Review: Taylor Swift returns to pop with album “Midnights”

Taylor Swift dropped her 10th studio album, “Midnights” last Friday, October 21.

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Republic Records

Swift’s 10th studio album, “Midnights,” features 13 tracks. She surprise released a deluxe version, “Midnights (3am Edition)” featuring seven new tracks at 3 a.m. the day of the release.

At 10:58 p.m. Thursday night, my alarm went off telling me it was time to head over to Spotify and listen to the new Taylor Swift album.

I had been looking forward to listening to this album since it was announced at the end of August 2022,and it was all I could talk and think about all day. 

For me, the most intriguing thing about the album leading up to the release was the concept. When Swift announced the album, she shared an Instagram post describing the album as “the stories of thirteen sleepless nights scattered throughout my life,” so these songs could’ve been written at any time throughout her career. 

So when the Spotify countdown on my phone reached zero seconds, I immediately refreshed the app and pressed play. 

My initial reaction was shock, I was not expecting pop from Swift after her last two indie albums, “Folklore” and “Evermore.” The pop vibe of the songs reminds me of two of her previous albums combined, “1989” and “Reputation,” released in 2014 and 2017. 

While listening to the music, I was amazed by the production and the lyrics of the songs. All of the songs really did feel like they fit the theme of the middle of the night, describing different feelings that keep you up at night, such as anxiety, love, and revenge.

Jack Antonoff was the main producer on the album, and the production adds to the experience of listening to the album. The track “Midnight Rain” warps Swift’s voice at two points in the song, and “Bejeweled” opens with a glistening sound to match the name. 

Swift once again delivered poetic lyrics on “Midnights.” Using many different metaphors in “Karma,” such as, “Karma is the breeze in my hair on the weekend. Karma’s a relaxing thought.” In “Midnight Rain,” Swift compares herself to rain and the boy she was with to sunshine: “He was sunshine, I was midnight rain.”

But the night didn’t end there. . . 

Earlier this week, Taylor Nation posted an agenda for release week on their Instagram and something stuck out to me. 

Listed on October 21 at 3 a. m. EST was a “special very chaotic surprise” and there were no hints as to what this could be. Many fans posted their theories to social media, some of the most common being a double album or a tour announcement. 

Naturally, I had to find out. After listening to the whole album, I set an alarm for 1:58 a.m. (since the surprise would be at 2 a.m. CST) and went to sleep.

When I woke up to my alarm two hours later, I went straight to Taylor’s Instagram and refreshed until I saw a new post. 

“Surprise! I think of ‘Midnights’ as a complete concept album, with those 13 songs forming a full picture of the intensities of that mystifying, mad hour,” Swift shared in her Instagram post, “However! There were other songs we wrote on our journey to find that magic 13. I’m calling them the 3 a.m. tracks. Lately I’ve been loving the feeling of sharing more of our creative process with you, like we do with ‘From The Vault’ tracks. So it’s 3 a.m. and I’m giving them to you now.”

I genuinely didn’t believe it. I went straight to Spotify to see if there were actually more songs waiting. Sure enough, there were seven new tracks and an album called “Midnights (3am Edition)” listed under her artist profile. 

After listening to the new songs in the morning, I loved the album even more. My favorite song from “Midnights (3am Edition)” is “Paris,” mainly because of the production of the song. The pop-feel of it takes me back to “1989.”

With all that being said, I ranked all of the tracks from the original “Midnights” below:

  1. Mastermind
  2. Bejeweled
  3. Midnight Rain
  4. You’re On Your Own, Kid
  5. Vigilante S—
  6. Question…?
  7. Lavender Haze
  8. Karma
  9. Maroon
  10. Anti-Hero
  11. Labyrinth
  12. Snow On The Beach (feat. Lana Del Rey)
  13. Sweet Nothing