Taylor Swift’s Tenth Studio Album: A Divergent Testament to Her Career


Grace Marshall, Contributor

On October 21, 2022, Midnights was released, “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout [Swift’s] life.” 13 tracks- the singer’s known lucky number- were released at, of course, midnight, then she surprised fans with seven more songs at 3 a.m. for the Swifties who were willing to stay up.

The album, receiving a perfect score of 100 from Rolling Stone, is hard-hitting production-wise and lyrically beautiful. Initially, (mostly because of the writing as a creative writer myself), my reaction to it was that “none of her other albums compare,” a big statement from a lover of all her records, but as a few days went on I began to realize I was skipping a lot of songs when re-listening to it. However, after about a week I realized that it was because of the album’s concept as a whole; the songs are from different periods in her life, and as we all know, Swift has explored many different genres- country, pop, alternative- and various sounds. The record is not cohesive or unified in its styles, which causes me to play certain songs based on my mood rather than the whole album at once. In fact, in my head I have divided most of the songs into which era of Swift’s life that I think the feeling came from, and sort of associated them all with a different album of hers, respectively.

For example, tracks like “High Infidelity,” “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” “The Great War,” “Snow On The Beach,” and “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” would fight right in with her ninth record, evermore. Being the sister album to her first alternative project, folklore, it follows an extremely poetic, storytelling style of writing behind subdued production from Aaron Dessner.

“Paris,” “Glitch,” “Karma,” Vigilante Sh**,” and “Midnight Rain,” could most definitely have been on her romantic and unapologetic fifth album, Reputation, like “Lavender Haze,” and “Sweet Nothing” to her intimate sixth album, Lover, while some tracks on Midnights, such as “Anti-Hero,” “Dear Reader,” and “Mastermind” stand alone as very contemplative and self-aware- something today’s Taylor Swift focuses on in her writing, with production help from famous Jack Antonoff.

While all pieces of a puzzle to Swift’s life and intense emotions, the seemingly in-cohesive songs- if listened to all at once- actually do form one amazing album, as long as you keep the concept in mind. Even in the midst of the singer re-recording all of her old albums, something extremely exciting for “OG” fans, this brand-new album, her third in three years even with two re-records, was a must-have and is a must-listen for anyone.