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Following in the footsteps of The Michigan Daily Arts’ Music Talks, The Michigan Daily Arts section presents Arts Talks, a series where Daily Arts Writers gather to discuss their opinions on and reactions to the latest and major releases in the Arts world.

In this segment of Arts Talks, some Daily Arts Writers well-versed in Taylor Swift lore (and one who is not) discuss her newest album, Midnights.

This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity and brevity. 

What’s your favorite song on Midnights

Sabriya Imami, Managing Arts Editor: I have quite a few favorites. When I was preparing for this, I wrote down three — “Lavender Haze” is one for sure. I think it’s reminiscent of her pop days, of 1989 and also a little bit of Lover. I think it’s just really good and really fits the vibe of what she was going for. Another favorite is “Maroon” — I think it’s quintessential Taylor. It’s just so, so classic. It gives me Red, it gives me reputation, it gives me everything. And then, lastly, the one song that I’ve been listening to over and over and over again is “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” which is off Midnights (3am Edition). I feel like the reason I’ve always been such a Speak Now fan is because the best Taylor songs to me are always the ones that tell stories. And in this one, you get quite a story, which I love.

Hannah Carapellotti, Senior Arts Editor: Anytime anybody asks me what my favorite is, I’m always like, “I have more than one.” So my top three, in no particular order, are “Lavender Haze,” “Karma” and “Anti-Hero,” for pretty much the same reasons Sabriya said. I think the entire album is the perfect mix of 1989 and reputation, and those are my two favorite Taylor albums. So I’m just here for the vibes. I like the message behind “Anti-Hero” because it’s sad, lyrically, but such a bop musically — (that’s) something I will always go for.

Annabel Curran, Daily Arts Writer: Okay, I don’t know if this is an unpopular choice, but I love “The Great War.” That’s my favorite song. I’m literally obsessed with it. It was so good already the first time I listened to it and the bridge is so good. But then I kept seeing TikTok edits of that song with different fantasy duos. And I realized, this gives fantasy, and I love it … Miss Girl read a book before she wrote this song. I am literally obsessed with it. My less reasonable favorite is … “Bejeweled.” I think it’s so fun; it’s just a silly little fun song and for the girls, and I don’t know, I think it’s really fun. 

Graciela Batlle Cestero, Daily Arts Contributor: I have a lot of trouble ranking, like always. My ranking is not static. It’s definitely going to change, and I’m going to regret saying what I say here in a week. But as of right now, I think my favorite after the first listen is “Sweet Nothing.” It’s such a sweet song. It’s so genuine. I also think “High Infidelity” is just great. It’s not reputation in the way she sings it or the lyrics or the beat or anything, but people are saying it’s Tom Hiddleston-inspired, and I’m a sucker for “Getaway Car.” And then for the third one, “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” is just wow. The whole part with the lyric where she talks about her girlhood … she sounds so young. And I think that’s what makes the song; it teleports you to the Speak Now era, I’d say.

Lola D’Onofrio, Daily Arts Contributor: My immediate favorite off the album — the second I heard it, I knew, “Oh, this is just gonna be one of my favorite Taylor songs ever” — is “Maroon.” I’m such a Red girl, and it has everything I want: romance, wine, dancing in New York. She did it for me. And then my second favorite — it’s not art, but I love “Paris.” It’s just good old-fashioned fun. It reminds me of “London Boy,” and I’m the biggest “London Boy” fan. So I’m just loving that right now. And then, yeah, “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” was my third. I kind of just discovered it today; I think I’ve been holding off because I wasn’t ready, but now I’m enjoying letting it ruin my life.

