On the eve of Thursday, Oct. 20, Taylor Swift fans eagerly awaited the release of “Midnights,” the 10th studio album from Swift. The album was announced back in August, with Swift calling it “the story of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life,” and “a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams.”
This will be Swift’s fifth album release in over two years, following “Folklore” and “Evermore” in 2020, and her first two re-recordings, “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and “Red (Taylor’s Version).” “Midnights” can definitely be seen as Swift’s reentering of the pop genre, and I am certainly not the first to say that she did it flawlessly.
In true Taylor Swift fashion, at 3 a.m. on Oct. 21, she revealed that there were seven tracks she was calling the “3 a.m. tracks”. She shared on Instagram, saying, “Lately I've been loving the feeling of sharing more of our creative process with you… So it's 3 a.m. and I’m giving them to you now.”
Some credible names that show up in the album credits are her longtime collaborator and friend Jack Antonoff, who Swift wrote and recorded most of the songs with. Other names include Zoe Kravitz, who is credited on “Lavender Haze” and William Bowery (the pseudonym for Swift’s longterm boyfriend Joe Alwyn), who is credited on “Sweet Nothing.” The track entitled “Snow on the Beach” also features fellow musician Lana Del Rey.
Since no singles were released prior to the album, fans and listeners were going in completely blind to what the sound would be. One of the most notable things about Swift is her plethora of styles that she has toyed with over the years. Many are calling “Midnights” the child of two of her past albums, “1989” and “Reputation.”
“Midnights” definitely shows that Swift is more confident in her ability to tell a story and write a cohesive album than ever before. There is a unique aspect to it that makes listeners excited to hear something new, while still implementing subtle hints to her past records. This album feels like a turning point in both Swift’s career and life. We are once again welcomed into her magical space of intertwining storytelling with personal experiences.
I would be remiss to note that blending flawlessly with Swift’s exceptional lyrics is Antonoff’s easy-to-spot fingerprints of the overall production of this album. The two of them continue to be an absolute powerhouse team in each project that they accomplish together.
Regardless of the fact that I have been a long time fan of Swift’s music, anyone who enjoys a pop central album with aspects of mystical storytelling will get what they are looking for in “Midnights.” Ranking songs on Swift’s albums continues to be impossible for me, but some of my initial favorites from this one include “Bejeweled,” and one of the 3 a.m. tracks, “Bigger Than The Whole Sky.”
By: Haileigh West, Reporter