Meet Me at Midnight

Swift’s new album announcement set high expectations, but took many listens to enjoy after release

Taylor Swift released her 12th studio album, ‘Midnights,’ with 13 unique tracks. The album was described, by Swift, as a journey through her sleepless nights.

At 12 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 21, Taylor Swift released her 12th studio album, “Midnights,” which consisted of 13 brand new songs. Then, at 3 a.m., Swift did the most in character thing she possibly could: She released “Midnights (3 a.m. edition)” and along with that were seven additional songs, making a grand total of 20 brand new songs. The release of this album was a bit shocking for Swifties, Swift’s fan base, across the nation, for she is currently in the process of re-recording half of her albums. Anyways, after listening to the album on repeat and carefully dissecting every single lyric of each song for the past week, I have officially finished analyzing and formed my final thoughts…but where do I even begin?

Leading up to the release date, I had very high expectations. She described the album to be a “collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams,” also mentioned as thoughts through sleepless nights throughout her life. With that being said, I was expecting a softer and sadder album, like her previous album ‘Folklore,’ but at first listen that was not at all the vibe I was getting. At first, I was not a fan of the album whatsoever and that was because of the high expectations that I set and assumptions of what it would be in my head. That was until the seven additional songs were released.

My first hot take is that the additional seven songs are superior to the original 13 songs released. The additional songs, as a whole, have more of the vibe that I was expecting: that slower rhythm and deeper meaning.

I think the most beautiful thing about this album for me, now, is that each song is clearly from a different era of her life. Since she started her music career so young, we, as her fans, felt like we got to grow up with her. We have felt every heartbreak, watched her fall in love, and kept track of all of her achievements since she first gained fame. Because of this, we know that every album describes real events that she has gone through and which songs go with those events. With that, along with her acknowledgment of these songs being written through sleepless nights throughout her life, each song from the new album can easily be placed in different eras. I find this album to be so unique to all of her others because this album highlights her whole life whereas her previous albums track individual time periods. For example, the song “Lavender Haze” from Midnights is clearly about her current relationship with Joe Alwyn and addresses the rumors of their engagement. Meanwhile, “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” highlights the trauma that she endured from her past relationship with John Mayer, which was also addressed in her third album, Speak Now. Not only do the lyrics match up to other albums, but the melodies in these new songs match melodies from other albums, also hinting at past events that we know about. 

Overall, the album as a whole isn’t my favorite of hers, but I don’t think that it is the worst. I think that the message and emotion behind it along with the compilation of her past, make the album more meaningful and bittersweet in the sense that we have already gone through it with her. The Midnights album is a great album to keep her fans busy as we wait for the re-recordings of four of her albums.