Taylor Swift’s tenth studio album ‘Midnights’ showcases the best of the singer/songwriter
Taylor Swift’s fanbase (commonly known as ‘Swifties’) treats the release of a new album almost like it’s the Olympics. The 32-year-old music icon is no stranger to the craze surrounding her existing discography and her new release titled ‘Midnights’.
Swift, who has released five albums since 2020 (two of those being ‘Taylor’s Version’ re-records of her albums Fearless and Red), announced her plans to release her tenth studio album onstage at the MTV Video Music Awards in late August. The singer/songwriter promptly posted the album cover on her socials, stating: “Midnights, the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life, will be out October 21. Meet me at midnight.”
Being well-known throughout her fanbase for hinting at future and past projects, and leaving cryptic “easter eggs” within her songs, music videos, and social media posts, Swift released a series of TikTok videos titled ‘Midnights Mayhem With Me’ to reveal the ‘Midnights’ song tracks one-by-one.
Now, on to the music. ‘Midnights’ consists of thirteen songs, but with the release of ‘Midnights (3am Edition) coming out at (you guessed it!) 3 A.M., the album has 20 songs total. The album is written and produced by Swift, along with long-time collaborator and friend Jack Antonoff, who first worked with Swift on her fifth studio album ‘1989’-- her first fully pop album.
The ‘Midnights’ tracklist:
Snow On The Beach (feat. Lana Del Rey)
You’re On Your Own, Kid
(3am edition songs)
The Great War
Bigger Than The Whole Sky
Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve
The album’s opening track ‘Lavender Haze’ delivers a sultry beat and deep bass, while Swift delivers a beautiful falsetto in the chorus. This track is absolutely one of my favorites from the album, because it is quintessentially Taylor Swift, but so different at the same time.
Track three ‘Anti-Hero’ has a strong message about being your own worst critic, and Swift gives a vulnerability and rawness in this track that is extremely admirable. Plus– it has a insanely catchy beat and lyrics.
The eleventh track of ‘Midnights’ called ‘Karma’ is an absolute standout from my perspective. It screams Swift’s beautifully crafted pop essence, all while the lyrics are leading fans to believe that the song is alluding to her long-standing feud with Kanye West.
Track thirteen (Swift’s lucky number) is titled ‘Mastermind’, and the name is quite fitting. The vocal range in this song is great, while the sharp beats and synth sounds give the track a strong and powerful feeling. ‘Vigilante Shit’ is another track on ‘Midnights’ that stands out for giving out a powerful feeling to listeners. Swifties might even go as far to say that ‘Karma’ and ‘Vigilante Shit’ are for the fans who love Swift’s sixth studio album ‘Reputation’.
Once the track title and featured artist were announced for track number four, fans went wild. ‘Snow On The Beach (feat. Lana Del Rey)’ was one of the most anticipated songs on the album alongside ‘Karma’ before release, due to the sheer amount of Swift fans that also enjoy Lana Del Rey’s sultry vocals and intricately designed music. This track was absolutely stunning sonically and sounded like a dream; but for fans that hoped to hear more of Del Rey’s vocals, it was a huge letdown. Swift held the majority of the vocals on the track, while Del Rey was merely a background voice– appearing quietly at the end of each chorus.
Although the ‘Midnights (3am Edition)’ songs seem to look like unnecessarily needed bonus tracks to most, some of the best songs on the album reside here. One thing that stands out from these tracks is that they were not produced by ‘Midnights’ producer Jack Antonoff, but by another previous collaborator and producer: The National’s Aaron Dessner. Dessner first worked with Swift on her critically acclaimed album ‘Folklore’ in 2020, then continued to work with her for ‘Evermore’ and both Taylor’s Versions of ‘Fearless’ and ‘Red’, both of which were released in 2021.
Dessner’s influence on the tracks is clear and gives the songs a ethereal and raw feeling. Tracks such as ‘The Great War’, ‘Paris’, and ‘Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve’ display Dessner’s unique touch on Swift’s music in a great way.
Overall, I would consider this to be one of the best albums Taylor Swift has ever released. As a fan, one might say this to all of her previous works, but this album is so quintessentially her and her sound, all the while being so different from her other works. The album has hints of her past sounds from albums ‘1989’, ‘Reputation’, ‘Lover’, and ‘Folklore’, which easily makes any fan appreciate Swift’s commitment to pop music by returning with vengeance and a sonically strong album.