Taylor Swift has recently released her 10th studio album: Midnights. As an avid Swift fan, I felt it was my duty to sit down, listen to the album completely through, and give my analysis on the project as a whole. With a 44 minute runtime, Midnights was a concise album that felt like it had no filler and was not looking to become a commercial album, even though it is one of the most substantial pop albums of this year.
The album starts out with very upbeat tracks such as “Lavender Haze” and “Maroon,” setting the pace for this project to be different from Swift’s previous works, Folklore and Evermore. Both songs could be released as singles and I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up being played on the radio. Following these, “Anti-Hero” remains upbeat but has a more clearly underlying message of being the underdog or the observer in your own life, often seen as underappreciated. This introduces Swift’s articulate writing skills, reminiscent of her lyrics in previous albums. These extended metaphors are also present in my favorite track, “You’re on Your Own, Kid”, where she is seen talking to her younger self and continues the idea of taking care of herself because no one else would. Songs like these are beautifully written and depict Taylor Swift’s abilities to the fullest extent, showing her true lyrical genius.
A collaboration fans had been desperately begging for was a crossover from Taylor Swift and Lana Del Ray, two world-renowned musical icons. Midnights provided a match to the flame with “Snow on the Beach,” however, many were left dissatisfied because of Del Ray’s only appearance being in the harmonizing and background vocals. The only collaborative track on this album left fans disappointed, leading many of them to immediately dislike the song. However, the song is eloquently written and the production is fantastic, making it one of my favorites.
The previous discussion introduced the idea of fans being disappointed by their own false expectations, which is exactly what happened with Swift fans worldwide in the first couple of weeks following the release. Many critiqued Swift on the more “simplistic” choices she made with both the production and the lyrics, finding it difficult to put it on the same hierarchical ranking as Folklore and Evermore, both fan favorite albums. People with this viewpoint clearly misunderstood the message Swift was trying to convey: she’s finally becoming happy with who she has become. Both Folklore and Evermore took Swift’s pain and emotions and put them into two sophisticated works, meaning Midnights should not be placed on the same pedestal. These albums are different in identity, thus they should not be compared but rather separately enjoyed. Every Taylor Swift album has been successful with its own unique style, and many connected with the themes portrayed in the Folklore/Evermore era and decided anything not reflecting them is automatically considered sub-par.
While there are some skips on Midnights, I feel the album was too quickly judged and underestimated, therefore I believe that anyone with a pessimistic view on the project should give it another listen with a more unbiased ear.