Serena Irani, Daily Arts Writer: My favorite would probably be “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” but that’s easy, honestly, just because Speak Now is my favorite album. (This song) had this spark, this energy on it, and everyone’s saying it’s about John Mayer. Regardless, she was so angry, she was so heated, and I could feel it. And then, another favorite would probably be “You’re On Your Own, Kid.” I like the bridge on that one. And I think the chorus is just like a punch in the gut. You know, it’s just a nice sad song. And then the third would probably be “The Great War.” That was so good. It had such a nice feel to it. I like the Aaron Dessner tracks, which is no surprise because I love folklore and evermore, which he was one of the producers of. (“The Great War”) was really nice and had a really good production on it. 

Katelyn Sliwinski, Daily Arts Contributor: I need to give a huge disclaimer. I do not live under a rock, but I did not know what Midnights was when I signed up for this. I thought this was going to be a horror discussion. Yeah. So this is my first voluntary Taylor experience. I have been exposed to her music, but this was (the first time) I actually sat down and thought, “I’m going to choose Taylor today.” I don’t know the lore, but I had a lot of fun listening. So I will definitely say my favorite song on the album was “Snow on the Beach.” I was really surprised to see Lana (del Ray) on there. I don’t know if that’s the thing I’m supposed to feel, but I liked the title a lot. I think it’s fun. And I thought it was a very soothing song, in a way that it felt like a bunch of Tumblr micro-niches fighting. So I was very fascinated by that track. I also like “Lavender Haze.” I think it’s a good driving song. If I were to theoretically drive somewhere, I would play it. And then also I really liked “You’re On Your Own, Kid.” I feel like if I did have a parasocial relationship with Taylor, then I would cry. 

Sabriya Imami: For context, Track Fives on Taylor’s albums are always the ones that are meant to make the fans cry. And so she did it again.

Ava Seaman, Daily Arts Writer: My favorite song — this is basic — but I really like “Anti-Hero.” When the music video came out, I was just in awe. I also love “You’re On Your Own, Kid.” I keep seeing edits on Twitter, a circulation of different characters from Gilmore Girls with the song, and this song is Jess Mariano, I’m convinced. And then, I don’t know, “Lavender Haze” just reminds me so much of “I Think He Knows” (from Lover).

Rebecca Smith, Daily Arts Writer: I thought so hard and prepared myself to answer this question, and I just know that my thoughts are going to be all over the place anyway. But my absolute favorite is “You’re On Your Own, Kid.” I live and die by Taylor’s bridges. When I hear a song I’m like, “Okay, is this bridge going to wreck me?” And I heard that one, and there’s a video of my roommate and me reacting to it. And we’re just sitting there in awe. Like the “starved my body” line, I was like, “no, stop.” And this line at the end where she goes “make the friendship bracelets,” all of that was giving me Speak Now, “Long Live” vibes. And “Long Live” is my religion.

Sabriya Imami: And there’s one line where she says, “Something different bloomed, writing in my room.” That could just sum up everything she’s ever done. 

Rebecca Smith: Yeah. And then probably my second favorite would have to be “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve.” Because once again, there’s a callback to Speak Now, and I’m a Speak Now girl to my core. It makes up for not having a “Dear John” 10-minute version, almost. Those are my top two and then the third one is “Bigger Than The Whole Sky.” I really have been putting that one off because I know how sad it is, and I’m like, “I just don’t feel like crying today.” But I’ve been listening to it today, and it is just a wonderful, honest, heart-wrenching song. It’s amazing. And I’ve been seeing very sad edits to it on TikTok. But I like when a song can do that for someone. It can help them connect to a past event that’s maybe hard to work through. I think that’s a really powerful thing.

Kristen Su, Daily Arts Writer: I think the song that stuck out to me the most was “Anti-Hero” because I don’t really listen that much to lyrics, but I just kind of like the vibe of it. It sort of reminded me of reputation — Taylor just kind of bouncing back from everything that’s happened to her.

Pauline Kim, Daily Arts Writer: ​​“Sweet Nothing” (is my favorite) because it reminds me of the people in my life who feel like home. They’re the ones I run to when life is falling apart, and the spaces they occupy become havens of safety and love. Taylor captures this feeling so beautifully, noting the innocent simplicity of such moments.

