Taylor Swift “Midnights”: What do people think?

Sienna Zamkoff '26

The long-awaited album “Midnights” has finally been released! Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift’s newest release came out on October 21st. This is Swift’s tenth studio album and is produced by Jack Antonoff, Swift’s previous collaborator on “reputation”, “1989”, and “folklore”. This album was said to be a concept album about what keeps Taylor Swift up at night [4]. Fans have waited for a year to see what Swift would do next, so what are they saying?

“Midnights” is classified as a pop album, which got fans excited right away because she was reverting back to her previous sound. On her past two albums, “folklore” and “evermore,” Swift had switched to a more folk sound, which was very different from past albums but still something fans enjoyed. This return to pop was a great comeback for Swift as she shattered many Spotify records. In the first day that the album was released it had become the most streamed album in one day [1]. Swift also became the most streamed artist in one day after the release. “Midnights” also took the top 10 spots in the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States in the week of November 5th, 2022, a huge accomplishment in the music industry. This record was previously held by Drake, who held the top 9 spots in the chart [7].  According to the New York Times Taylor Swift’s “Midnights’ has sold over a million copies in its first week [3]. Despite its very recent release, “Midnights” is clearly a very popular album among fans, the ones who are streaming and buying the album and contributing to the huge success that Swift is having.

After the release of this megahit of an album, what are critics saying? Quinn Moreland from Pitchfork, a music review site, says that “Midnights” is built around vintage synths and vocal effects, giving it a moddier, more subdued tone—something that has never been heard before from Swift [4]. Moreland mentions that “Midnights” is an album about reflection and looking back at what keeps Swift up at night [4]. However, Moreland’s review was not entirely positive; she states that Swift’s sudden transition from folk music back to a pop sound is a very rough transition [4]. “She has fun with her self-loathing”, Moreland says, which shows how Swift has taken a different direction with this album, focusing on her self-loathing and self-reflection. This transition from creating stories like she did in “folklore” and her ideas of love in her album “Lover” contradict the ideas of “Midnights” which cause the change in subject to come across as rough [4]. Brittany Spanos from Rolling Stone says that “Midnights” is not only about nightmares and the things that keep Swift up at night, but also sweet dreams [5]. Spanos mentions how Swift uses her lyrics almost as a shield around her life experiences and relationships [5]. The song “Anti-Hero” is the standout on the album because of how Swift is able to admit that our own worst enemies are ourselves, which resonates with fans and other critics, Spanos mentions [5]. Jon Caramanica of the New York Times says that Taylor Swift writes best when she is writing about her personal struggles, and this is reflected on “Midnights” [6]. Swift has reached a point where she can reflect on the past or look into the future, and midnight is a reflection on the past, Caramnica writes[6]. Carmanica describes the sound of the album as “filled to the brim with syrupy synths, giving the album an astral, slow motion effect” [6]. This is similar to what Moreland was mentioning about a “moodier” tone. This return to pop is insufficient because it’s too close to things that she has previously done, and she hasn’t reinvented her sound like she did on her previous albums, Carmanica has stated[6]. Overall critics have a very mixed opinion on “Midnights”: some argue that this is not anything new for Swift while others say this doesn’t matter, since the album still has many highlights.

Many critics have different opinions on “Midnights”, but this still has not affected the general public, as well as Swift’s fans. These reviews haven’t affected the fans because Taylor Swift is still topping charts and breaking records. Time and time again, Taylor Swift has proven her ability to write a great album that critics, fans, and casual listeners alike enjoy.


https://newsroom.spotify.com/2022-10-22/taylor-swift-breaks-two-records-with-midnights-becoming-the-most-streamed-artist-on-spotify/ [1]

https://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/ [2]

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/31/arts/music/taylor-swift-midnights-billboard-chart.html [3]

https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/taylor-swift-midnights/ [4]

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-album-reviews/taylor-swift-midnights-1234611211/ [5]

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/21/arts/music/taylor-swift-midnights-review.html [6]

https://abc7news.com/taylor-swift-midnights-album-billboard-hot-100-record/12402839/#:~:text=Billboard%20reported%20Monday%20that%20Swift,the%20pop%20star%20tweeted%20Monday. [7]