The headlines that Taylor Swift has generated for her latest album, Midnights and her next tour have been staggering. 1.5 million units sold in its first week on sale, broken Spotify records for streams, and 10 songs in the top 10 singles chart. When tickets for her 2023 concerts went on sale, it not only broke the hearts of fans left out of getting their hands on one but also broke Ticketmaster.
Music wise, first single “Anti-Hero” is a deep look at Swift’s own insecurities where she claims, “I’ll stare directly at the sun but never in the mirror” over a mid-tempo pop beat. Once again working with Jack Antonoff in the producer chair, Swift sings with Lana Del Rey on “Snow on the Beach”. Their voices intertwine beautifully on the chorus on a track about lovers falling in love at the same time. Shimmering synths flow through “Bejeweled” before the sumptuous atmosphere of “Labryinth” that sees the protagonist fall in love after a hard break up, “I thought the plane was goin’ down/How’d you turn it right around?”
The colour “Maroon” runs through a relationship like “rust that grew between telephones” on the moody electronic track. “Karma” recalls early noughties indie rock/electronic act CSS before the album closes with the bubbling synths of “Mastermind” where childhood trauma turns the protagonist into a scheming genius. A few tracks lack some of Swift’s clever wordplay and could have been sung by anyone. But far more often than not, Taylor Swift delivers a great pop songs on Midnights.