Taylor Swift’s Midnights has something for everyone

Madelaine Province, Staff Writer

The moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. On Oct. 21, Taylor Swift released her tenth album, Midnights, and there’s been lots of discourse from both her critics and her supporters. After releasing folklore and evermore within five months of each other back in 2020, Swift had mainly been focused on recording her previous albums, such as Fearless, which was originally released in 2008 and re-released in April of 2021, and Red, which was originally released in 2012 and re-released in November of 2021. With all the releases of her older albums, no one thought there was a new one coming in the near future, but at the VMAs on Aug. 28, she announced the release date for Midnights, and fans went wild. 

Swift described the album as “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout [her] life.” It seems to return to the mainstream pop sound she left behind in 2019 with Lover, but still maintains the feeling of a new album rather than just repeating her “old” sound. The concept of the “scattered nights throughout [her] life” is intriguing, because while many albums are written over a consecutive period of time, this one comes from many different times in her life. Due to this concept, the album can feel inconsistent if you listen to the songs individually. There seems to be a lot of different sounds all packed into this one album, ranging from moody synths to upbeat songs bound to be radio hits, but somehow Swift manages to still make it feel cohesive even with so many different things going on. Just as there are different sounds on the album, Swift explores different subjects as well. From the pressure of being in the spotlight to a reflection on past romances and declarations of raw, painful love, there’s something in the album for everyone to resonate with. 

The album itself is creative genius, but that comes as no surprise to anyone who’s a fan of Swift. Often called one of the greatest songwriters of our generation, Swift truly lives up to the title with all of her albums, Midnights included. With lyrics like “Industry disruptors and soul deconstructors/And smooth talking hucksters out glad-handing each other” (“Sweet Nothing”) to “From sprinkler splashes to fireplace ashes/I gave my blood sweat and tears for this/ I hosted parties and starved my body/Like I’d be saved by a perfect kiss/ The jokes weren’t funny I took the money” (“You’re On Your Own, Kid”), Swift examines the feeling of being constantly observed and criticized while living in the spotlight the past 16 years, as well as the struggles of being in an industry that can be very unforgiving. It’s no secret that she has faced many rumors in her long period of fame. The allegations of her being a “serial dater” since she was just 18 have followed her to the age of 32, with people finding a way to criticize her six year relationship with actor Joe Alwyn. While she’s spent a lot of time trying to debunk these claims, she had a different approach in Midnights. With “unbothered” songs like “Karma” and “Vigilante Shit”, she calls out her critics and remarks that she’s thriving regardless of the hate, seemingly relating back to the idea of her “revenge era” that was born with Reputation.

Many of Swift’s “fans” who jumped on the bandwagon after the release of folklore and evermore have expressed their disappointment with how this album didn’t live up to their “alternative rock/indie folk pop” standards. Comments like these are laughable, because anyone who knows Swift knows that up until the release of those sister albums she was known for her country-pop turned mainstream pop sound, and she was extremely successful because of it. It’s completely valid for people to crave the melancholy soulful feeling brought forth from her 2020 releases, but it’s just unreasonable to criticize her for going back to her pop sound when that’s what she’s been known for for years. 

5/5 stars