What Made Midnights by Taylor Swift Successful

By Clara Eikeboom

Taylor Swift released her tenth album Midnights on October 21, 2022, at midnight. To her fans’ surprise, she released an extended version called the 3am Edition just a few hours later. The album acquired 486 million online streams in the first six days since its release. This album is a fresh, glistening release that invites listeners into her thoughts on sleepless nights. Midnights has gained instant global recognition because of its gentle yet engaging beats, interesting lyrics, and its demonstration of Swift’s musical evolution and career. 

This dream-pop album features a variety of instrumental mixes with guitar, drums, synths, and electric piano. In particular, the song “Labyrinth” is instrumentally riveting. It starts with mellow drums and electric piano with a soft melody. Then in the second chorus, the drums grow bolder and the atmosphere bubbles into a misty, dreamy mix, where Swift sings, “Uh-oh I’m falling in love again.” 

Swift sings about themes ranging from being in love, losing a love, and overthinking one’s self-worth. “Sweet Nothing,” for example, has vivid lyrics about gratitude for the small things in a relationship. Swift begins the song by singing about how she sees “a pebble that we picked up last July / Down deep inside your pocket.” Swift is expressing that the little “sweet nothings” in a relationship matter, like a pebble. When people doubt her relationship and say “the end is coming,” Swift sings that her lover expects “sweet nothings.” These lyrics express how simple yet beautiful love can be, especially when people appreciate the little things, like pebbles and poems. 

This album is a fresh collection of music, but simultaneously has some songs that mirror her past music. The songs “Anti-Hero” and “Mastermind” are sonically and lyrically similar to Reputation’s songs, while other songs like “Snow on the Beach” and “Bigger Than The Whole Sky” evoke feelings of the calm, wanderlust of the folklore and evermore albums. Despite the fact that songs from Midnights “are compared a lot to Taylor’s other eras,” Anissa Patel ’23, “think[s] it stands on its own.” However, Lauren Hogan ’23 disagrees with the fame that Midnights has gained, and thinks that “Shake it Off is [still] the best [Taylor Swift] song.” 

Swift has now released four albums since her last tour in 2019, and fans are ecstatic about her recent tour announcement! Swift’s use of enticing beats and themes, “beautiful lyricism and melodies, the really intimate look into her life,” and upcoming tour make this album a successful, punchy pop album (Anissa Patel ‘23).