Lillian Pearce, Managing Arts Editor: I love “Lavender Haze.” I told Sabriya it could just be the consequence of listening to it the most since it’s the first track, but it’s so juicy. The chorus of “Karma,” though, was ingrained in my brain the first time I heard it. I can’t stop saying “karma is my boyfriend” or “karma is a cat.” “Maroon” continues to grow on me. I blame whoever chooses the music in the East Quad Blue Cafe.

Isabella Kassa, Daily Arts Writer: I think this answer has changed probably six different times at this point, but I find myself gravitating to “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” specifically for the bridge. It’s too good.

What was your album listening experience like? Did you stay up till midnight to listen? Did you wake up at 3 a.m. for the “special very chaotic surprise”?

Sabriya Imami: I will say, I did stay up till midnight, texting in my multiple group chats.

Hannah Carapellotti: I know, I was going to say I received messages from Sabriya on multiple different platforms.

Sabriya Imami: Yeah. So many people heard from me on every single platform. Also, I’m an Apple Music user. So the album was released on Apple Music about 10 minutes early. So I was 10 minutes ahead of everybody else. And I needed everybody to catch up with me!

Ava Seaman: You were so far ahead! I was like, “I’m only on the third song.”

Annabel Curran: Yeah, at the end of the year when everybody who uses Spotify says Spotify is so much better than Apple Music (because of Spotify Wrapped) — you guys are going to remember this moment.

Sabriya Imami: And I did wake up for the 3 a.m. announcement. No shame. I set an alarm for 2:55. So I was awake and listened to the whole half hour of extra songs and went directly back to sleep, only to wake up in time to watch the “Anti-Hero” music video. To say that I have been tuned into what she’s doing might be a little bit of an understatement.

Ava Seaman: I did stay up till midnight and was receiving a beaucoup of messages. I was exhausted, but I was like, “No, I just gotta keep going. Gotta keep going.” And it was a great experience. I did not stay up for the 3am Edition, but it was a nice surprise to wake up to. 

Hannah Carapellotti: I had a listening party with a couple of friends. So we stayed up until midnight. And that was great. Until, you know, Spotify crashed. So it took us a little bit to actually get started. And then I also set an alarm for 2:59. And I could not stay awake. I was thinking, I don’t know what this announcement is gonna be. I am fine waiting until the morning to hear it. And then I couldn’t go back to sleep. So I looked at my phone. And sure enough, there are like 15 texts from Sabriya that are saying “New songs, new songs, new songs!” And so I said out loud: “Oh my god, there are seven new songs.” And then I was like, “I still can’t do it though; I’ll save it till the morning.”

Annabel Curran: Look. I don’t want to hear any slander for this. But I go to bed at 9 p.m. every night. Get into bed and fall asleep, 9 p.m., maybe 9:30 p.m. I am an old woman. So I went to bed at 9. And I woke up to a wonderful surprise. So it was very nice. I’m sorry, Taylor. I just could not do it. You’ll get the streams out of me, but I did not stay awake. So I woke up, and then I was like, “why are there two albums?” Oh, it’s not two albums; it’s one album. So I literally listened to it right away, the whole thing straight through — the 13 original songs and then the new songs. I don’t think I could have processed it at midnight, honestly. But yeah, that is my Swiftie failure, my Swiftie sin. I couldn’t do it.

Graciela Batlle Cestero: I also Swiftie sinned. I think I would have been a lot more engaged with all her posts and everything if I wasn’t literally adapting to a whole new life this semester. Because, normally, I have videos from Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version), even folklore and everything … (Videos) of me having a full-on breakdown, staying up, whatever. I had friends visiting, but I was thinking, “I need a break.” So, I played “Lavender Haze” at 5 a.m. and was like, “I’m not doing this right now — I’m gonna wake up later and listen to it later.” And I feel like it was the best decision. So, yeah, I did Swiftie sin. I enjoyed the album nonetheless. 

