Midnight “Mastermind”

A follow-up on the release of Taylor Swift’s latest album and details of her creative process.


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The logo for Taylor Swift’s Midnights album.

The long-awaited release of Taylor Swift’s album Midnights is finally here. On October 21st, right at 12:00 AM EST,  fans went straight to Spotify and Apple music to listen. Pretty clever that Taylor released the album at midnight, but fans were up well past the clock struck twelve listening to the thirteen tracks; I happen to be one of those fans. Taylor Swift has the kind of talent that is not up for debate. No matter what genre, Swift has never left her fans unsatisfied with an album, and Midnights did not disappoint. 

Then, as promised, Swift produced the “chaotic surprise” she told fans they’d get. At 3:00 AM EST, she released seven more songs. She stated in an Instagram post that, “There were other songs we wrote on our journey to find that magic 13. I’m calling them the 3am tracks.” She goes on to say that this is because she enjoys sharing more of her creative process with her fans.

According to Swift, Midnights tells the story of thirteen sleepless nights that she experienced throughout her years of songwriting. These songs cover the raw emotions of heartache, envy, hope, love, and her personal experiences while she has grown up. The album is sort of a mix of a few of her previous albums: a little bit of 1989, Lover, Reputation, and even a bit of Folklore. Taylor covers a range of emotions she experiences during these sleepless nights, but feelings that are all too relatable for her fans as well. The vulnerability in her lyrics draws much-deserved attention to her work. To understand what Taylor is trying to convey in her songs, paying close attention to the lyrics is key, especially in Midnights. An ongoing theme in this album is lyrics with a more somber tone are accompanied by an energetic beat. The tempo may convey feel-good vibes, but the emotion is all in the lyrics. The 3rd track of the album, “Anti-Hero,” is supposedly the most open and vulnerable song she has ever written. From the start of the song, the beat is fast and exciting, making it seem to be a happy song initially. Once she starts singing, though, it is clearer than day that Swift poured her entire heart into this track.

The song starts with, “I have this thing where I get older, but just never wiser. Midnights become my afternoons. When my depression works the graveyard shift. All of the people I’ve ghosted stand there in the room” (Taylor Swift – Anti-Hero Lyrics | AZLyrics.com). 

This is completely contradictory to the narrative that many critics have created that Taylor does not sing about anything else than her breakups. It is true that a lot of inspiration for her music comes from heartbreak, but “Anti-Hero” proves that she has a beautiful way of turning her deepest emotions into words, which is extremely difficult for most people to do. Her form of emotional expression is her music, which is why they often tie to her experiences with past relationships. As she has matured, though, her songwriting has gained variety as she moved through different genres. 

Midnights has a very pop feel, but some songs feel like deja vu for her fans. “Karma” brings fans right back to 2017 when she released Reputation. Reputation is all about revenge, and some of these songs have the same theme as this album. Her lyrics continue to show her new work in the folk genre, but these songs are totally different. She combines these vulnerable, deep lyrics with unique background music to create a complex album with a fresh and unique sound.

According to Rolling Stone writer Brittany Spanos, Swift’s new album “picks up where the pure pop triptych of 1989, Reputation, and Lover left off, a dazzling bath of synths complementing lyrics caught between a love story and a revenge plot.” (Taylor Swift’s ‘Midnights’ album is out. So, what’s the verdict? | CNN

Midnights is on its way to being one of the most popular albums of 2022, which is right on track with her previous albums. According to fans, Taylor Swift has never failed to deliver anything that falls short of their expectations. Being a musician means being an artist, and art is all about conveying the emotions that one is facing through alternative forms. Whether those forms be a painting, book, or song, these works of art tell a unique story. Now, fans anxiously await the announcement of tour dates, which supposedly will take place in 2023.