Taylor Swift’s tenth studio album simply adds to my idolization for the artist



The cover photo to Taylor Swift’s Midnights, her tenth studio album.

For my ninth birthday, I got to see Taylor Swift in concert for her 1989 tour in Chicago.

It was the first real concert that I ever went to. We were about ten rows from the very top of the stadium, but to me, I felt as if I was right next to her. The crowd roared every single one of her lyrics, and they screamed louder when she sang “Fifteen” and “Love Story” as a surprise addition to the set. 

I have always loved Swift, but that night was when she became my idol; that was the night that solidified the specific piece of my heart that would always belong to her.

Since then, I would rave over her new music. I would fawn over Reputation and Folklore, and I would scream the lyrics to “Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).” 

Most recently, I lost my mind when she announced her tenth studio album while giving an acceptance speech after winning Video of the Year at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards. Unfortunately, I wasn’t watching the award show, but I got an alarmed text message from a friend right before midnight later that evening, right before Swift officially announced the release of Midnights on October 21. 

I have always loved Swift, but that night was when she became my idol.

Since that night, I have been impatiently waiting for thirteen new songs from my idol. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to get from Swift with this new album. Even though I knew the names of the tracks, they were all giving off different energies.

Swift had mentioned after the announcement of her album that Midnights was a compilation of songs based on thirteen late nights from her past. After learning that, I noticed how many of her songs had references to it being midnight, and I was in awe. I could only imagine what Swift could create out of this little tidbit she gave us beforehand.

When I first listened to Midnights, I must sadly admit, I was not completely sold. I feel that since I have been used to her new music sounding so much like Folklore and Evermore, with songs having a melodramatic tone and hints of indie. However, the more I listen to the album, the more I fall in love. Midnights reminds me so much of 1989: the album that solidified everything for me. Though this may not be my favorite album, it is still a win for Taylor Swift.

One of my favorite songs in Midnights is the 11th track, “Karma.” Again, Midnights has many similarities to 1989, and “Karma” brings me back to when I was nine years old, singing “All You Had To Do Was Stay” at the top of my lungs. Track 11 is a classic pop song by Swift, compiling fluid, catchy lyrics, along with a constant yet versatile beat to the musicality. 

Straying away from the 1989 aesthetic is track 8, “Vigilante Sh*t.” As soon as I learned the title of this song–before I had even heard the song–I knew immediately that this track was going to dip into Swift’s Reputation era. As soon as the song began playing, I knew my prediction was correct. Her Reputation album circled back around the idea of a new version of Swift, along with the goal of plotting revenge on her ex. This song expresses the same ideas, especially since Swift repeats the lyrics, “I don’t dress for women / I don’t dress for men / lately I’ve been dressing for revenge.” The musicality of this song matches the tone of the lyrics, as it is tainted with animosity alongside a strong beat. 

Another song on Midnights that I truly loved was track 5, “You’re on Your Own, Kid.” While the musicality is notable, what I truly loved about this song is the lyrics. Swift talked about becoming who she is now, including leaving her hometown and many other difficult moments in her life that she had to endure to become the Taylor Swift we know now. When she sings, “You’re on Your Own, Kid,” Swift is talking to herself–her past self, really–in the third person. Though she has sung about these encounters before, when the wounds were still fresh, Swift is now singing them with a new point of view. It is absolutely breathtaking.

The song on Midnights that truly disappointed me was track 4, “Snow on The Beach (feat. Lana Del Rey).” Now, I am a huge fan of Del Rey, and I legitimately screamed when I found out she was going to be featured in one of Swift’s new songs. “Snow On The Beach” could have been a life-changing moment for the world, but instead, it was a letdown. I had to listen to the song multiple times before I was able to pinpoint the part of the song Del Rey came in. I was hoping for her to have a verse or two to herself and then for her and Swift to come together for the chorus; that would’ve been unreal, but instead, Del Rey had a quiet background part that sounded so much like Swift that I started to confuse myself. If Del Rey would’ve had more of a role in “Snow On The Beach,” it would have been a masterpiece of a song.

More than anything now, I want Swift to make her return back onto the stage. I want to immerse myself in her new music. I want to feel the energy of Midnights pulsing through my veins. Though at first, it was surprising, Midnights ended up taking my breath away, and I will do everything I can to be able to feel how I did at nine listening to 1989 live once again.