🎵 Weekly Music Newsletter: Taylor Swift is a Pop Artist Again

Mic-Check Newsletter
8 min readOct 24, 2022

Taylor Swift’s new album is mid. Kelela returns with club banger. New Arctic Monkeys & Carly Rae Jepsen albums. Post Malone & Mark Morrison mashup.

Glass Animals’ 2020 single Heat Waves has spent 91 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100, breaking the previously-held record of 90 set by The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights.

Click here for a Spotify playlist with the songs mentioned in this article.

BIGGEST Songs of the Week 📈

Taylor Swift released zero singles ahead of the release of her 10th studio album, Midnights, making it impossible to guess what the album was going to sound like. Would Midnights be a return to Swift’s Fearless country roots, the pop rock of Red, reputation’s fierce electropop, or the indie folk of 2020’s folklore and evermore? Perhaps Swift would take her diverse sonic palette in a completely new direction. It turns out, Midnights picks up where 2019’s synth-driven Lover left off. Though it marks Swift’s return to pop, Midnights is a subdued record, much like her previous two.

In a perfect world, the album’s opener, Lavendar Haze, would’ve been the lead single, the biggest song of the week, and an indication of what’s to come on the rest of the record. Unfortunately, it’s not. The rest of Midnights leaves much to be desired. The album is Swift’s first to be recorded entirely by wunderkind Jack Antonoff. On the record, Antonoff fails to elevate the tracks in the way that’s needed. His production becomes redundant, and as tracks blend together, a very forgettable midsection unfurls.

Beyond Lavendar Haze, the album’s lead single and biggest song of the week, Anti-Hero, is one of the few tracks that doesn’t get completely lost in Antonoff’s uninflected production. On the track, Swift paints herself as the villain of her own story, declaring, “I’m the problem, it’s me.” The self-loathing song sees Swift face her insecurities head on as she worries about those that she’s ghosted, as well as her future children killing her for their inheritance.

Unfortunately, Anti-Hero features some of Swift’s weakest lyricism, including the questionable line, “Sometimes I feel like everybody is a sexy baby.” Swift has widely been regarded as the greatest lyricist…

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