Review – Midnights

Swift’s tenth studio album breaks records, gives listeners an inside view

In all 64 years of the Billboard Hot 100, Taylor Swift has become the first artist to ever occupy every spot in the Top 10 at one time, and this isn’t the only record her new album “Midnights” has broken. The album also sold a record-breaking 1.2 million units in only the first three days of its release, and it became the most streamed album in 24 hours on Spotify, and it’s easy to see why.

 Swift announced “Midnights” at the 2022 MTV Music Awards, which stunned many fans, most of whom thought she

would announce another re-recorded album, but that was not the case. I had heard the rumors of her announcing a re-recording, and I was really hoping for that, but I’m glad we got a new album. I was very excited when I heard the announcement, and I counted the days until it was released. 

In the days leading up to the album’s release, Swift uploaded a series of videos to TikTok that she titled “Midnight Mayhem With Me,” where she announced the tracklist. The videos consisted of her using a bingo machine to see which track she would announce before she said the title of the song into a red telephone. These videos were a clever way to keep fans on the edge of their seats more than they already were. It was something I had never seen before, so I thought releasing the tracklist in that way was intriguing. 

When the album was finally released on Oct. 21, I streamed it later that night, and to be honest, I wasn’t a big fan. All of it was unexpected, which originally turned me away, but now, that’s what I appreciate the most about the record. After listening to it more, it’s safe to say that it isn’t my least favorite album. It definitely isn’t my favorite, but it’s not my least favorite either.

Swift said that each song was from a sleepless night that was scattered somewhere throughout her life, and that is conveyed through the album. I really enjoy how we can tell which era each song came from, whether it’s the beat or the lyrics, or both. 

Taylor Swift’s 10th studio album “Midnights” (2022) image found at https://www.syracuse.com/music/2022/10/taylor-swift-is-releasing-four-exclusive-midnights-vinyls-heres-where-to-get-them.html

Lots of the songs are very upbeat and incorporate different genres of music. Some songs are very uplifting, like “Bejeweled,” which is about the night of the 2016 Met Gala, while others are emotional, like the 3 a.m. track “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” which fans believe deals with her past relationship with musician John Mayer.

Out of all thirteen tracks and the extra seven that were released at 3 a.m. the morning of the album’s debut, two already have music videos, which are the tracks “Anti-Hero” and “Bejeweled.” Both videos have their own distinction that shows the difference between the feeling of the two songs. The “Bejeweled” video takes on a more Cinderella meets Victorian-era visual while the “Anti-Hero” video takes a closer look inside Swift’s personal issues with body image, which is something Swift also talks about in the song “You’re on Your Own, Kid.” Personally, “Anti-Hero” is my favorite of the two videos because of the message, the visuals, and the way Swift tackled the message. 

“Anti-Hero” is also in my top three songs for the “Midnights” album, along with the songs “Karma” and “Lavender Haze.” I enjoy the album as a whole, but the three are my favorites. I really enjoy how “Anti-Hero” sounds, and I love the lyrics Swift wrote for it. My favorite lyric from the song is, “I’ll stare directly at the sun but never in the mirror.” “Karma,” in my opinion, is one of the most fun-sounding songs on the album, which is what I enjoy the most about it. “Lavender Haze” is also a fun-feeling song with a meaning behind it. Swift said that the song describes her current relationship, how she perceives it and how the outside world perceives it. I love the lyrics and the pop genre feeling of all three songs more than any of the others on the record. 

Although I still prefer Swift’s earlier recordings, I really like the variety that “Midnights” gives. The entire album is enticing and thought-provoking to listen to from start to finish. No matter which album of Taylor Swift’s is your favorite, or even if you aren’t an active listener, you’ll be able to find something that you enjoy about this album. You might not be listening to this album until midnight, but I would still recommend this album to everyone at any time of day.