You’ve stumbled into the 25 square metres of Lola’s on a cursed Sunday night. The familiar chimes of Blank Space by Taylor Swift echo through the building. People begin to belt the lyrics. What’s the deal? Why are Cambridge students unable to contain themselves when they hear their favourite American sweetheart sing an overplayed tune?

The reason must be deeper than the fact we are all basic and grew up listening to her. I conferred with the co-president of Cambridge University Taylor Swift Appreciation Society (CUTSAS), Basma Khan, to discuss why and how they have sold over 2000 tickets in their first year, while well established societies are yet to reach similar numbers.

'There truly is a Taylor Swift song for everyone'

Basma puts it down to the fact that Swift’s discography is so wide that there’s room for people to have their own preferences. From the soft ballads of Folklore to the teenage angst of Speak Now, Swift has covered a variety of sounds in her ten albums. There truly is a Taylor Swift song for everyone. And since everyone knows at least three Taylor Swift songs, she’s a common denominator in most people’s music taste.

Mix this with the fact the club nights are from 8-11pm, Basma recognises the importance of an early night with the academic rigour of this institution: “people love a friendly, safe environment to have a little bop together and belt out Taylor Swift songs and the fact it fits around people’s schedules so well makes these nights so popular.”

Another reason for the contagious Taylor Swift bug circulating Cambridge is how perfectly her albums have coincided with Michaelmas. Basma explains how the listening parties (the next being for Midnights at Hidden Rooms on the 4th of November) provide an environment where people can exchange opinions on the album and solace over heartbreak. “People get talking about it, and bring their boyfriend and friends who aren’t Swifties, who then get to know Taylor’s music.”

The 21st of October saw the release of Taylor Swift’s tenth studio album. For her first original release since Evermore, expectations were high. Were they met? It seems that with producer Jack Antonoff’s new experimentation with sound, namely electric pop, combined with a lack of touching lyricism has made this album underwhelming and unmemorable.

Jack Antonoff clearly had been doing some experimenting with synths and electric pop. However, the lack of dimension and seemingly rushed production has left it sounding flat. Each song could be described as a diluted version of a previous Swift track. For example, Maroon is a mix of Call It What You Want and King of My Heart with cringe worthy lyrics such as ‘And I chose you / The one I was dancing with in New York.’ What happened to the quiet genius that used to soak all of her lyrics?

Swift’s strength lies in her story-telling abilities. Each of her previous albums have had a strong theme. A theme directly relating to something in her personal or professional life. Reputation was about her legal struggles with Scooter Braun. Lover is dedicated to her long-term boyfriend Joe Alwyn. What is Midnights about? It oscillates between love songs, revenge anthems and reminiscing tunes, leaving a messy combination of mismatched songs.

Even when a song has a clear theme, her lyrics fall flat. The biggest disappointment on the album has to be Snow on The Beach (feat. Lana Del Rey). With both of them being iconic writers in the 21st century, their combined talents amount to little. While the song is beautiful and poetic, it’s lacking in what’s most distinctive for these artists: substance.

'Every song sounds like a Taylor Swift song, without sounding like a Taylor Swift song'

Besides her lyricism, Taylor Swift is known for her bridges like those in All Too Well, Dear John and Cruel Summer. Every album has a number of genius bridges. Midnights however doesn’t have a single one. The result is that every song sounds like a Taylor Swift song, without sounding like a Taylor Swift song as such, this album is missing the essential charm of her music.

But at the end of the day, it’s still Taylor Swift. Charts will be topped, records will be broken and before we know it, all these songs will be stuck in our heads.

Midnights - Ranked !

Worth a listen

Lavender Haze



You’re On Your Own, Kid



Snow On The Beach (feat. Lana Del Rey)



Sweet Nothing


Mountain View


Don’t bother

Midnight Rain

Vigilante Shit