Carly Rae Jepsen’s new album “The Loneliest Time” is questionably shadowed by Taylor Swift’s new album “Midnights”


The Atlantic

Carly Jensen’s new album The Loneliest Time is a journey of grief, heartbreak, and struggle for the singer.

Carly Rae Jepsen’s latest album The Loneliest Time is a facade of colorful and electric pop songs, with lingering synths that reverberate through your ears and upbeat tempos that make you ignore the underlying foundation of the heavy lyrics that deal with the singer’s most intimate moments. Taking a step away from her usual love-riddled songs of pining and passion, Jepsen writes about grief, heartbreak, and struggle, with a touch of cynicism and self-love as a cherry on top.

But despite this being her most varied album to date, the release of her new EP was mostly overshadowed by Taylor Swift’s new album Midnights, both coincidentally released at the strike of midnight on October 21. Taylor Swift’s new album deals with some of the singer’s most personal nights of her life, each composed into a track for the new EP. With a return to writing pop and taking a step back from the sounds of “Evermore” and “Folklore,” it’s been one of her most successful albums to date with it breaking multiple records. But is comparing these two pop stars really a just comparison? 

As soon as you tune into The Loneliest Time, you get a taste of what the rest of the album will present with the first track “Surrender My Heart” opening the floodgates. “I’ve been tryin’ hard to open up” is an amazing first line; it immediately clues us into the topic of the album, with the slight tinge of sensitivity in Jepsen’s lingering voice being washed over by just enough autotune to keep you grooving along to the shimmering & drumming synths. Jepsen’s journey of self-reflection is not all droning gloom and misery, but uniquely her, adding a touch of character to the sound of her EP. Swift’s first track “Lavender Haze” is more inviting to the listener, with the first line “Meet me at Midnight” prompting them to follow her along and lose themselves in the music. With clear imagery like the ceiling of her room and the titular lavender haze enveloping the song, Swift’s approach of soft melancholia is a slight deviation from her usual pop songs, but a welcomed addition to her library.

Although “Surrender My Heart” is a great track, the highlight of Jepsen’s new album is the titular song “The Loneliest Time,” a deceivingly upbeat duet between her and Rufus Wainwright reminiscent of old disco songs. The voices of the two singers complement each other perfectly, which results in a ballad of longing where Jepsen finds solace in the idea of returning to an old love, despite knowing how much of a bad idea it really is. For “Midnights,” “Antihero” is the track with the most recognition, but “Karma” is the star in my mind. A song with a catchy beat all about hardships and struggles emphasized by the lyrics “Ask me what I’ve learned from all those years, ask me what I’ve earned from all those tears,” “Karma” is basically the phrase “reap what you sow” in lyrical form. Swift sings about how all of her misfortunes have finally boiled away and she’s getting to harvest those sweet, sweet rewards. The song also has a tinge of revenge, where Swift addresses someone else throughout the track, with lyrics like “Karma is gonna track you down, step by step, from town to town,” clueing us in.

Though these two albums have done commercially well, you might be wondering if Jepsen holds any resentment towards Swift, but she actually feels quite the opposite! According to an article from The Atlantic, Jepsen states that Swift is “a lovely artist; it’s not like she’s throwing any shade.” Jepsen flat out doesn’t like viewing pop as competition, and would rather enjoy writing music for personal enjoyment, so comparing these two does feel like going against her wishes a little bit. 

 After listening to the two, I have to say that despite them both being pop artists, both Jepsen and Swift have their own artistic and unique sound to them. Each write about their life using nuance and depth, with music to accompany the journey. It’s as if you were comparing apples and oranges, they’re both fruit yet they provide completely different flavor profiles, but I do have to say that I prefer Jepsen’s new venture in the music industry better (sorry t-swizzle fans).