Taylor Swift’s ‘Midnights’ out of the woods heralds the return of the pop music maestro.

Taylor Swift’s sharp new album “Midnights” ends with a song where the pop superstar patiently explains to someone, perhaps millions, that their close relationship is the product of design, not Kismet,” she said. sings over the faint electronic grooves, and her voice is slightly ahead of the beat. The song is called “Mastermind,” and Swift is aptly rhyme with “Now you are mine” in the chorus. And the abundance of those characteristic details makes you think she’s portraying her romance. But “Mastermind” is also about Swift’s unique career. It’s all about the contemplation and ingenuity of the moves that made the 32-year-old one of the two or three biggest acts of genius in a teenage nation. “When I was young, nobody wanted to play with me,” she sings at the end of “Mastermind.” This line is probably the saddest and funniest line on an LP full of two types. Since then, they’ve been plotting like a criminal to love me and make it look easy.” (Take a moment to savor the intricate rhythm of the word before you even hear it set to music.) Reflecting on joy and anxiety has been a hallmark of Swift’s work for years: in 2020, she took on the life of an autobiographical pop star for the ostensibly fictional character-driven narrative of two pandemic albums, “Folklore” and “Evermore”. Filled with songs about small town grippers, awkward high school students, unhappy married people, and even murderers, the project also radically reshapes her sound, away from the synthetic productions that took her deep on the Hot 100. She created a predominantly acoustic setting with indie rock band National’s Aaron Desner. To be sure, the music’s small scale reflects the need for remote collaboration. But her tenth studio full length, “Midnights,” is an acoustic And lyrically, it goes back to the early Swift mode: this 13-track set she created with longtime creative partner Jack Antonoff feels like choosing the right place for 2014. “1989” and 2017’s “Reputation” The song ended with a slick, beaty arrangement that looms over hip-hop’s presence, and lyrics filled with juicy allusions to Swift’s diverse publicity and love (2019’s “Lover” was a cross between the stages of Swift’s career). It plays a lot more than it did back then (like a transitional effort.) It’s easy to understand why she took this approach, given that she spent her 2021 rerecording the album “Fearless”. As part of her plans to make a new version of the LP, she lost some control when her previous record label was changed. As Pop’s meticulous diary is known, Swift is thinking more than usual about her own journey and her young self. “Nothing New”, one of the many new recordings of “Red (Taylor’s Version)”, captures a woman in her 30s confronting her 20s doubts about how she would treat her aging self in her chosen industry. .“Midnights” begins with “Lavender Haze” adjacent to R&B. Here, Swift is a celebrity dating another celebrity (in her case British actor Joe Alwyn), who laments her investigation into her own. The song was co-written by actress Zoë Kravitz and featured background vocals and, as she said, finds a safe space removed from the realm where her loose talk threatens to “spread word of mouth”. On “Anti-Hero”, on top of Antonoff’s buzzing synths and booming ’80s rock drums, she weighs in on the harshest opinions of the public and tackles “secret narcissism” and sometimes calls her “monstrous on the hill… slowly.” … you’re running towards your favorite city.” “Midnights”‘s vocal performance is one of the most powerful of Swift’s career. (Beth Garrabrant) Evil and shiny “Karma” seems to target the seemingly powerful music manager Scooter. “Spiderboy, king of thieves / Weave your little web of opacity,” says Braun, who designed the label purchase that spawned Swift’s re-recording company. she sings “Karma is my boyfriend / Karma is God / Karma is the breeze in my hair on the weekend.” The wind blows in her hair this weekend! Good night, Spiderboy. Swift’s storytelling urge didn’t die in “Midnights.” “Midnight Rain” is a slow, gloomy song with pitch-changing vocals that tell the story of a man and a woman whose life goals are different. Neither do appear to be Swift or Alwyn. The same goes for “Maroon,” where a man and a woman get drunk on her roommate’s “cheap screw-top rosé.” Then there’s the daring Billie Eilish-style “Vigilante S-” about a woman who helps a betrayed wife get revenge on her filthy husband. As a diary as meticulous as Pop is known, Swift is clearly thinking about her journey and her young self (Beth Garrabrant). But the songwriting and vocal performance here is very powerful. She plays with cadence and emphasizes her texture. Unprecedented voice — you end up not paying attention to what’s drawn directly from Swift’s real life and what isn’t. She paved her way in music like “Labyrinth,” which explores her fears of falling in love again, and “Snow on the Beach,” a stunning duet with Lana Del Rey, which has the most influential image on her album. Losing is just a joy. : “My smile is like winning a contest.” Swift sings about her amazing new endeavors and it’s all she needs to get the exact picture in her head. She paints another indelible picture in “Mastermind”. “The Wind in the Freely Flowing Sails” comes shortly after she provides a bit of context as to why she was so thorough in her interactions with her boyfriend (or audience). “We were born pawns in every lover’s game, so all the smartest women had to do it this way,” she sings. Then she catches her breath and adds: “If your plan fails, you plan to fail,” she said. Only Swift could make her self-help slogan like a fairy tale.
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