What’s New: Fall Reviews: “Midnights”


Alden Detmer

Taylor Swift released her highly anticipated “Midnights” Oct. 21 at midnight on the East Coast. But for students in Los Angeles, it was 9 p.m. That is a metaphor for this album, it should have felt as exciting and invigorating as pulling an all-nighter when in reality the energy level was reminiscent of a toddler’s bedtime.

While some of the songs, including “Anti-Hero” and “Mastermind,” are relatable and great for the person who screams at the top of their lungs at parties, the rest of the songs feel generic. They fall flat when compared to the nine other albums produced by the singer that tell a full story.

The whole album has essentially been done before and is reverting to a safer idea of Swift, one of basic pop that is missing the emotion that typically comes with her storytelling. Especially after the wave of excitement and anticipation for something even better than her previous albums, the underwhelming nature of “Midnights” has failed to meet the high expectations she set for her fan base.

Unusually for Swift, the lyrics are unable to salvage the immature sound of the songs. In “Bejeweled”, for example, she says, “Best believe I’m still bejeweled, when I walk in the room, I can still make the whole place shimmer.” The plastic, dim and aggressive sound of “Karma” or electro-nonsense of “Vigilante Sh*t” feel inaccessible in “Midnights.”

Swift released seven additional songs at 3 a.m. the same night. Unfortunately, they do not contribute nearly anything to the original album other than another mindless blur of pop. They seem to be filler songs, obscuring the bigger picture.

“Midnights” makes the listener wonder where Swift can now go as she has pivoted to seemingly every genre of the music industry. The influence of other gloomy pop stars is clear within “Midnight Rain” and “Lavender Haze.” If Swift makes a return to country or pop country, she may be able to reinvigorate her music. Otherwise, we may be stuck with generic pop for a while.