At 32 years old, Taylor Swift has reached a point in her career where she no longer needs to prove anything to anyone. While she started out with songs aimed at a mainstream audience, she eventually transitioned into a full-fledged artist who made music that she liked and not simply what others wanted to hear.
Her last two surprise albums, Folklore and Evermore, were met with widespread critical acclaim. Both LPs showcased her growth and maturity as a singer and songwriter.
Two months ago, Taylor announced a new project titled Midnights at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards.
“This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams,” the pop icon wrote on her social media accounts about her upcoming album, “a journey through terrors and sweet dreams. The floors we pace and the demons we face.”
“For all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching,” she continued, “hoping that just maybe when the clock strikes twelve … we’ll meet ourselves.”
Released at exactly midnight on October 21, 2022, the verdict is in – Taylor Swift is back with her most intimate and deeply personal album yet.
Taylor Swift strikes a chord with her 13 songs, written during 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout her life.
Taylor has gotten so much hate for writing about her past relationships and experiences when, in fact, she’s not the only songwriter to do so. When she was still a rising pop star, her writing reflected her youth and innocence.
With her tenth album, Midnights, she achieved what few of her peers had – storytelling mastery. Midnights is a departure from the stripped-down, indie folk style in Folklore and Evermore, and yet, we hear a version of Taylor who’s oozing with confidence but also unafraid of delving into darker territory.
Midnights has been described by journalists as a concept album. We may or may not agree with that, but one thing is for sure, she cemented her legacy in the industry with this album. Taylor delivered and did not disappoint.
Taylor gets a little help from her friends.
Taylor enlists Lana Del Rey for Snow on the Beach, but she’s not the only celebrity featured on the album.
The opening track, Lavender Haze, was co-written and has background vocals by Zoë Kravitz. Actor Dylan O’Brien, who starred in All Too Well: The Short Film, released in November 2021, played the drums on Snow on the Beach.
The songs are deeply personal, even though the album marks her return to pop.
After announcing the album, she unveiled the song titles one at a time on TikTok, in a video series called Midnights Mayhem With Me. After revealing Anti-Hero, she admitted that among all the tracks she has written, it was one of her favorites.
“I don’t think I’ve delved this far into my insecurities in this detail before,” Taylor said in the clip. “I struggle a lot with the idea that my life has become unmanageably sized, and not to sound too dark, I struggle with the idea of not feeling like a person.”
Despite that revelation about herself, she told fans not to “feel bad” for her because the song is a “guided tour” of the musician’s insecurities.
“We all hate things about ourselves, and it’s all of those aspects of the things we dislike and like about ourselves that we have to come to terms with if we’re going to be this person,” she further explained. “So I like Anti-Hero a lot because I think it’s really honest.”
Speaking about Lavender Haze, Taylor shared that she first heard the phrase while watching the popular American period drama, Mad Men. It caught her attention, and she thought it “sounded cool,” so she looked up the meaning and found out that it was commonly used in the 1950s when people would describe being in love.
“If you were in the lavender haze, then that meant that you were in that all-encompassing love glow, and I thought that was really beautiful,” Taylor admitted.
“I guess, theoretically, when you’re in the lavender haze,” she continued, “you’ll do anything to stay there and not let people bring you down off of that cloud.”
“If the world finds out that you’re in love with somebody,” she mused, “they’re going to weigh in on it.”
She went on to touch a bit about her six-year relationship with actor Joe Alwyn. Because the public and the press have always been disgustingly obsessed with her relationships, Taylor and Joe “had to dodge weird rumors, tabloid stuff, and we just ignore it.”
Taylor also referred to the song as “sort of about the act of ignoring that stuff to protect the real stuff.”
Fans can stream or buy physical copies of the album.
Midnights is now available on streaming platforms Spotify and Apple Music. It’s also available on vinyl, CD, or cassette tape, which can be purchased on Taylor’s website.
There are four versions – Moonstone Blue Edition, Jade Green Edition, Blood Moon Edition, and Mahogany Edition. Each package includes unique marbled-color CD discs and a collectible lyric booklet with never-before-seen photos.
Target is releasing a bonus edition of the album (Lavender Edition), which features three bonus tracks, two of which are remixes. These tracks are exclusive in the Lavender Edition.
In more ways than one, Midnights feels like a culmination of everything Taylor went through as an artist, singer, and songwriter. It’s not a perfect record, but the vivid imagery and wordplay – Taylor’s trademarks – will easily transport the listener to wherever this songstress wants to take them.