Lola D’Onofrio: So, I listened right at midnight. This was my Super Bowl. Thank goodness two of my roommates are also Swifties. So we had a little listening party at midnight. Luckily, one of them had Apple Music. But it was sort of a combination wine night thing, so I would say literally two songs in, we were already getting a little rowdy. So it took us two and a half hours to get through the whole album. We were pretty much up for 3am Edition, so then we started the 3am Edition, but we needed to sleep. I got up bright and early at 9:00 for work the next day and listened to it then.

Serena Irani: I didn’t listen to it at midnight; I fell asleep. And I didn’t wake up until 7:45 a.m. And then I found out there were seven new songs. I listened to those, and then I watched the music video. But I will say I was a little annoyed that she separated it into two albums. I think if they’re all meant to be on one album, you should release it in one. And then they should all go together. I need a clear beginning and that sort of cohesion. So I was a little annoyed about that. 

Katelyn Sliwinski: I had blissful unawareness, and that was it. I, once again, had no idea. But I woke up the morning after — so I guess when the “Anti-Hero” music video was out — and I went onto Twitter because I love Twitter. And my feed is very contained, and I would usually not see Taylor posts on there. But there was a lot of discourse, and I love discourse. I think it’s so fun. Because like, why are we mad? So I was seeing “Anti-Hero” discourse, and I was like, “what happened?” And then I figured it out, so that was how I became educated. 

Rebecca Smith: I did in fact stay up till midnight. No surprise there. And that was always the plan. Some of my roommates are Swifties, so we all stayed up till then. And it was getting a little intense. But we managed to get through the album pretty quickly. And then I was all on board to stay up till 3 a.m. They were like, “No, I want to sleep.” So I set an alarm for 2:55. And they said, “Okay, we’re gonna come to your room, and we’re all gonna see what it is together.” So I’m sitting there waiting, texting. No one’s answering. I’m like, “Okay, you’re all asleep right now.” But the rational part of me was saying, “I can’t go back to sleep.” Because what if it’s a tour announcement, and I absolutely cannot miss it. I knew it wasn’t going to be that; she wasn’t announcing the tour at 3 a.m. But just the smallest possibility that it could have been (a tour announcement) made me not go back to sleep. So then I saw it was seven new songs, and I thought, 3 a.m. is not going to be the best listening quality. So I went back to sleep, and then I woke up the next morning and listened. 

Lillian Pearce: I listened to Midnights in the sterile hellhole that is the UGLi at midnight on Friday … actually a little after midnight because Spotify crashed.

Isabella Kassa: I set an alarm to check what the surprise was (at 3 a.m.) but couldn’t physically stay awake to listen.

Sabriya Imami: So there was a variety of listening experiences and a lot of chaos, which is, I’m sure, exactly what Taylor wanted. 

What are some of your favorite lyrics from Midnights? 

Sabriya Imami: As everybody knows, Taylor is well known for her lyricism. Once again, I have three answers myself. I really like, from “Maroon,” the line, “the rust that grew between telephones,” because I think it’s just really Taylor. The imagery, the use of color … it all just contributes to something you can really picture, and I feel like nobody else would ever think of describing something in that way. And that was a lyric that I didn’t absorb properly until later; “Maroon” was one of the songs that had to grow on me. Another lyric I really like is from “Paris” where she says, “confess my truth in swooping, sloping, cursive letters.” I like the alliteration, but it’s also again just the imagery — it’s just like she wants to scream it to the world, write in her diary, all of it. Let everybody know how in love she is, but then it’s also like a little confession. And then, of course, Graciela already brought it up — but I actually remember the second I heard this lyric — I was texting in a group chat, and I think I actually wrote, “oh my god, I’m getting goosebumps from this lyric.” And it was the “give me back my girlhood, it was mine first” line from “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve.” It’s so simple, but it’s so impactful in its simplicity. 

