From ‘Closeted Fan’ to ‘Super Swifty': A Review of Taylor Swift’s “Midnights”
“This is Me Trying” to stay focused at work today on anything other than Taylor Swift’s new album Midnights being available to the public. I’ve been distracted and losing my mind since my alarm went off at 4 AM today.
Let’s back it up for a minute.
My Taylor Swift fan saga started in 2006. October 24th that year she released her self-titled album and I received it as a gift for Christmas. I still have that CD in my collection to this day, along with her album Fearless which I received for Christmas a couple of years after.
I’ve always liked her music, but I never considered myself a die-hard Swiftie like the other girls I went to school with. I can thank my emo phase for that. I needed to be ~*different*~ and “not like other girls”. Yuck. Side note: I really hope the current teen population knows it's okay to like what you like. There’s no need to hide your music taste.
I remained in the Taylor Swift fan closet for multiple eras. I was listening and memorizing Speak Now, Red, 1989, and Reputation all in secret. Once the Lover era in 2019 rolled around I finally couldn’t hide anymore. I was sick of pretending not to be into Taylor’s music. I still play that album in its entirety at least once a month.
When we got Folklore and Evermore in 2020 I was over the moon. I swear Folklore is all I listened to for 6 months, front to back and then all over again.
What’s great about the re-release eras that came after the new albums is that I am getting a chance to reclaim my fanship of Taylor. I was trying to hide my appreciation for the music when it first came out, but now I am getting a chance at redemption.
Now we enter a new era, the Midnights era. Taylor Swift released her 10th album at midnight on October 21st, 2022 and Swifties everywhere stayed up waiting to hear the new music. Taylor said, “meet me at Midnight” and we all listened. In addition to the 13 tracks on the album, she then released seven more at 3 AM as a “chaotic surprise” via digital download on her website.
I’ve had the chance to listen to the original 13 twice over now and can confidently say this is some of Taylor’s best work. Sonically the album is a mixture of the moodiness of Reputation with the catchy pop vibes of 1989.
This album tells the story of 13 sleepless nights that Taylor had, but it’s relatable. Who hasn’t stayed up into the wee hours of the morning worrying about something, or someone? Wrestling with emotions, depressed feelings, and reliving moments that we should’ve left in the past. Taylor perfectly encapsulates these feelings in 44 minutes and 8 seconds. (Or more if you have the bonus tracks.)
Some light cussing is sprinkled throughout the album, making that parental advisory sticker worth its placement. This album is far from the sweet innocence of “You Belong with Me”, and the jumpiness of “Shake it Off”. Taylor is in her 30s now, if you think she is still that curly-haired teen with a sparkly guitar, you’re beyond wrong. And this album will prove it to you. If it has been a while since you have jumped back into the world of Taylor Swift, let the Midnights album be your diving board.
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