Album Review: Midnights by Taylor Swift

Sarah Babitz and Alexander Serrano

History was made on Oct. 31 when ten of Taylor Swift’s songs from her new album Midnights swept all ten spots on the Billboard Hot 100 top ten list.

Taylor Swift sweeps the top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 list just days after the release of Midnights
Billboard Hot 100 Top 10

It’s safe to say Swift was onto something with track 13, deeming herself a “Mastermind.” Through Swift’s clever engagement with the fandom on social media platforms like Tik Tok and Instagram, she captured her fans’ attention and induced anticipation up to the very moment when her album was released at midnight on Oct. 21.

Swift usually switches genres when she releases a new album: from country to pop to rock to indie. For Swifties who hopped on the bandwagon after the release of Folklore and Evermore, Midnights is not the folk-pop they likely expected. But to veteran Swifties such as Natasha Kaminsky, this album did not come as much of a surprise. She says, “Midnights is totally what like I expected.”

Midnights is an album for the introspective; Swift describes it as “a collection of music written in the middle of the night”–contrary to the reinvention of her identity as seen in Reputation when she said that “the old Taylor is dead.” We also see Swift expanding into autobiographical lyricism after much of her previous songs’ storylines featured fictional plots.

Albums from Top Left to Bottom Right: Fearless, Midnights, Red, Lover, Folklore, & Evermore

Taking an electropop direction, Midnights conveys its dream-like effects through the incorporation of subtle harmonies, rhythmic cadences, and piano synth-pop. In the tracks “Lavender Haze” and “Bejeweled,” Swift utilizes different sounds: the former leans more towards mainstream pop while the latter strays away from typical pop sounds. Still, we know Swift is taking us to the same destination in both tracks.

In “Lavender Haze,” Swift says, “I find it dizzying/they’re bringing up my history/but you aren’t even listening.” She confirmed later that this is about her boyfriend, Joe Alywn, ignoring the negative press and celebrity gossip surrounding her. Swift described her inspiration for the song: “If you were in the lavender haze, then that meant that you were in that all-encompassing love glow, and I thought that was really beautiful.”

In track nine, “Bejeweled,” Swift says, “I can reclaim the land/And I miss you/but I miss sparkling,” indicating Swift’s feelings of empowerment. The glimmering sound effects highlight the song’s message. You can see that Swift is no longer playing the persona of a fictional character with Midnights, one of Swift’s most vulnerable albums to date.

Fans were all the more excited upon learning that Swift released seven additional songs, classified as her “3am” tracks. Natalie Cortes, a lifelong Swiftie, says they “completed the album” despite their unexpected release. Additionally, many of Cortes’s favorite Midnights songs came from these “3am tracks”, indicating their success among Swifties.

The official Taylor Swift Eras tour poster

Additionally, Swift confirmed on Instagram that she will be going on The Eras Tour next year from March to May. Fans rejoiced as Swift announced this will be a tour journeying through her many musical eras. The tour will occur across the United States, starting in Glendale, Arizona, on March 18, 2023. Until then, we’ll continue to enjoy Midnights from the comfort of our own homes.