Taylor Swift recently dropped her new album “Midnights,” and the internet is in shambles. Swift is one of the biggest names in music today. Her lack of controversy and overall energetic and lively personality has made her one of the most loved celebrities of the decade. The buildup to “Midnights” was intense, with hundreds of social media posts and trending tags on Twitter waiting for the moment that the album dropped. However, now that the album has come out, I’ve seen some mixed reviews online that I was not expecting.
Unlike most, I didn’t actually become a Taylor Swift fan until her “1989” album, which meant I lacked the same excitement the rest of society felt when her “Taylor’s Version” albums came out. While I’m not well versed in all of her albums, I think my becoming a fan at the time of “1989’s” release makes me more reliable to talk about her pop albums.
She doesn’t ever seem to limit herself to a genre which is a risky but interesting choice for an artist. She started as a country singer, moved her way into pop with “Red” and “1989,” into more of an indie pop for “Folklore” and “Evermore,” and now back to pop for “Midnights.”
I think the immediate shock with “Midnights” was that no one was expecting her to go back to pop after the mass success of “Folklore” and “Evermore.” I believe the reason “Folklore” and “Evermore” blew up the way they did was because it was such a change in pace from Taylor’s original music and it made people realize how broad her range is. Not only that, but the overall sound of both albums is truly beautiful and “Folklore” brought her home some Grammys after being snubbed for two albums straight. Her pop albums never seemed to get as much attention as her country and indie albums did. The reactions to “Reputation” and “Lover” are either strong love or hatred, and you rarely see anyone saying “1989” is their favorite album (though I must disagree and say it’s one of my favorites). I think most people were expecting her to stay on the indie track.
I had to listen to the album three times before I declared it was good (insert boos here). I stayed up until midnight to listen for the first time around, and none of the songs made me particularly happy or sad the way “The Lakes” did on “Folklore.” The second time around, I listened when I wasn’t exhausted and I noticed how deep the lyrics were beneath the pop sound of the music. I think that’s a personal taste decision – I’ve seen a lot of people talk about how they dislike it when she does that. Personally, it makes it hard for me to appreciate the message of a song when there’s too many alternating sensory experiences in the background, but that’s an opinion I would leave for the individual listener to decide. I would say the songs I enjoyed the most were “You’re on your own Kid” and “Bigger than the Whole Sky.” The rest were honestly very forgettable to me. I would say that while it’s not a bad album, she definitely has better work out there. Unfortunately, this album did not stand out to me like the others, but I would take a listen yourself to decide!