Why ‘Midnights’ May be one of Taylor Swift's Most Fortuitous Albums
Updated: 7 days ago
By: Celia Burk
Taylor Swift shocked fans with the release of her 10th studio album Midnights, on October 21st. Making history, Swift became the first artist to hold the top 10 slots of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, all songs from the newly released album, which has 13 songs in its entirety. Unexpectedly, she returned to a pop-techno style that was first heard in her 2019 album, “Lover” detailing her romantic pursuits with long time partner, English actor, Joe Alwyn. However, “Midnights” challenged Swift's previous releases. She has evolved her tone to become moody and dark, painting herself as the villain in many of her new tracks. Much of Swift’s previous music included ballads of teenage heartbreak, loss and revenge, making the listener feel as if they were inside the diary of the musician. Swift has made an interesting turn in the midst of her impressive career and relentlessly has taken on herself as the antagonist in her music. To add to the excitement for Swifities, following the album release, she announced her 2023 tour, “Eras,” which, as she details on social media, will be "a journey through the musical eras of (my) career (past and present!). Swift has included some of the biggest names in music on this tour including— Paramore, Beabadoobee, Phoebe Bridgers, Girl in Red, Muna, Haim, Gayle, Gracie Abrams and Owenn.
After the release of the music video for the song ‘Anti-Hero’ from “Midnights,” Swift received criticism for the use of the word ‘fat’ in a scene, where she steps on a scale to weigh herself, and the word appears instead of a number on the scale. Her alter ego character in the video, who appears to be the self-loathing version of herself, then shakes her head in disapproval towards Swift, validating her insecurities relating to her disordered eating and body dysmorphia, which she struggles with outside of the fictional video. Many critics began conversation on social media, saying Swift appeared to be ‘fatphobic,’ while others applauded her for sharing her personal experiences with eating disorders. Since receiving criticism, Swift has removed this scene from all social media platforms and wrote on Instagram that the scene alluded to the “nightmare scenarios and intrusive thoughts playing out in real time” that she has experienced. While others may view this as controversial and anti-fat, Swift reached a target audience of women who struggle with eating disorders and dysmorphia, making them feel less alone in the everyday struggles they face.
Even with all of Swift's surprises and hidden messages throughout her music and social media that spark fan guessing games, she continues to impress listeners with each album she releases, making Swifties continue to demand more.
Here are my personal favorites from Midnights