Listeners are obsessed with Taylor Swifts new release ‘Midnights’

We have a “Question…?” Have you listened to Taylor Swift’s 12th studio album “Midnights?” Released Oct. 21, “Midnights” has already broken countless records including the largest sales week for any of her albums since “Reputation” in 2017. With 20 new enchanting tracks, if you haven’t streamed it yet, “You’re On Your Own, Kid.”

“I think Taylor is taking a different approach with Midnights by taking risks with new sounds and really connecting with her audience by being so vulnerable and honest. This was present in “Folklore” and “Evermore”, her previous albums, but the vibe in “Midnights” brings an exciting new addition to her discography.” Lindsey Katzman ‘23 said.

Swift began her career singing strictly country music, but over the years has proven her expertise in various genres such as pop, folk, and rock. Her discography is truly quite the “Labyrinth” as is, but her new release now explores an alluring synth-pop/dream-pop vibe. Previously “Folklore” and “Evermore” dove into a new wave of lyricism for Swift that impressed listeners and gave them hidden elements and elaborate metaphors to charm her audience. “Midnights” takes Swift’s writing capabilities to new heights with intricate words that can take listeners a few streams to fully understand. But isn’t that what makes Taylor Swift’s music so mystifying? In the song “Mastermind” she explains that “I’m only cryptic and Machiavellian cause I care.”

The dazzling opener “Lavender Haze,” refers to a phrase used in the 50s that describes being in love. I interpret this haze as being in a state of love where you will do anything to stay there and not let outside influences bring you out of it. Meaning that when the world finds out that you’re in love with somebody, they will weigh in on it and it’s important to not “give a damn what people say,” Swift advises those who relate.

Track four, “Snow On The Beach” featuring Lana Del Rey is another love song, this time exploring what it feels like to fall in love with someone at the same time they are falling in love with you. I think Taylor does a beautiful job of capturing that sort of surprise feeling where you are awe struck by what is happening. Asking yourself is this a dream or is this really happening? Previous collaborations featuring world renowned artists Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver, and The National were more of a duet. Lana Del Rey has a massive fanbase as well and it has been long anticipated for her to collaborate with Swift, so listeners were disappointed when she was only incorporated in the background vocals and a few lines.

“When I first heard this track I wished Lana had more of apart in it, but after more listens I think their voices are balanced well. I also feel that Taylor is always intentional with how she crafts songs. She uses duets to help tell the story of the song. For instance in “Exile” Bon Iver and her sing almost like call and response to show the back and forth between people in a relationship. With Snow On The Beach, Lana’s voice is used to emphasize and add to the mystical feeling that this track is meant to convey, and so there I don’t find the need for her voice to be more present in the song” Katzman said.

Next on my list is her fifth track, “You’re On Your Own Kid.” If you are a true swiftie and familiar with her work, you will know that this track on every album is the most personal for Swift and always unwraps a deep vulnerable revelation. Her lyrics about searching for affection while trying to grasp onto her unhealthy social life are personally relatable and very beautifully layered. “I gave my blood, sweat, and tears for this. I hosted parties and starved my body, like I’d be saved by a perfect kiss.”

Waiting for “Midnight” was exhausting but Lindsey and I have now listened countless times to each and every track since its release and can confidently say it is a masterpiece that everyone should take the time to appreciate. Initially the first track that really stuck out to both of us was the thirteenth, “Mastermind,” and has now become our favorite. In the lyrics Swift takes full responsibility for being the mastermind behind the union of the relationship she is in. She explains how she schemed and planned to get who she wanted and her dedication and relentlessness is something she is proud of. This track is specifically beautiful because it is such a unique yet genius, relatable story between two lovers. It comes down to caring for the one you love so deeply that you take the time and energy to place intentional fates in order to make it work while making it appear so effortless. Crazy and calculated, maybe, but the magic is at the end when she confesses her elaborate plan and her lover explains they knew the entire time and understands her design is only out of love.