Review: Taylor Swift’s Midnights is an incredible resurgence
Written by Kayleigh Beth Fraser on 26th October 2022
Taylor Swift’s tenth album Midnights was released this week, treating fans to a collection of tracks based on “sleepless nights” from her tumultuous life.
Not including re-recordings or ‘Taylor’s Version'(s), Midnights is the artist’s first release since Evermore, released in 2020.
Teasing the song titles on social media, Swift announced them one by one on social media in a series titled Midnights Madness.
However, fans were delighted to receive both Midnights and the 3am version, with seven surprise tracks making an appearance on what was already a heavily anticipated release.
Upon first listen, Swift’s passion for storytelling seeps through every single track.
Featuring callbacks to past albums including 1989 and Reputation, Swift has clearly sampled old tracks and given them a rather dark but endearing shine.
Opening the album is Lavender Haze, a term from the 50s to describe being in love: “I just wanna stay in that Lavender Haze”, Swift sings.
The track features a punchy beat and synth pop undertones, paralleling the signature beat of 2019’s I Think He Knows and opens the album with a sense of optimism.
For me, the rest of the album has clear stand-outs.
Anti-Hero is, in my opinion, some of the songwriter’s best work to date.
“Did you hear my covert narcissism I disguise as altruism like some kind of congressman?” Swift asks, as she announces in the chorus “It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me.”
What the singer perfectly epitomises in Anti-Hero is this sense of overthinking, the way a person’s mind runs as their “depression works the graveyard shift”.
This is what makes Midnights a work of art.
It is this stunning yet emotional vocalisation of Swift’s inner mind that characterises the album as an instant classic.
Other highlights for me include Question…? and Maroon, two tracks lower in tone featuring the same meddling echo in voice that makes any listener harp back to a time where their intrusive thoughts led to an unstable late night.
Ending the album is Mastermind, an admission from Swift that all the hints she gave about the album were planned with intricacy.
“What if I told you none of it was accidental?”, sharing with her fans that “No-one wanted to play with me as a little kid, so I’ve been scheming like a criminal ever since.”
Overall, Taylor Swift’s Midnights is a perfect culmination of what has been and what will be.
Nodding to old classics, Swift has rejuvenated fan favourites to new classics by offering what could be called the B-side or alternate reality of some of her most popular songs.
Who knows where Taylor could be going next? The woman is a mystery – and I’ll always listen in to see what she’s planning.
What are your thoughts on Midnights? Let us know @sparksunderland