Meet me at midnight: Taylor Swift’s “Midnights”

Sadie Dowhan, Video Editor

On Oct. 21, millions of fans met Taylor Swift at midnight to listen to her tenth studio album.

At the 2022 Video Music Awards that took place at the end of August, Swift took home three awards for her “All Too Well” short film. During her third acceptance speech, the singer announced that her next album, Midnights, would be released just a month and a half later. I jumped around my living room with excitement and told my job I was unavailable in late October.

Midnights is composed of 13 songs Swift wrote on sleepless nights, including seven more on a deluxe 3 a.m. version. She started releasing track title names on social media by playing a game called “Midnights Mayhem With Me,” in which  Swift used a bingo blower to determine the order in which the titles were released. 

Once the clock struck midnight on release day, “Lavender Haze,” the opening track of the album was playing all over the world. 

Upon first listening, I was very happy with Midnights. Like any album, songs grew on me with time like “Question…?” and “Mastermind,” but songs also moved down on my list with more listens. 

One of my favorite parts of Taylor Swift’s music are the parallels between songs, especially between albums. On Evermore, there is a connection of characters in “dorthea” and “tis’ the damn season”, though there seems to be a connection with Midnights song “Midnight Rain.” This parallel is about a girl named Dorthea who has big hollywood dreams, but there is someone at home making her want to stay. Some fans believe that Swift is saying she is Dorthea, but no matter who it is, this character chose dreams and fame over hometown love.

Midnights became the most streamed album in a single day in Spotify history, a title that was previously held by Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version), and Folklore before that. But, streams don’t always equal good reviews. Following Folklore and Evermore, this album had very high expectations among fans. The opinions are definitely mixed; listeners either love the album or are disappointed. Though almost two weeks after the release, Swift holds all top ten spots on the billboard one hundred list. 

A highly anticipated track was “Snow On The Beach (feat. Lana Del Ray).” Ray co-wrote the song but was only featured as background vocals to Swift. There is lots of speculation as to why Ray didn’t get a verse to herself, and many fans were let down.

In the first week of release, Swift gave us two music videos: Anti-Hero and Bejeweled. She used her typical quirky, fun video style, and directed them both. Anti-Hero featured several versions of Swift, and highlighted some of her biggest insecurities. The singer featured the HAIM sisters and Laura Dern in a Cinderella themed intro to Bejeweled, and there were many easter eggs hidden indicating future projects.

On Nov. 1st, the singer announced Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour, the first tour she’s been on since her 6th album, Reputation. Many artists will be featured in different cities across the US, including Phoebe Bridgers and girl in red.

Almost two weeks after the Midnights release, Swift held all the top ten spots on the billboard one hundred list, a record that has never been broken before. As for her mission to record her first six studio albums, the singer has yet to announce a confirmed date for any of the four still to be released. Taylor Swift has once again taken over pop culture, and still has lots to come.