Song of the Day #5,283: ‘Karma’ – Taylor Swift

Guest blogger Daniel continues his countdown of the year’s top albums…

Best Albums of 2022 – #8
Midnights – Taylor Swift

Now, I would say it’s likely that many reading right now who know me are shocked by this low placement of one of my favorite artists. It is true. I am a diehard Swifty. She could drop an absolute turd of an album and I would still revere it as a gold. This album is far from trash and much closer to treasure, but 2022 was a trove.

On this, her 10th studio album, Swift puts forth some of her best work. Songs like ‘You’re On Your Own, Kid’ and ‘Sweet Nothing’ epitomize the writer’s distinct ability to evoke emotions from her listeners. I couldn’t help but shed tears on both these tracks. It’s her intentional specificity and earnest approach that sells these songs and her discography as a whole.

No one from this generation can write songs like her. Period. She will be remembered in the same rare air as Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell.

This is made increasingly clear on this album, even shrouded in some controversial production decisions such as pitch shifted vocals (‘Midnight Rain’) or too much ambient noise (‘Labyrinth’). Truthfully, the pitch shifted vocals work for me. The ambient noise, not so much.

Swift has found a complementary production partner in Jack Antonoff, who has worked with her on many projects since 1989. This has been a fruitful collaboration. Antonoff has a knack for spotlighting her sweet vocals underneath tasteful, innovative decisions in the pop genre. Although I feel Antonoff is best when paired with Lana Del Rey (‘Venice Bitch’ being the prime example), his relationship with Swift gives them a good run for their money.

The trouble in being an occasional commenter turned guest blogger is that I was unsure of how to tread familiar ground here in sharing my feelings on today’s SOTD. In reviewing my previous commentary on this track, I really couldn’t have said it better myself: “For an artist like Swift who has been plagued by unjust criticisms and perceptions her whole career, it’s heartwarming to hear her embrace all the good she’s come to recognize in her recent life.”

I’ll add that I am a BIG proponent of Karma. I believe in reciprocal energy and that if one altruistically leads with kindness then that kindness will come back to them. In short, I’ve been belting this song at the top of my lungs in the car ever since I first heard it and writing this review provides a great excuse to run it back.

[Verse 1]
You’re talking shit for the hell of it
Addicted to betrayal, but you’re relevant
You’re terrified to look down
‘Cause if you dare, you’ll see the glare
Of everyone you burned just to get there
It’s coming back around

[Pre-Chorus]
And I keep my side of the street clean
You wouldn’t know what I mean

[Chorus]
‘Cause karma is my boyfriend
Karma is a god
Karma is the breeze in my hair on the weekend
Karma’s a relaxing thought
Aren’t you envious that for you it’s not?
Sweet like honey, karma is a cat
Purring in my lap ’cause it loves me
Flexing like a goddamn acrobat
Me and karma vibe like that

[Verse 2]
Spiderboy, king of thieves
Weave your little webs of opacity
My pennies made your crown
Trick me once, trick me twice
Don’t you know that cash ain’t the only price?
It’s coming back around

[Pre-Chorus]
And I keep my side of the street clean
You wouldn’t know what I mean

[Chorus]
‘Cause karma is my boyfriend
Karma is a god
Karma is the breeze in my hair on the weekend
Karma’s a relaxing thought
Aren’t you envious that for you it’s not?
Sweet like honey, karma is a cat
Purring in my lap ’cause it loves me
Flexing like a goddamn acrobat
Me and karma vibe like that

[Bridge]
Ask me what I learned from all those years
Ask me what I earned from all those tears
Ask me why so many fade, but I’m still here
(I’m still here, I’m still here)

[Breakdown]
‘Cause karma is the thunder
Rattling your ground
Karma’s on your scent like a bounty hunter
Karma’s gonna track you down
Step by step, from town to town
Sweet like justice, karma is a queen
Karma takes all my friends to the summit
Karma is the guy on the screen
Coming straight home to me

[Chorus]
‘Cause karma is my boyfriend (Karma is my boyfriend)
Karma is a god
Karma is the breeze in my hair on the weekend (Weekend)
Karma’s a relaxing thought
Aren’t you envious that for you it’s not?
Sweet like honey, karma is a cat
Purring in my lap ’cause it loves me
Flexing like a goddamn acrobat
Me and karma vibe like that

[Outro]
Karma is my boyfriend
Karma is a god (Ah)
Uh-huh, mm
Karma’s a relaxing thought

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,283: ‘Karma’ – Taylor Swift

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Given my family’s love of Swift, I have heard this album more than any other this year. I find it improves with each listen. And, while I know this song was not a favorite for Clay, I like it and appreciate you featuring it.

    While some artists hit at least a commercial, if not quality, peak after one or two albums, Swift defies that pattern.

  2. Amy says:

    I am here for the Karma love! This song is another example of how deftly Swift uses figurative language to convey the complexity of emotions. I love lingering on the deeper meanings of all the ways Karma interacts with her and her friends, as well as those who haven’t kept their side of the street clean. It’s simultaneously funny and profound. And, of course, a bop.

    This has quickly become one of my favorite Swift albums, so it would likely be #1 for me, but I don’t have nearly as much to choose from. Thanks for revisiting it.

  3. Peg says:

    Great lyrics! I’m a fan of Karma too!

  4. Maddie says:

    I don’t have a lot to add here, but I’m very happy that Karma is in Taylor’s corner. This song is a bop and a great message to live life by. Keep that side of the street clean!!

    Midnights would be quite close to the top of my own list if not at the very top. In my opinion, it’s some of her best work and she just continues to be more self assured. It comes across.

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