Midnights by Taylor Swift


Logan Davidson album cover art courtesy of Republic Records)

Logan created a collage of Taylor Swift covers for his article.

From country to pop to folk and back to pop again, Taylor Swift, is undoubtedly one of the most prominent names in the music industry. No matter who you are, whether you like her music or not, chances are, you know who she is and have heard one of her chart-topping hits. Back in August, Swift announced her 10th studio album, Midnights, which was released on October 21. Over 16 years into her career, she made the biggest splash in music in the past few years. 

Midnights signaled the star’s highly-anticipated return to pop music. With 2 surprise albums in 2020 – folklore and evermore – she took on a more folky and indie sound, making her last pop record 2019’s Lover (excluding her re-recorded versions of Red and Fearless).

The 13-song journey that many fans took the midnight of October 21 was unlike any other Taylor Swift album we’ve received so far. The album, described as a compilation of 13 sleepless nights, brought in a new sound that Swift has never touched on before. With “Lavender Haze” and “Maroon,” fans enjoy Swift’s genius lyricism, with a smooth, sybaritic pop sound. Then, jumping into the body of the album, from “Anti-Hero” to “Karma” Swift delivers her usual deep-cutting lyricism with varying types of production. “Vigilante Sh**” and “Karma” give an electric-pop and rebellious sound, while songs like “Snow on the Beach” and “Labyrinth” are a bit slower and carried by vocals. She closes the album out with “Sweet Nothing” and “Mastermind” which, similar to “Maroon”’s sound, is a bit slower but still lyrically rich. Overall, the new album is one of the best, most experimental, albums we have seen from Swift. The folky production of folklore was a new sound for her, but slower ballads have always been a safe place for her (the likes of “All Too Well” and “Dear John”). So far, Midnights has received an abundance of critical acclaim and has broken countless records. She became the first artist to ever occupy all Top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100. The album broke the record for the biggest album debut ever (even surpassing the record for the Biggest Pop Album debut, previously held by her own 1989 album) and has continued to break streaming records with every passing day. She has also revitalized vinyl and CD sales, becoming the biggest vinyl debut ever. Her newly announced Eras Tour is also expected to break records as her highest-selling tour of all time.

The jump back to pop music was quite the whiplash for fans. Going from the slow, dreaminess of “it’s time to go” off of evermore to the synthy, ethereal album-opener, “Lavender Haze,” was jarring, but also exciting.

It is safe to say that
Midnights will forever go down in Swift’s catalog as one of her biggest albums to date. It shows off her versatility as an artist and the importance of experimenting with sounds. 16 years into her career, a time in which most artists are long forgotten or on the decline, releasing such a massively applauded album is quite an accomplishment in and of itself. An achievement such as this, as well as all the album itself, has achieved, undoubtedly solidifies her as one of the greatest artists of all time. Barbara Walters was not far off when she proudly stated “Taylor Swift is the music industry,” back in 2014. Perhaps with icons like Michael Jackson being named “The King of Pop” and Elvis Presley as “The King of Rock and Roll,” Taylor Swift could claim the title of “The Music Industry.”