On October 21, Taylor Swift’s label, Republic Records, released her tenth studio album, Midnights, one year after Red(Taylor’s Version) was released in 2021 and nearly two years after the release of Evermore and Folklore in 2020. A music video for its lead single, “Anti-Hero,” also premiered on the same day.
Announced during the 2022 VMA Music Awards, fans and critics alike have been eagerly waiting to listen to the complete list of songs since the debut of Swift’s promotional TikTok series, Midnights Mayhem With Me, on September 21, 2022.
The standard edition, which consists of thirteen new, original tracks, was officially dropped at midnight, with a special digital-only edition, titled Midnights (3 am edition), following suit three hours later. It includes an additional seven songs, four of which have Swift slated as a producer: “The Great War,” “High Infidelity,” “Glitch” and “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve.”
Unlike the album’s pandemic predecessors, Midnights lyrics are much more personal, almost autobiographical in numerous ways.
For instance, “Anti-Hero” illustrates some of Swift’s insecurities, such as her self-disdain and the nightmare of her future daughter-in-law murdering Swift for inheritance money. It is accompanied by a soft melody and very subtle grooves, both of which highlight her deep, rich tone.
“Midnight Rain” explores her decision to pursue her career aspirations and leave behind an unnamed individual whom she loved, a struggle to which listeners everywhere can relate. Here, the acoustics are much more pronounced, with a rhythmic hum of instruments aiding in the flow of the track.
Moreover, other songs, such as “Lavender Haze,” feature some lighter yet intimate aspects of Swift’s experiences with herself and others. There’s a sweeter aura to “Lavender Haze,” which only accentuates the comforting feeling of the lyrics’ expressiveness in seeking solace in love.
“Bejeweled” is faster-paced than the rest of the album, yet, the synth-pop tune appears to reflect the more assertive, self-confident limericks. It is faintly reminiscent of Rihanna’s “Diamonds” in that both she and Swift utilize jewels as symbols of how they will figuratively shine brighter in light of being overshadowed by others. It’s definitely a feel-good song to play if you’re feeling down, and the inclusion of this piece makes the album more well-rounded.
Currently, both editions of the album are fully available to those in the United States. You can download Midnights through Youtube, Apple Music, Spotify and wherever else you stream music today.
I am a senior at the University of Houston majoring in English with a concentration in Literature and a minor in Advertising. My hobbies include drawing, photography, and creative writing. Currently, I am planning on pursuing higher education after graduation in May 2023.