Midnights: Just Another Album?



Taylor Swift’s Midnights makes its way to EHS playlists.


The internet went wild on October 20, 2022. In the final moments before Taylor Swift’s Midnights drop, fans were buzzing with anticipation. Those with undying loyalty for the singer had no doubts that this would be one of her best. The tracklist was promising and the themes reflected those of her previous work. But, amidst all this excitement, many fans failed to realize that the album was not the “perfect” album they were expecting. 

With a prolific career spanning little over 15 years and multiple Grammy wins, Swift has been topping charts ever since her first single in 2006. After the release of each album, there is relentless praise from her cult following along with unavoidable criticism from skeptics —  the Midnights drop this October was no different. 

Swift’s tenth album is an homage to her early days in the spotlight and discusses her stardom and its pitfalls in a dreamy yet firm manner. She comes from a place of insecurity and sees the world through the eyes of someone forced to grow up too fast in a ruthless industry that has not treated them kindly. Being too little or too much simultaneously, Swift’s Midnights completely encompasses every identity crisis, every breakup, and every momentary feeling of longing and nostalgia that accompanied her fleeting youth. 

It is no doubt that Swift is a phenomenal songwriter and artist. But will this album live up to the overwhelming success of Folklore

Midnights is a return to Swift’s pop roots, as seen in her previous albums: Reputation and Lover. Her talent for songwriting always shines through, but her melodies and beats can sometimes fall short of expectations. As is the case with this album — the songs themselves are forgettable and tend to blend together as the tracks change. Although catchy, some lack distinguishing features. In the end, they are simply lost in a myriad of generic pop songs.

Track 5, titled You’re On Your Own, Kid, was one of the most outstanding tracks on this album. The beats and melodies elude a sense of entertainment and nostalgia — something that would be listened to in the car, while the tones and lyrics are depraved and gentle. This song speaks of a person who burnt out right before reaching their end goal. Someone who gave themselves to another person or cause — just to never feel content with what they had achieved. You’re On Your Own, Kid is a hit or miss. Either the themes of growing older and facing burnout strike a chord with the listener, or it seems displaced amongst the other tracks on the album. 

Other songs, such as Karma and Bejeweled are crowd-pleasers. Catchy and upbeat, one can never go wrong with one of Swift’s classic anthems of confidence. These unapologetic attention-grabbers shed the feelings of discomfort that Swift often sings about and instead demand the audience to pay attention. Although lacking depth, Karma and Bejeweled are the perfect addition to an album that navigates the life of one of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. 

Track 3, titled Anti-Hero, is a mix of deadpan relatability and a catchy melody, making it the ideal poster child for this album. Despite its well-meaning intentions, it falls short in almost every aspect. The melody and chorus are catchy but generic like Karma and Bejeweled. In classic Taylor Swift fashion, the songwriting could’ve made up for the lack of an outstanding song; however, this approach to the complex idea of insecurity ended up feeling facetious in every sense. Relatable? Yes. But at the same time, this song feels like a cringe-worthy mockery of Swift’s issues with self-consciousness and insecurity. 

Despite many fans expressing similar sentiments about the album, the fact is that the popularity of Midnights has remained consistent ever since its release. Although immortalized in the eyes of its fans, the album will most likely receive a different response from the general public. Forgettable and all too similar to pop/synth albums that have already been put out, Midnights is Nothing New.