‘Midnights’: Worth the Hype?

New album dominates Billboard charts, social media, headlines

Neng Jiang, Staff Writer

Fans have waited weeks for Taylor Swift to release her new album, “Midnights,” and it has finally arrived. During the weeks leading up to its release, Swift kept her fans in excited anticipation on TikTok, where she gradually revealed the track names under the mini-series “Midnight Madness with Me.” After the success of her two previous albums, “Folklore” and “Evermore,” many have been wondering: Will it live up to the hype?

“Midnights” is Swift’s 10th album, releasing on Oct. 21. The album consists of songs she wrote on a whim in the middle of the night, which encompass the key aspects of many of her previous albums; it has “Reputation’s” spite, “Lover’s” passion, and “Folklore’s” charisma. Many would expect this melting pot of feelings to make this album a mess, but surprisingly it works.

On my first listening of the album, I didn’t think much of it; it wasn’t outstanding like “Folklore” or “Evermore,” or nostalgic like “1989” or “Speak Now.” The mix of emotions made the album appear rather messy, with more upbeat songs like “Anti-Hero” clashing with the slower songs like “You’re On Your Own, Kid” and “Labyrinth.” Generally, I felt the album left more to be desired.

However, subsequent listen-through drastically improved my opinions on the album. To my surprise, songs I previously disliked grew more and more on me. It occurred to me that this album perfectly encompasses the feeling of laying in your bed at midnight. It reflects all the bizarre thoughts that flow through your mind as you’re staring at your ceiling waiting to fall asleep: love life, social life, pettiness, or downright revenge.

The album also perfectly reflects how one thought can have many different feelings, with “Lavender Haze” and “Bejeweled” having similar themes but different vibes. However, while these subsequent listen-throughs gave me a new perspective on the album, I still thought it didn’t live up to her previous albums. I felt like it needed more.

Luckily, there was more. Unexpected to her audience, Swift released the deluxe edition of her album, the “3 a.m. Edition,” at 3 a.m. that same day. The deluxe edition includes the original 13 songs plus 7 more, which perfectly bring the album together. The “3 a.m. Edition” gave the album “banger” songs that it really needed, with songs such as “High Infidelity” and “The Great War” instantly grabbing attention and “Dear Reader” providing a very fitting close to the album.

I’ll save the specifics of each individual song, but as a whole, the album turned out to exceed expectations. While it certainly is not a no-skip album, “Midnights” provides a new vibe to Swift’s discography and has really lived up to its reputation as a Taylor Swift Album.