Few celebrities would dare attempt the stunt that Taylor Swift pulled, breaking important, unexpected news at three in the morning. With her Folklore and Evermore albums, Swift steered clear of sharing more intimate details, but she hinted at doing so when she announced the album. She called it “the story of 13 restless nights scattered throughout my life.”
After building up the very early morning announcement, Swift announced on her social media that she is releasing an additional 7 songs for Midnights’ 3 A.M. edition. The songs include “The Great War,” “Bigger Than the Whole Sky,” “Paris,” “High Infidelity,” “Glitch,” “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” and “Dear Reader.” She returns to electronic pop with Midnights after what she dubbed the folklorian woods of her previous two albums.
The subdued nature of Folklore and Evermore also permeates Midnights. It’s an album that resolutely shuns the neon-hued bangers that pop artists typically follow up with, music that’s brazen enough to cut through the din. Misty, ambient, and elegantly restrained describe the sound. With its unassuming four-on-the-floor beat and a pretty high notes that Swift tends to break out these days when she’s feeling particularly sensual, the loosely emo-erotic opening track “Lavender Haze” establishes a framework right away.
The album features one of Swift’s favorite artist of all time, Lana del Rey. Songs are all written by Swift, with additional writing credits going to established collaborators Jack Antonoff and William Bowery. This album’s first single also reveals that Swift, as a writer, is primarily back in autobiographical territory after purposefully crafting some lyrics about imaginary characters on the previous two albums.
However, “Midnights” is more romantic than not, as an album, despite withstanding plenty of detours into a lonesomeness along the way. This is despite a bit of defensiveness about feeling pushed toward a marriage-and-babies box. The fact that “Midnights” is the first of her 10 albums to open and close with just love songs must mean something. Although “Lavender Haze” serves as a bookend, the final song, “Mastermind,” is far funnier. However, you won’t always know whether to laugh or cry. The song, which sums up an album that isn’t afraid to mix cockiness with lovey-doveyness, is a love song with enormous, borderline-hilarious hubris.