The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Spectator Sing Along Power Hour

How Swift Mania overshadowed two albums released on the same day

Oct. 21, 2022 is a day that probably rings a bell for many Swifties, as it was the release date of Taylor Swift’s tenth album, “Midnights.” However, on this day, both the “Arctic Monkeys” and Carly Rae Jepsen released albums, named “The Car” and “The Loneliest Time” respectively. 

For the “Arctic Monkeys,” led by frontman Alex Turner, it was their seventh studio album and the latest album since 2018’s “Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino.” Meanwhile, this release was Jepsen’s sixth studio album. 

While “Midnights” received more acclaim from critics, it undermined the significant messages and lyricism from these other two great albums. This not only comes from a long-time “Arctic Monkeys” fan, but an avid music listener who isn’t Swift’s biggest fan. 

While Swift has made amazing achievements in the industry, her actions are the reason I am hesitant to support her fully. According to Yard, a U.K.-based sustainability organization, Swift was the top producer of carbon emissions for 2022.

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Between Jan. 1 and July 19, her private jet alone produced 8,293.54 tonnes of carbon emissions, which is 1,184.8 times more than the average person’s yearly emissions. 

Despite my disappointment in her actions, many critics have said that her album was not worth the hype it received. It wasn’t a bad album, it just wasn’t her most memorable piece of work. In my opinion, it also lacked the lyrical meaning compared to her other work.

The complex Swiftie fandom has added a cloud of confusion over what happened on Oct. 21, 2022. It overshadows two great albums that were released that day.

Firstly, this “Arctic Monkeys” album really pushed the mold of what it means to be an AM album. Their earlier works such as “Humbug” (2009) and “Favorite Worst Nightmare” (2007) really capture the experience of teenage angst in an indie-rock and roll genre. 

I feel, especially after the release of “AM” (2013), the band was pressured to create work that was similar to that style. Of course, this genre of music was not intended to be the blueprint for their future work. 

“AM” was different, from its “Black Sabbath” derived inspiration and the effect of Turner’s break up with his girlfriend Alexa Chung. The inspiration behind this album helped it to be the band’s most successful piece; however, they faced criticism for later albums that broke this mold.

The Car” was really created to push the band’s boundaries. This “lounge-act” inspired music was experimented with in 2018 but had more emphasis. Alex Turner has spoken for the band about criticism they’ve received that this album doesn’t sound like them.

To that, he said, “I think what makes it sound like the same band is that we’re not betraying our instinct to challenge our idea of what the band can be.”

Another artist familiar with being contrasted by past music is Carly Rae Jepsen. Most widely known for her 2012 hit “Call Me Maybe,” the Canadian artist has undergone a lot of growth in her work. 

Oftentimes, we can see musicians struggle to break molds set from hit singles to record-breaking albums, and for Jepsen, she had to break the “Call Me Maybe” mold. Her 2015 release “Emotion” helped matters, but I think this album was a full-circle moment. 

The upbeat tone of this album is slightly similar to her 2012 hit, but not for the same reasons. This album really reflects that she loves creating music, not necessarily that she’s looking for a hit song. 

One track off the album, “The Loneliest Time,” became a hit song on Tik Tok for this refrain:

“What happened was/ We reached the moon/ But lost in space, I think we got there all too soon/ But you know what/ I’m coming back for you, baby/ I’m coming back for you.”

Even with some of the notoriety it gained, some of my favorite tracks are not as well appreciated and don’t show the full depth of this work. My top track from this album was “Bad Thing Twice.” 

The theme of not reaching out to a failed relationship, or possibly even a friendship really stuck with me. 

Out of all the albums released Oct. 21, 2022, “The Car” and “The Loneliest Time” are lyrically underrated. It was nice to see these artists create music just to create music, not to please a certain audience or break any records. 

Moris can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Madison Moris
Madison Moris, Social Media Manager
Madison is a first-year environmental geology and journalism student. This is her second semester at the Spectator. When she's not plotting to run away on the Appalachian Trail she likes making jewelry, going to concerts and participating in other shenanigans.

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