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“Midnights” makes a swift rise to the top


     On Oct. 20, 2022, millions of Taylor Swift fans stayed up and eagerly waited for the clock to strike 12. Swift fans around the world sat on the edge of their seats waiting for the drop of Swift’s tenth studio album, which was predicted to be one of her best. At 12 a.m. EST on Oct. 21, “Midnights” was released and received 185 million streams worldwide in one day, breaking the record for the amount of global streams received in one day. Swift said the album was a series of “stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout [her] life.” Towards the album’s release, the artist and the public built up anticipation and excitement for its debut. All of the hype that was built around the album has everyone asking the question: did it live up to its expectations? Midnights” is a

Taylor Swift Midnights_edited.jpg

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complex album that discusses several topics including romance, breakups, insecurities and revenge. Upon the album’s release, Swift fans immediately began to break down lyrics and find the hidden meanings behind them. Swift is known for using her own major life moments in her music, both the good and the bad. She uses them to not only influence her songwriting, but also to tell a story in her music through cryptic messaging and illustrious lyrics. However, what sets this album’s storytelling apart from the rest is that Swift is more honest about what she has faced and writes about more sensitive emotions, like depression and insecurities, ones that are not discussed often. 

     For example, her song “Anti-Hero” is all about feeling like the bad guy and that she is the problem when it comes to situations in her life. She then goes on to explain how her insecurities have taken over and leave her feeling unwanted by the people around her. Many fans have gravitated towards this song due to how raw and truthful it is. They feel that it resonates with them and truly reflects their own feelings. 

     In “You’re on Your Own Kid,” Swift writes about the challenges of growing up and the realizations we have once we are older. It is full of self reflection, realizing that things are not what they had seemed at the time and recognizing the setbacks she faced. It is incredibly vulnerable, and even though it is about Swift’s feelings, many fans feel they can relate to this song as well. As a Swift fan myself, this song is not only my favorite one on the album, but is also the one I relate to the most. Now that I’m a senior in high school, I have been doing my own self reflection on the past four years. I have spent time recognizing the failures or setbacks I had, but also the hard work I had to put in to get me where I am today. When I listen to this song, it just reminds me of how far I have come and how I am about to end a chapter of my life. 

     Of course, a Taylor Swift album would not be complete without a romance song or two, and Swift definitely delivers once again. From songs like “Lavender Haze” to “Paris,” Swift writes about the beauties of love and being in a happy and healthy relationship with her boyfriend. In these varying romantic melodies she sings about feeling loved unconditionally, without strings attached or expectations that need to be met. Her music is about a true love like the ones seen in fairytales, and Swift has found hers. 

     Whether or not this album lived up to its expectations is up to debate. In fact, it is often heavily debated between Swift fans who either feel like this was not what they were promised, or that this is once more a remarkable creation from the artist. In my opinion, it does live up to its expectations. The album is a brilliant piece of storytelling that is rooted in deep emotions and complex topics. Is it my favorite? No. But that does not mean it should be disregarded entirely and not given the recognition it deserves. Even though it does not have the same style as some of her more recent albums, she still keeps her voice. Throughout her progressions from country singer to pop icon, Swift stays true to her authenticity which should be celebrated.

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