Swift’s ‘Midnights’ is a delight


Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” has a more mature, distinct sound not heard in her previous works. “Midnights” explores Swift’s past lovers, friendships and insecurities through emotional bridges and captivating choruses. Photo by Lexi Tarter

As the clock struck midnight EST on Oct. 21, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released her 10th album, “Midnights.” By the end of the day, it was the most-streamed album on Spotify within a 24-hour period.

Deviating from the indie-folk sound of some recent albums, “Folklore” and “Evermore,” “Midnights” returns to the pop genre heard in “1989” and “Reputation.” Swift and producer Jack Antonoff created a cohesive album detailing 13 sleepless nights throughout Swift’s life with ethereal production, unique sound effects, distorted vocals and her most emotional bridges yet.“Midnights” is one of Swift’s best works because of its personal content and distinct production.

Track 1, “Lavender Haze,” tells Swift’s story of wanting a peaceful relationship despite the media’s opinions. While this is not necessarily a new topic for Swift, “Lavender Haze” works by setting the tone for “Midnights.” The slow, pulsating beat welcomes listeners to the album’s sound and  having lyrics in second person like, “I’ve been under scrutiny / You handle it beautifully,” establishes the topic of intimacy.

If there’s a song to cry and dance to, it’s Track 3, “Anti-Hero.” There’s upbeat vocals even as Swift calls herself “the problem,” lively synths even as Swift calls herself “a monster on a hill” and a cheerful chime to close the chorus even as Swift calls herself “the anti-hero.” This contrast between melancholy lyrics and pop production shows how Swift tries to maintain a happy public image despite her self-doubt.

Track 5, “You’re on Your Own, Kid,” continues Swift’s legacy of emotional fifth tracks. With heartbreaking imagery and grueling honesty, Swift details a story of loneliness and insecurity. This song can therefore resonate with all types of people, making “Midnights” a more personal and emotional experience for listeners.

For die-hard pop fans, Track 11, “Karma,” is sure to be a favorite. Swift compares karma to everything from her boyfriend to “the breeze in her hair on the weekend” through a steady pop beat and strong vocals. The verses of the song focus on those who’ve wronged Swift with cryptically fun lyrics like, “Spider-boy, king of thieves / Weave your little webs of opacity.”

Speaking of cryptically fun, in typical Swift fashion, she surprised fans by releasing seven bonus tracks at 3 a.m. EST after the main album’s release. A standout from these is Track 20, “Dear Reader,” which uses unconventional production, like Swift’s altered vocals, and clever metaphors to describe her fear of being used as a role model.

“Midnights” is available to stream on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, with vinyls available for $29.99 and CDs for $12.99 online and in stores. For fans old and new, “Midnights” offers a new sound while staying loyal to Swift’s sincere lyrics that are sure to keep fans dancing till the clock strikes midnight.