Graciela Batlle Cestero: It’s also the delivery. She sounds so young, and she’s screaming. She’s mad. 

Hannah Carapellotti: So one line that really hit me hard is also in “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” but it’s not the girlhood line. It’s “if you never touched me / I would’ve gone along with the righteous,” and oh my god, I listened to all of the 3am tracks when they first came out but didn’t fully start appreciating “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” until Sabriya was like, “that one is my favorite.” And when I heard that line, I instinctively said, out loud, “Oh my god, that hurt.” I also like the lyric in “Midnight Rain” when she says “my boy was a montage / a slow-motion, love potion jumping off things in the ocean.”

Sabriya Imami: That’s so Taylor.

Hannah Carapellotti: Yes. So Taylor. And I don’t know if it’s just because she said “love potion,” but it just feels very magical to me. So those are my two favorites.

Annabel Curran: I think my favorite, that really got me the first time I listened all the way through, was in “You’re On Your Own, Kid.” I think somebody already said this, but, in the bridge, she says something about parties. And she says “I hosted parties and starved my body / like I’d be saved by the perfect kiss.” And I was like, “oh my god, girl stop. It’s eight in the morning; you’re killing me.” And then another one that I just really like is on the bridge in “The Great War,” where she says “Somewhere in the haze, got a sense I’d been betrayed / your finger on my hairpin triggers.” That whole sequence is just really good. It’s something about the rhyme scheme and then her delivery.

Graciela Batlle Cestero: I have a lot of favorite lyrics, I think. But the first one that I really like is from “Question…?” It’s so teenager, it’s so innocent, like a young love-type thing. And I love some of the opening lyrics, “I swear that it was something / ’cause I don’t remember who I was before you painted all my nights / a color I’ve searched for since.” I’m a hopeless romantic. I have never been in a relationship because I have the most insanely high expectations … because of people like Taylor. That (line) was just such a great, encapsulating lyric of how I want someone to make me feel. And then, obviously, the “give me back my girlhood” line. And also, I’m a big fan of opening lyrics, but the opening lyric from “Sweet Nothing” — “I spy with my little tired eye” — I think it has to do with the fact that this is my first year of college, and I’m saying goodbye to my childhood because every single tiny mention of being a teenager or childhood was just so heartfelt to me. So, with that “I spy with my little tired eye,” it reminded me of when I would play with my friends on a road trip and be like “oh, I spy with my little eye,” and it was cute. And then obviously the whole bridge from “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” but specifically the “starved my body line.”

Lola D’Onofrio: I’m so glad you asked this question because I love lyrics; those are my favorite things about good songs. I don’t like a song unless the lyrics are good. Some fun lines — I have to plug “Paris.” The line “I’m so in love that I might stop breathing” is just precious. Oh, I love it. Also, in “Lavender Haze” where she says “get it off my desk.” I also love the beginning of “Vigilante Shit” where she says “draw the cat eye sharp enough to kill a man.” It’s millennial but in a way that works. I eat it up. I don’t know. And then I love her monologue in “Anti-Hero” where she’s like, “I have this dream my daughter-in-law kills me for the money.” It’s so specific and random and real, and she’s never written something like that. And it’s so fun. I think I’ll stop there, but I could go on. There are a lot of good lyrics.

Serena Irani: Annabel, you named the one from “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” that was so good. And then the other one from “The Great War,” I like that one too with the “hairpin trigger”; it was stuck in my head the other day. And then I really like one of the ones from “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” toward the end where she says, you know “the tomb won’t close, stained glass windows in my mind / I regret you all the time.” And “I fight with you in my sleep.” You could feel it; it was a long-standing resentment, and you can feel how it inspired so many of her songs. Okay, I will say, not gonna be a downer, but she was lazy on some of the writing.

Rebecca Smith: Like “karma is a cat / purring in my lap.”

