Taylor Swift is known for her impressive songwriting and storytelling, and she has shown this yet again with her new record-breaking album. Taking a pause from re-releasing her old music, Swift gives fans an incredible new album.
“Midnights” is a concept album that takes the listener through “13 sleepless nights.” It features different emotions such as anxiety, insecurity, love, self-confidence and more to create an overall reflective feel to the album. The promotion for this album mirrors that feeling, typically having a retro style.
Though the style of Swift’s promotion is not the only thing giving this album an older feel. Swift seems to have drawn on the older sound that she has demonstrated in the past.
Fans have speculated about different eras or sounds that Swift has leaned into to create this album. For example, the opening track “Lavender Haze” opens with a pulsing beat, compared to certain songs from her previous album, “Reputation.” This dream pop song then shifts into “Maroon,” another song reflecting this heavily synthesized sound. “Anti-Hero,” the most popular single from this album, keeps with this theme.
It is not until “Snow on The Beach” that Swift shifts to a lighter and more somber mood, which isn’t heard again until “Sweet Nothing,” her second to last song. Her fifth song, “You’re on Your Own, Kid,” goes back to the synthesized sound in a much rawer way, discussing hard topics of feeling isolated, insecure and even strength despite it.
Her next two songs “Midnight Rain” and “Question…?” lean back into the dream pop sound that Swift seems to have developed with this album. This is broken up by “Vigilante Shit” which features a pulsing beat throughout the song with the heavier synth sound coming later in the song.
“Bejeweled” brings a brighter, more upbeat sound, and leans into the self-confidence that we have not seen much of in this album yet. “Labyrinth” quickly leans back into the dream pop, synthesized sound that has come to be associated with this album in a much more somber way.
This leads into “Karma,” an upbeat revenge song that fans have come to expect out of Swift. The album closes with “Mastermind” which truly shows off her ability to set a mood and weave a beautifully artistic story in a song.
Other albums of hers such as “Red,” “1989,” “Reputation” and “Lover” have been compared to her current album. This has been a criticism Swift has received. That the album has been feeling like a reboot of previous music. Along with that, critics have expressed that this new album has lost some of the lyricism and creativity that Swift has shown in older work. Her reflective concept has created an amazing album, but still comes at a cost. Some of the songs do tend to deal with fairly juvenile subject matters, which has been another critique.
Despite all critiques, Swift has shown that this album will go down in history. Within the first week “Midnights” climbed to the top of the charts in many different countries including the US, Canada, Australia and a scattering of countries across Europe. “Midnights” becomes the #1 selling album of the year in the US on the first day of release. This album also gave her many personal achievements. She became the most streamed female artist on Spotify, as well as the first female artist to 11 albums debut at #1 on Billboard 200. Along with all of these achievements, the most impressive is becoming the first artist to dominate the entire Top 10 with songs off their new album, and all 13 songs on her base album appearing in the top 15 spots.
This album’s achievements speak for itself. Swift brings us through the story of her life using 13 different nights in a beautiful, artistic and emotional way.