When Taylor Swift announced the arrival of her 10th studio album Midnights at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, Swifties all over the world greatly anticipated the artist’s newest era. Taylor Swift and her long-time friend and colleague Jack Antonoff co-collaborated on the album, working together to design the album’s unique sound. Released on October 21st, Midnights depicts Swift’s sleepless nights in one of her most raw and introspective albums yet.
The album’s synthetic-pop sound reflects the artist’s immense growth and adaptability as Swift dips her toe into yet another type of sound. While the album features a highly produced sound similar to Lover and Reputation, the 13 new songs, and 7 additional 3.am tracks, reflect the emotional sentiments of Folklore and Evermore as Swift explores heartbreak, broken relationships, and the turbulence of growing up.
Midnights features some of the artist’s most vulnerable tracks as the singer dives into her deepest insecurities with the track “Anti-Hero”. “It’s me / “Hi / I’m the problem, it’s me” Swift sings in the song’s chorus, opening the door to her dark thoughts and deepest fears. Despite the heavy subject matter associated with the song, “Anti-Hero” has an upbeat, poppy sound, a seemingly unnatural combination made seamless by Swift. Furthermore, within “You’re On Your Own, Kid” Swift describes the vulnerability of navigating life alone and the reality of growing up. “I gave my blood, sweat, and tears for this / I hosted parties and starved my body / like I’d be saved by the perfect kiss,” Swift sings within the song’s bridge nodding to the singer’s personal struggles growing up with fame and being under constant scrutiny. Within Midnights, Swift bares all of her emotions, exposing the consuming narratives that plague our minds during sleepless nights.
Although many of the songs on Midnights feature a moody, low-fi sound, the album also features some of Swift’s catchiest songs, transporting listeners back to Swift’s 1989 and Reputation eras. Midnights features some of Swift’s most lovable upbeat and catchy tunes with the songs “Lavender Haze,” “Anti-Hero,” “Karma”, “Bejeweled,” and “Paris.”
Swift’s usage of hazy, moody beats is integral to the heartbeat of the album. This sound is utilized in Swift’s contemplation of love and heartbreak. This sound can be particularly heard within “Maroon” in which Swift recalls the haunting details of a lost love affair. The saultry, slow tone of “Maroon” reflects the remnants of lost love and the memories that come back to torture us afterwards. Swift also explores the theme of lost love with songs “Question…?,” “Bigger Than The Whole Sky,” and “Would’ve, Could’ve Should’ve.” Within each of these songs, Swift ponders what is lost when you love someone and the versions of ourselves that exist with certain people. As Swift explores the implications of lost love her latest album also reveals the delicate peace that is earned with love. Swift plays with this idea within “Sweet Nothings,” “Mastermind,” and “Snow On The Beach (ft. Lana Del Rey). “Everyone’s up to something / I find myself running home to your sweet nothings” Swift sings, highlighting the simple peace that comes from fully loving someone for themselves. These ballads highlight Swift’s lyrical mastercism as each song creates a poignant storyline that wraps the listener within the artist’s emotions.
Overall, Midnights is one of Swift’s most impressive albums to-date as the artist reveals her inner-most emotions and thoughts while exploring a new sound. Swift utilizes her expert song-writing to guide the listener through the inner workings of her mind, as the album recounts the fears, narratives, and visions that have kept her awake at night. Overall, Midnights emphasizes Swift’s reputation as a powerhouse in the music industry and one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
Josie is a writer for the Entertainment section. She is currently a Senior majoring in Communications and English. She enjoys reading, listening to music, hanging out with friends, and exploring the city of New Orleans.