Serena Irani: “Best believe I’m still bejeweled” is a little silly.

Graciela Batlle Cestero: It was giving “ME!” I love it. If I was 11 and I listened to that, I would absolutely love it. 

Serena Irani: But in 1989, every song on there is such a bop and the lyrics are good. If it was a different artist, I’d be like “yeah, it’s fine.” I just have high expectations (for Taylor).

Hannah Carapellotti: Another funny line was “sometimes I feel like everybody is a sexy baby.”

Annabel Curran: Look, I just wish she had said something else. I understand the reference. I know what she means. I just wish she hadn’t said the words “sexy baby” like that. Every time I listen to that song — I love that song — I just have to laugh.

Katelyn Sliwinski: I need to preface by saying I am not a lyrics person. I listen to songs based on how they sound; I mostly listen to instrumental (music). So going in, I had to pay attention to different things. But in “You’re On Your Own, Kid” — that entire song captivated me the most. But my favorite lyric from it was, “I searched the party of better bodies / just to learn that my dreams aren’t rare.” That hits so hard for me because, yeah, I’m not unique. So I think that that song was really capturing a lot of ideas that I could relate to. 

Rebecca Smith: I was gonna say the exact same thing. Actually, I have several, but that’s one of them. Because that line just screams, almost like impostor syndrome to me, which I feel is something that a lot of college students in particular deal with. Like, when you move to a new place, feeling like you’re just not special at all. So it hit a little close to home. I definitely cried a little bit the first time I heard that. Other lyrics — in “Sweet Nothing” when she goes, “to you, I can admit that I’m just too soft for all of it.” That was one of those that I was able to comprehend in the moment when I first listened to it. It’s just like … when you trust a person that much that you can just be completely yourself around them, and you don’t have to be someone you’re not or give more than you can … it was just really good. 

Sabriya Imami: When I listened to “Sweet Nothing” for the first time, I actually texted “this is the lovest love song to ever love.”

Rebecca Smith: Yeah, for real. And then my final one. From “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” — “memories feel like weapons.” That is pure Taylor to me because I feel like all of her songs are really reflective. And a lot of them are her thinking back on this time, and it hurts so bad. And that just was pure Taylor to me. 

Graciela Batlle Cestero: I love that she’s never gotten over a single thing that’s happened to her. 

Kristen Su: In “Anti-Hero,” in the pre-chorus she says “I should not be left to my own devices / they come with prices and vices / I end up in crisis.” I think that’s what stuck out to me the most out of the whole album. I just like “Anti-Hero” a lot, and then that was sort of the line that really got me. 

Ava Seaman: I love “It’s me / hi / I’m the problem, it’s me.” Duh. It’s iconic. No comment needed. Also, of course, “Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first.” John Mayer has another thing coming for him when “Dear John (Taylor’s Version)” comes out.

Pauline Kim: I really like “You’re in the kitchen hummin’ / All that you ever wanted from me was sweet nothing” from “Sweet Nothing.”

Isabella Kassa: I love “On the way home / I wrote a poem / You say, ‘What a mind’ / This happens all the time,” from “Sweet Nothing, and also, from “Mastermind,” “I’m only cryptic and Machiavellian / ’cause I care.”

Where does Midnights fall in your Taylor Swift album ranking?

Sabriya Imami: When I first listened, it was a little closer to the bottom because I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. But I think now it’s a little bit more in the middle. My top albums are Speak Now, 1989 and reputation. So Midnights is lower than those, but it’s above folklore which is something I’m sure people will be surprised by. Maybe equal to Fearless (Taylor’s Version)? I don’t know for sure; I’m still working on it. I think I need to listen to it for a year before I can fully, confidently say where it stands … and by then we’ll have like six more albums.

