Taylor Swift’s Midnights brings the star back to pop with a twist

Taylor Swift’s tenth studio album, Midnights, broke the record for Spotifys most-streamed album in a single day.

Promotional material courtesy of Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift’s tenth studio album, Midnights, broke the record for Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single day.

Capsule review: Great tracks, like 1989 mixed with Reputation with a Folklore glaze, recommend.

Taylor Swift met fans at midnight with her tenth studio album, Midnights. Initially released Oct. 21 at midnight EST, the album transcended its promise of 13 tracks with an extra seven songs. The album weaves in echoes from her past works, reintroducing a more wispy electropop feel. It highlights the glowing pain of Swift’s tug-of-war between victory and vengeance. 

Swift is known for her easter eggs and cryptic clues that fans use to decipher her newest musical endeavors. However, in Midnights, Swift promised fans she would be more straight-forward in her messaging. Throughout Sept. and Oct., Swift posted 13 TikTok videos where she spun a bingo-ball cage to randomize which track names to announce one by one.

Swift played fans once again, releasing a second surprise album three hours after the initial album’s release. Midnights (3am Edition) nearly doubled the first album by adding seven new songs, much to the delight of her “Swiftie” fanbase. 

Unlike some of today’s pop stars and rappers, many of Swift’s songs hold meaningful storytelling that touch listeners’ hearts. Starting right off the bat in the first track, “Lavender Haze, Swift proclaims, “The only kinda girl they see / Is a one night or a wife.” This seems to be the mindset of many men today and emotionally connects to Swift’s primary fanbase of young women. 

Midnights has two distinct categories, the first similar to “Lavender Haze” with an electro-pop beat. These songs are reminiscent of tracks from her fifth and sixth studio albums 1989 and Reputation. Of course, none of the songs are identical, but the tempos align with varying dynamics. The second category has the softer croon displayed in “Sweet Nothing” and “Mastermind.” On par with her previous sister albums, Folklore and Evermore, these songs are far slower than the electro-pop songs on Midnights.

Many of the songs are upbeat and danceable, a far-cry from Folklore and Evermore, which were mature and mysterious. However, this is not to say Midnights is less thought provoking. Midnights exposes midnight perceptions, whether that be lying in bed contemplating life or in the back of a cab on the way home from the club. Not every song needs to be heart-wrenching to be engaging. 

In “Mastermind,” Swift tells her age-old tale: who she is versus who the public paints her to be. “So I’ve been scheming like a criminal ever since / To make them love me and make it seem effortless,” she sings. She outlines the vigilance it takes to have the household name “Taylor Swift.”

From “ME!” with Brendon Urie to “End Game” with Ed Sheeran and Future, Swift is known for her chart-topping songs featuring contemporary musicians. Midnights contains one featured artist, Lana Del Rey, in “Snow on the Beach”. However, Del Rey didn’t sing even a full verse. Instead of verses bouncing between the two singers as anticipated, Del Rey only has background vocals, to the obvious displeasure  of her fans. Nevertheless, “Snow on the Beach” is a magical ode to the revelation of falling in love with someone while they fall in love with you. The song is heartfelt, with beautiful ghostly vocals by Del Rey and winter wonderland background chords straight from Rankin/Bass Christmas specials.

Midnights is a completely different embodiment of pop music from Swift’s previous albums. It’s the grown up sister to Reputation and the daughter of Folklore under a disco ball. The perfect album for Swift’s upcoming tour, Midnights earns itself five out of five feathers.