Taylor Swift – Midnights
After dabbling in country, rock and alternative, synth-pop then folk, Taylor Swift now ushers in a whole new era of her music with this gentle try at soft disco. Midnights is the culmination of her most pop-centred music, following the experimental dip of Red, the full commitment to synth production in 1989 and the dark grunge of revenge pop in Reputation. Yet throughout, she continues telling fairytales, carrying on the same lyrical motifs of Folklore and Evermore.
As usual, Swift makes references to her previous material, bringing back old themes and twisting them to fit her current perception of love and life. For example, Maroon uses colour themes to showcase the varying degrees of a relationship – from the highs to the extreme lows. This is reminiscent of Red from her fourth studio album of the same name. But where Red touched on how each colour represents the storm of different emotions that come with relationships, Maroon looks at intimate moments before a relationship – the little instances that lead up to falling in love, then those that lead to the breakup and the memories left behind. Anti-Hero is also reminiscent of her 2014 hit Blank Space. While the latter is a satirical look into everyone’s perception of Swift and her multiple relationships, the former sees Swift own up to her cynicism and misgivings, exploring a darker side of herself.
Other highlights include opening track, Lavender Haze. There’s a lot of play on repetition with the lyrics, and the soft husk in her voice adds something intimate and secret to her delivery. While Swift excels at using personal experiences to tell stories that many individuals can see themselves in, her best work has always been telling other people’s stories – from Mary’s Song and The Lucky One to Champagne Problems. This ability shines brightest in You’re on Your Own, Kid and Question…? These two songs tackle the subject of young and confused love more sophisticatedly than she once did as a teenager writing her first three albums. Here, rather than a forced happy ending, Swift gives her protagonist the strength to stand on their own while prompting the boy to understand his part to play in the relationship’s downfall.
Credit: Beth Garrabrant
Midnights is released on 23rd October 2022. For further information or to order the album visit Taylor Swift’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Anti-Hero here: