand out lyrics: Did some bird flap its wings over in Asia? Did some force take you because I didn’t pray?

Two.

Diannah’s Take – Midnight Rain

Experimental for Taylor, and a bit of a shock to Swifties, “Midnight Rain” the perfect sound I could’ve asked for. 

The album already feels like a warm hug in front of a fireplace but “Midnight Rain” touches more than that. It caresses my cheek and gives me a kiss on my forehead. 

On this song, Swift reflects on a past romance that ended because he didn’t cause her enough pain. 

It’s reminiscent of the past, as the song has a similar message to another song from her past, “That’s The Way I Loved You”(Fearless, Taylor’s Version). 

Here, Swift fully owns up to her desires. She doesn’t want easy love. She doesn’t want the picture perfect family that lives in a postcard. 

Standout Lyrics: I broke his heart ‘cause he was nice. He was sunshine, I was midnight rain. He wanted it comfortable, I wanted that pain.

Maleek’s Take – Sweet Nothing

Next is a song that everytime I listen to it, feels like I am instantly transported into a safe, calm, and lazy Sunday afternoon. Swift is not a stranger to writing about her love life, yet “Sweet Nothing” is a rare and simple glimpse into something more. Something deeper. This is the first time we’re given the opportunity to find a long time boyfriend, Joe Alywn, who means too much to her. 

Instead of focusing on the tumultuous and dramatic aspects of love, she shows us that true and stable love isn’t meant to be epic and exciting. She has finally discovered a partner who refuses to play the same games of her enemies, and is unwilling to let the storm that is being a celebrity damage their connection. 

Stand out lyrics: And the voices that implore “You should be doing more” to you I can admit, that I’m just too soft for all of it. 

Three.

Diannah’s Take – You’re On Your Own, Kid

Although I’m sure Maleek is convinced my brain functions only on upbeat notes and mindless lyrics, I’m proud to announce this as one of my favorite songs.

Swift easily disproves Maleek’s theory of pop music being meaningless.

Deserving of the track five spot, Swift lets us see just how a heart cracks and covers itself up after being trapped by the pull of unrequited love.

It’s painful and gutting as you walk with her coming to terms with the fact that all the extra things she did to prove herself to others amounted to nothing.

Swift comes to the realization that our love never cared, and neither did anyone else. As she sings the title, “you’re on your own kid. You always have been.”

I’m sorry to say it, but Taylor is at her best when her heart is in pieces, and her ego is bruised. After all these years, and becoming one of most successful artists in the world she still manages to be relatable in the one field that matters most: never feeling like enough.

It feels like you’re always trying to impress someone or prove yourself just to always come up short.

Her ability to build the most submerging bridges is always a talent I will give credit for. The bridge transforms from self pity to as she accepts that she needed to go through all that pain to become who she is today.

Standout Lyrics: I looked around in a blood-soaked gown and I saw something they can’t take away. 

Maleek’s Take – Dear Reader 

“Dear Reader” is the final track on the 3am edition of Midnights. I can already hear Diannah saying that this is the weakest and least interesting song on the album. But for many reasons, big and small, this song speaks to me on such a deep level. I also am here to argue that this is her most introspective song in her entire discography. 

Swift uses the structure of an advice column to explain to us, the listeners, that she fears she is too unstable and chaotic to be put in a higher position than others. We shouldn’t see her and other artists like her as a gilding light towards wisdom. Even though she questions her ability to give sound and reasonable advice, she also wonders if she might be the best one to get advice from due to the pain she’s gone through. 

 She walks us through some of the most chaotic points of her music career and personal life and hints that all of this pain and trauma has taught her vital lessons in life. Lessons that she hopes we take and apply to our own lives. But this doesn’t mean she’s a perfect person however. She reveals that all of these lessons originate from deep wounds she’s suffered and still has to live with. 

What makes this song such a masterpiece is the contradictions within it. She begs us to listen to the lessons she’s unfortunately had to learn, yet warns us to never trust and take advice from someone as chaotic as her. It’s the type of song you can listen to back to back and still find a different meaning each time. Taylor Swift outdid herself with “Dear Reader”. 

Standout lyric: Where I pace in my pen and my friends found friends who care. No one sees when you lose when you’re playing solitaire.