From sprinkler splashes to fireplace ashes, there are few acts of vandalism that I do not wish on Varsity’s most recent Taylor Swift review. They say yesterday’s news is today’s fish and chip paper, but frankly that would do a disservice to battered haddock.

In case you’ve been living like a monster on the hill (Fitz mathmos, looking at you), Taylor Swift released her tenth original album on October 21st. With all due respect to my esteemed fellow writer, their opinion on Midnights completely missed the point, and here’s why.

Let’s start with the album being called ‘a messy combination of mismatched songs’. Anyone who perpetuates this blesphemy does not understand the concept behind Midnights. Every song relates a sleepless night from across Taylor’s career. Part of the magnificence of this album is how it jumps back and forth between genre and subject matter. Pivoting from dance-bop ‘Bejewelled’ to the ethereal heartache of ‘Bigger than the whole sky’, each new sound slots into a thematic patchwork quilt of midnight thoughts.

Next up, an accusation of ‘a lack of touching lyricism.’ Too many expected Midnights to be a third sister to folklore and evermore, but it has more tonal variation than this. There are sections, like ‘Salt streams out of my eyes and into my ears’ which do feel ‘epiphany’-esque. But the less-picturesque Anti-Hero lyric: ‘Did you hear my covert narcissism I disguise as altruism / Like some kind of congressman?’ is an equally badass piece of poetry. Taylor is at her best when her songwriting subverts our expectations.

There is also an allegation that Midnights is without a single genius bridge. Um. That is just factually incorrect. The bridge of ‘You’re on your own kid’ is single-handedly getting me through week 5 (we made the friendship bracelets). What about ‘Sweet Nothing’ and ‘Mastermind’? Sorry, I’m only cryptic and Machiavellian ‘cause I care.

My fellow writer concludes that ‘this album is missing the essential charm of her music.’ For goodness’ sake. Maybe you’re missing the essential charm of her music? Get it off my desk.

There is a trap in trying to be too cool about liking Taylor Swift.  Being a Swiftie is not about chic and ‘unbothered ambivalence’, it’s about jumping around your friend’s room like a kid on Christmas morning, and accosting strangers with a giddy intensity because you heard them say ‘death by a thousand cuts’. Might I remind the reader of Taylor’s advice earlier this year: “I’d like to say that I’m a big advocate for not hiding your enthusiasm for things.” 

So I urge you all to enjoy Midnights without a caveat. Let’s all agree to stop justifying our love for Taylor Swift (“Haha omg I know, I’m so basic…”) to the John Mayer fan strumming his guitar, and mansplaining into his overpriced IPA. Okay? He bores himself to sleep.

Having bluntly disagreed with Varsity’s previous reviewer, I have to thank them for making me revisit the closing lines of Taylor’s NYU speech: “As long as we are fortunate enough to be breathing, we will breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep, breathe out.” The opening verse of ‘Labyrinth’ hidden in plain sight? Sorry, you called this album ‘underwhelming and unmemorable’? Baby love, I think this article has been a little too kind.