Taylor Swift set high standards for her new music with recent records Folklore and Evermore and she did her best job to live up to them on Midnights. This album is a worthy addition to her catalog, filled with dreamy songs, but it probably won’t stand the test of time due to its lack of big radio hits.
Swift described Midnights as a “journey through terrors and sweet dreams” that will take us back to 13 sleepless nights that she lived through. By this description alone, it was pretty clear this record will walk us through some of her past eras, and she certainly delivered on that promise—which is both the strength and the weakness of this record.
Midnights starts off strong, with the synth-pop-inspired track “Lavender Haze”. Many of the future tracks continue this trend, either drawing inspiration from the singer’s past eras or addressing drama in her personal life, from “Maroon” and “Vigilante S—t”.
Midnights’ biggest weaknesses are songs that we had the highest expectations from. The lead single “Anti-Hero” is – once again – pretty polarizing, but we do appreciate Swift’s honest lyrics. “Snow on the Beach” ft. Lana Del Rey, while pretty poetic and dreamy, isn’t the sad-girl banger we’d expect from these two artists.
Luckily, Midnights offers some pretty brilliant moments in songs that will probably never find mainstream success, such as “Karma”, Mastermind”, and “Midnight Rain”. Swift’s maturity and will to experiment with different genres shine through, and 3am Edition offers 7 extra tracks—some as amazing as the 13 songs from the original album.
Loyal Swifties will be listening to Midnights on repeat in the weeks to come, but casual listeners won’t find too much to latch on to here. This album is a pretty great return to synth-pop for Swift, but the lack of bangers in the vein of “Shake It Off” and “Blank Space” or the escapist quality of Folklore and Evermore doesn’t make it as memorable as some of her past records.