by Tyler Glover
On August 28th, Taylor Swift became the first person to win Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards three times. Upon her historic win, Swift announced to the world that she was about to put out a brand-new album called Midnights on October 21. Swifties and fans worldwide rejoiced. Her last two albums have been part of her re-recordings project to take back her masters: Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version). Many believed that we would not get a completely brand new album until this project was completed but she shocked us all. Anticipation began to build. Swift is the most exciting artist to release albums these days because we don’t know until its release what genre it will even be. Swift began her career in country, transitioned to pop, and recently went an indie/alternative route. This reinvention process she undertakes within each era keeps us all intrigued and eager to see what is coming next. Last Friday when the clock struck midnight Midnights was released. Was it worth the hype?
Midnights is one of Swift’s best albums ever.
One of the main reasons for this is she has an awesome idea of what’s worked in her career. It is a return to electronic pop like Lover and 1989 but it is so much more than that. Midnights has the experimentation with new sounds like Red, the infectious pop energy of 1989, the revenge tracks of reputation, the heart of Lover, and the spectacular songwriting of folklore and evermore. What is even more incredible is that nothing is jarring in the album. Everything fully fits with the sleepless nights theme of Midnights.
When Swift began her career, her life was more on display for the public but upon the scandal with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian in 2016, she withdrew from the public. While healing, she found the love of her life, Joe Alwyn. However, they have decided to not speak publicly about their relationship. Where will this leave her in her songwriting when she was once known as the “girl who would write a song about her exes?” It turns out Swift still shares moments of her life in Midnights but in a more cryptic way than ever before.
Midnights follows themes Swift has sung about before: falling in love, protecting love, conflict with public perception, and revenge. She has a spectacular talent in making it all feel fresh and exciting regardless of this. She also does address self-loathing in a way she never has before with my personal favorite track, “Anti-Hero.” One of the ways music does heal us all is by learning even people who appear to have it all struggle the way we do. “Anti-Hero” shows Swift at her most vulnerable, highlighting some of her biggest insecurities.
The truth is there is not a single misfire in all 21 tracks (13 on the original album, 7 bonus songs, and the Target exclusive song). Every song is engaging and takes us on an incredible journey worth going on again and again. There is not one track to skip on Midnights. The highlights for me are “Anti-Hero,” a look at drowning at the noise while finding love in “Lavender Haze,” a discovery of a “Mastermind” who meticulously planned to snag her beau, the revenge fantasy of “Vigilante Shit,” and a song full of regretting an entire relationship in “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve.”