Swift shares her “Midnights” in new album

Emma Tanner, News Editor

Taylor Swift released her highly anticipated 10th studio album, “Midnights,” on Oct. 21.

Following the critical success of the folk-based albums “folklore” and “evermore,” fans were left wondering what genre the album would fall under. Swift is well known for a constantly evolving style and sound. Her first two albums were strictly country, but beginning with her third album (“Speak Now”) she began toying with genre. “Red” dove even deeper into pop music and “1989” was her first fully pop album. The album also marked the beginning of her work with producer Jack Antanoff.

Swift has not released a completely new album since 2020. Following the release “evermore,” she began her cycle of rerecording. Both “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and “Red (Taylor’s Version)” were released in 2021, with “Red” receiving mass critical success. They included “From the Vault” tracks, which are previously unreleased tracks from their respective albums.

The rerecording also marked Swift’s directorial film debut with “All Too Well: The Short Film.”

In fact, her 10th album was announced while receiving an award for the short film.

“Midnights” was shrouded in mystery from the beginning. With cryptic clues and a surprise announcement, her 10th album proved to be the hardest to predict. Fans quickly discovered the singer had been dropping clues for months. “Breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep, breathe out” was shared in her NYU commencement speech as well as the song “Labyrinth.”

The main theme of “Midnights” are feelings that kept her up at night, spanning throughout her career. Promotional photos for the album follow a 1970s theme, with Swift donning vintage clothing against wood-paneled walls.

“Midnights” was surprisingly experimental electro-pop, with strong Jack Antanoff influence.

Many fans have likened it to Lorde’s “Melodrama” (2018). However, the album is unique in a way only Taylor Swift can pull off.

I have been a bona fide Swiftie for as long as I can remember. One of the first songs I learned all of the words to was “Tim McGraw” (it was also the first song I learned on the guitar). My mom raised me on her music. Swift’s music has been a way for my mom and me to connect. We thoroughly analyzed “evermore” when it came out.

“Midnights” was a pleasant turnaround from “evermore” though. While I love her folksy and indie sound on the sister albums, she has an undeniable ruling over pop music. “Midnights” is a wonderful combination of “1989,” “Reputation” and “Lover” – some of my favorites, by the way.

I already have a never ending love for this album. I mean that! It was the only thing I listened to for a week after its release. However, I found “Lavender Haze” to be a lackluster introduction to the album. Her “lackluster” still manages to be phenomenal! Perhaps it was the amount of co- writers that took out the usual Taylor flair. It’s a fun song and the message is truly great, but it does not match the lyricism of some of the other tracks.

“Maroon” was one of my favorites in my first listen and still remains in my top three. I cannot really explain what made it stand out so much to me, but it’s a truly beautiful song about a failed relationship.

“Karma” is also high on my list – like, either number one or two. I cannot resist dancing to it every time it comes on. It’s addictive.

There are a refreshing amount of love songs on the album. Despite its criticism regarding the usage of Lana Del Rey as backing vocals, “Snow On The Beach” is one of (if not the) most beautiful songs featured. “Labyrinth” is slowly rising in my ranks, too. The chorus is so simple yet extremely relatable to my life right now.

Most of my favorites are favorites solely due to relatability. Perhaps that’s why I’m so thrilled with the love songs featured.

Speaking of relatability, “You’re On Your Own, Kid” is hands down the most heartbreaking song on the standard version of the album. The song charts the span of Swift’s career, finally culminating in the bridge. She shines light on her eating disorder (which she originally discussed in her documentary) and the toll fame has taken on her.

Two songs, “Anti-Hero” and “Bejeweled,” have already had music videos released (both directed by Swift). “Anti-Hero” delves into her insecurities and detachment from personhood.

The music video is both comedic and depressing. The video for “Bejeweled” is full of Easter eggs for her next re-recording, which is clearly going to be “Speak Now.”

Three hours after the release of the standard edition, Swift released a “3am Edition” with seven additional songs. All of the songs shine in their own way, but “Bigger Than The Whole Sky” and “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve.” Both songs are absolutely devastating, but in completely different ways.

“BTTWS” calls to anyone who has dealt with an untimely loss. It is the only song in the album that made me cry upon the first listen. The lyricism is next level.

“WCS” addresses her relationship to singer John Mayer. At the time, Swift was 19 and Mayer was 31. She is now 32 and views the relationship through a much different lens, finally realizing the power imbalance between them. The bridge is an absolute gut punch. “Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first” was a display of both pain and vulnerability.

In fact, the entire album is riddled with vulnerability. The previous two original albums followed their own handcrafted folklore, only occasionally taking inspiration from Swift herself. In her announcement, though, she described the album as “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout [her] life.”

“Midnights” is an amazing return to pop for Swift. Its catchy beats and unmatched lyrics are the recipe for an instant classic.