Hannah Carapellotti: I have the same top albums as Sabriya. So 1989, reputation and Speak Now. And when I first finished (Midnights), my initial reaction was I think this overtook Speak Now in my top three. But now that I have listened to it, over and over again — because I have literally listened to nothing else since it came out — I do have a couple skips, I’m not gonna lie. So I’d say it’s a solid maybe number four right now in my rankings, and that’s only because in my top three I think there are zero skips. 

Annabel Curran: My favorite Taylor album of all time is Red (Taylor’s Version). I could listen to it until the day I die and live a happy life. I don’t think I like Midnights as much as evermore. I don’t think I like it as much as reputation. I think it’s tied with Lover … they feel equal to me. Lover has some of the same corny songwriting, but I love it. But I’m like the Swiftie public enemy number one because I hate 1989. I was in middle school, and I just hated middle school. I still have never listened to it all the way through because I just … I cannot do it. 

Graciela Batlle Cestero: This is horrible. It’s just so hard. I hate this question. I personally think her albums are unrankable, in my opinion, because at this point I don’t think it’s like country in certain albums or pop (in other albums); it’s just Taylor.

Sabriya Imami: She’s her own genre. 

Graciela Batlle Cestero: Exactly. She is the music industry. But folklore is my top album of all time. Red is definitely my second favorite, I’d say. It’s so dramatic, and I’m so dramatic. And then for a third I think Lover and Fearless are tied because of the Fearless re-recording. I think as the other re-recordings come out, I’ll switch things up because … Speak Now was in my top three before the re-recordings, so (that re-recording) is going to absolutely annihilate me. But I’d say Midnights is probably a six for me right now, just because I can’t rank it above Speak Now.

Lola D’Onofrio: For reference, my top three right now are Red (Taylor’s Version), folklore and Fearless (Taylor’s Version). And right now, Midnights is kind of low. reputation is above, and Lover is below, but it’s subject to so much change. I feel like I just need more time for it to marinate.

Serena Irani: My top rankings don’t change: My number one is Speak Now. Number two is 1989. Number three is folklore. Four is Red (Taylor’s Version), five is evermore, and then everything else I don’t have numbers for, and that’s where Midnights is going.

Katelyn Sliwinski: Before I came here, my roommates who were Swifties in middle school —  they said if they ask you any of your opinions, please say Speak Now. So yeah, I’ve heard a lot about Speak Now.

Sabriya Imami: So, Annabel’s homework is to listen to 1989, and Katelyn’s homework is to listen to Speak Now

Rebecca Smith: When I saw this question, I actually got my iPad out and sat in my living room. I was like, “Okay, I need to figure this out.” I was unsuccessful, unsurprisingly, but my Holy Trinity of Taylor Swift albums is Speak Now as number one forever, then folklore and Red (Taylor’s Version). I just don’t believe that anything will ever touch those. So Midnights is definitely not up there, and I like it less than reputation. I would say it’s somewhere around five or six for me right now. 

Sabriya Imami: I think when listening to a new album, context really matters. Because, with this album, it was an era unlike any of the others because it was such a short amount of time that I feel like it was really concentrated. Everybody was thinking about Midnights only, Midnights all the time. I mean, she broke Spotify. Midnights became the best selling album of 2022 within one day of sales. So, knowing that, I’m really excited about it right now, but that might change.

Isabella Kassa: Okay, really, really tough question. I think probably third, after folklore and reputation.

Ava Seaman: I feel like it’s too early to put it in my ranking; it really needs to sink in after about a hundred more re-listens. When I think of pop perfection I think of 1989, and it’s really hard to compare anything to that.

Lillian Pearce: I’m outing myself here, but I can only self-proclaim myself as a Verified Listener of Speak Now, Red (Taylor’s Version), folklore and evermore. Because of nostalgia from my childhood, Speak Now and Red are cemented at the top of my list, and because I’m insufferable, so are folklore and evermore. That was a long-winded way of saying that I would rank Midnights fifth. 

Sabriya Imami: Thanks for participating in Arts Talks, everybody!

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