Wake up, Taylor Swift’s ‘Midnights’ has struck and it shouldn’t be slept on

Emma Bohmann, Staff Writer

Since its announcement on August 28 at the Video Music Awards, the new Taylor Swift album, ‘Midnights’, released on October 21, has received a lot of attention from fans and critics alike. Whether you’re an infrequent listener or a diehard superfan, you’re sure to have heard about Swift’s newest release. More recently known for her re-recordings of older albums, Swift has taken a break from making “Taylor’s Versions” to promote and tease ‘Midnights’. 

Some listeners have seemed disappointed about the pause on re-recordings, or don’t like the idea of a comparably short-run album. On the other hand, Taylor Swift knows what her fans will like, and has a wonderful track collection in store. Whatever doubts the world may have had, critics soon had their feet in their respective mouths, as ‘Midnights’ soon became one of the most record-breaking albums of all time. From the most streamed album in one day to one of the top female artist albums, Swift has placed ‘Midnights’ on the trophy shelf, along with her many other record-breaking, revolutionary albums.

Swift started by creating a series of videos where she revealed the track titles, with the order of unveiling determined by a bingo spinner. I found this to be a very creative way to announce track titles, and I loved the idea of picking my favorite song before I even heard it. With this, she has racked up plenty of anticipation, telling fans to meet her at midnight for each new announcement. The promotion boosted the hopes of many fans for another record-breaking album, and the fans, including myself, were not disappointed.

Based on the promotional effort and playfulness that Swift has created surrounding her new release, it was doubtful from the start that ‘Midnights’ would disappoint in any way. For those who were not the biggest fans of the main tracks, Swift shocked all of her fans by releasing a “3 am Version” of ‘Midnights’, which included seven extra songs, three hours after the initial release. I prefer the bonus songs to the whole album, which is saying something because I loved the sound and mood of ‘Midnights’. 

I think that ‘Midnights’ is one of Taylor Swift’s best lyrical albums. That unofficial title previously belonged to the ‘Folklore’ album, but somehow, Swift outdid herself with ‘Maroon’ and ‘Anti-Hero’. 

‘Paris’, which is from the bonus tracks, and ‘Bejeweled’ are my top-ranked songs because they have the best beat. These two are the kind of songs that you could play in any setting and everyone would enjoy it, even if they don’t like Taylor Swift. This element is reminiscent of the 1989 album, known for its danceable and versatile tracks.

The song ‘Karma’ was nice and it reminded me a lot of the songs on the ‘Lover’ album because it is also very pop-sounding and happy. A lot of fans speculated that it would have a more angry, less lighthearted sound, possibly reminiscent of the songs of the ‘Reputation’ album, but it ended up being the complete opposite. Another song that sounded a lot like Swift’s ‘Reputation’ style was ‘Glitch’, which I would rank very high because it has a nice story to it and a cool meaning, along with a really fast, upbeat sound, while still being an overall laid-back song.

‘You’re on Your Own, Kid’ and ‘Anti-Hero’ were definitely my highest-ranked songs in terms of story, meaning, and relatability. I think that they cover the most interesting feelings and have the most original and unique motivations, which are loneliness and growing pains. This album was all about the things that kept Taylor Swift up at night at some point in her life, and I think these songs fit that prompt the best.

If I had to rank some songs lower on the list, they would probably be ‘Mastermind’ and ‘Labyrinth’. Upon my first listen, these two seemed the least interesting, lyrically, and I didn’t really connect with them right away. The sounds of these songs also were not extremely appealing to me. However, if I listen to them more, I’ll probably grow to find some meaning in them.

My overall opinion is that Swift did an amazing job promoting her album and setting the tone of how ‘Midnights’ was meant to be received. It’s hard to control the reception of an album, but Swift achieved this almost to a tee. ‘Midnights’ is all about sleepless nights, worrying, longing, and being overwhelmed by emotion. I think these tracks and bonus tracks cover the different meanings and feelings of the ‘Midnights’ concept. I think this might be the most emotionally raw release throughout all of Swift’s work. I am very excited to see the music videos, tour clips, and rumored documentary, and how they inevitably add even more layers and quality to this new installation of Taylor Swift’s works.