Taylor Swift’s 10th album, “Midnights,” immediately broke streaming records across platforms and gained instant popularity, but is it really worth the hype? After a short pause to re-record some of her earlier albums, Swift’s newest album seemingly reflects on her previous work as she returns to her pop music roots.
On Oct. 21, 2022, “Midnights” was released after months of hints from the artist. Twenty-four hours after its release, “Midnights” had already become the top-selling album of the year, and it sold over 1 million copies within the first week. As her first autobiographical album since “Lover,” which was released in 2019, Swift describes “Midnights” as the stories of 13 nights that she spent writing music, “a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams.” In addition to the multiple records this album broke, Rolling Stone also gave it a five-star rating, further proving the quality of the album.
After initially listening to “Midnights,” I felt that it didn’t measure up to my expectations. Her two most recent albums, “Folklore” and “Evermore,” took on a different tone than the rest of her previous releases, and I expected “Midnights” to do the same. However, this album reflects the writing style that Swift exhibited during some of her earlier albums such as “1989” and “Reputation.”
At first, some of the songs bled into each other and sounded repetitive. Upon further listening, each song stood out for different reasons and “Midnights” quickly became one of my favorite albums that Taylor Swift has released. Songs like “Sweet Nothing,” “Labyrinth,” and “Maroon” made me fall in love with this album because of their meaningful lyrics.
Taylor Swift’s success can largely be attributed to the storytelling elements of her music. In her first albums, she describes the highs and lows of her past relationships. In this album, the stories that she tells continue to describe her inner turmoil in relation to love, self-image, and others’ perception of herself. In the song “Anti-Hero,” Swift demonstrates a deep reflection of herself and the criticism that follows, singing, “I’ll stare directly at the sun but never in the mirror.” The detailed and personal lyrics that brought her fame in the past are definitely not absent from her most recent album.
Along with the 13 songs on the album, Swift also released seven additional tracks on “Midnights: 3 am edition.” Out of these songs, the ones that stand out the most are “Paris,” “Dear Reader,” and “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve.” These songs provide a cohesive addition to the album. Overall, “Midnights” is well-deserving of the high praise it’s earned so far. The evolution of Taylor Swift’s music is evident in her most recent album.