By: Kate Gruetter
Taylor Swift released her tenth album, Midnights, on Oct. 21. An album focused on reflection and recollection, Midnights is the story of “thirteen sleepless nights scattered throughout [Swift’s] life.” Not only did the popstar drop 13 tracks at midnight on Oct. 21, but three hours later she released seven more songs as part of Midnights (3am Version). The album is retrospective, and rather than fitting a model comparable to her previous albums, Folklore and Evermore, it toys with vocal effects and audio manipulations.
One of the most impactful aspects of Midnights is the creators it features. Lana Del Rey contributes hauntingly beautiful vocals on Snow On The Beach, with actor Dylan O’Brien also playing drums for the song. Swift credits Jack Antonoff with producing the album, which explains why the album feels similar to those he previously created with Swift, such as 1989 and Reputation.
Midnights is an album intended to create a contemplative atmosphere, and it does. The collection achieves a rather tragic and melancholy feel with songs like Bigger Than The Whole Sky, which describes a fleeting but impactful love, and You’re Own Your Kid, a tune that details what one must sacrifice for success and the lessons she learned from experiences in the spotlight. Featured as track 20 on the 3am Version, Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve takes on a similar feel with more of an edge, reminiscing on a stolen childhood and the pain that came with a dance “with the devil at 19.” Fans speculate Swift wrote this song about her tumultuous relationship with John Mayer that occurred when Mayer was 32 and Swift only 19. Mastermind, a personal favorite of mine, establishes a similar theme to that of Swift’s Folklore song Mirrorball. Both are tunes that play with the idea of changing yourself and your behaviors for others to accept and love you, though Mastermind presents this idea in a more upbeat manner.
Other songs on Midnights focus more on making a specific statement. Song Vigilante S*** expresses Swift’s pursuit of revenge and advises “don’t get sad, get even.” The tune has a distinct beat and vengeful vibe, making fans quick to compare it to Swift’s earlier album, Reputation. Adopting similar ideas with a more pop-like tempo, Karma boasts the singer’s love of karma and how, in the end, what goes around will always come around. Lavender Haze is a melody that also focuses on making a point, however not about revenge or karma. The track recounts the hardships Swift faces in the spotlight as a woman, detailing the housewife persona she feels forced into and how she is condemned for giving a “damn what people say.”
Despite being out for less than two weeks, on Oct. 31, Swift became the first artist ever to boast all top ten slots on the Billboard Top 100. This is also the first time that no men have been on the top 10 list, though Swift didn’t stop there. On Nov. 1, the mastermind released US tour dates for her 2023 Eras tour. Fans immediately went wild, clamoring for presale spots and collecting funds to buy tickets when they come out on Nov. 18.
(Sources: Yahoo, Wikipedia)
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