Taylor Swift released her 10th studio album, “Midnights,” on Friday.
Despite a strong start and scattered highlights, it’s an underwhelming album and one of her worst lyrically.
The best songs are “Maroon,” “Question…?” and “Sweet Nothing,” but three others were ruled as skips.
Taylor Swift released her 10th studio album, “Midnights,” on Friday.
This is the first set of all-new songs that Swift has released since “Evermore” in 2020. The renowned singer-songwriter has been busy rerecording her first six albums, including “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and “Red (Taylor’s Version),” which were both unveiled last year.
Amid rumors of another rerecording on the horizon, Swift surprised fans by announcing “Midnights” in August. She described the album, coproduced by Swift and Jack Antonoff, as “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life.”
“This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams,” she explained in a statement. “The floors we pace and the demons we face. For all of us who have tossed and turned and decided to keep the lanterns lit and go searching — hoping that just maybe, when the clock strikes twelve… we’ll meet ourselves.”
Three hours after the album’s release, Swift unveiled the extended “3am Edition” with seven additional tracks. However, Swift clarified that she sees the original 13-track edition as “a complete concept album” and these were “other songs we wrote on our journey,” offered as bonus peeks into her creative process.
Insider’s music team (senior reporter Callie Ahlgrim and senior editor Courteney Larocca) listened to the new album on our own, jotting down our initial thoughts track by track.
Here is what we thought of each song on “Midnights” upon first listen. (Skip to the end to see the only songs worth listening to and the album’s final score.)
“Lavender Haze” is such a strong opener that it’s a red herring.
Ahlgrim: When those watery synths first entered my eardrums, I felt my eyes light up like a little kid’s.
I have spent many hours imagining what “Midnights” might sound like — agonizing even, since Swift declined to give us any singles or snippets beforehand — but I did not anticipate a return to the moody-pop landscape of “Delicate” and “Dress” (the two best songs on “Reputation”).
Swift teased “Lavender Haze” by telling fans she cribbed the title from an episode of “Mad Men,” claiming it’s a “common phrase that was used in the ’50s” to describe being in love.
But the song itself isn’t a picket-fence fantasy, rather a critique of that very expectation (“the 1950s shit they want from me”). Swift’s artful revolt results in one of the strongest couplets on the entire album: “All they keep asking me is if I’m gonna be your bride / The only kind of girl they see is a one-night or a wife.” (Every bait and switch was a work of art, haven’t you heard?)
Larocca: “Lavender Haze” is an immediate yes. It’s luxe. It’s airy. It’s an entire vibe, fresh and current. Lyrically, it’s quintessential Swift, who excels at redirecting common turns of phrase: Put “Damned if I do, damned if I don’t” on her desk, and she’ll hand back “I’m damned if I do give a damn what people say.”
Production-wise, it reminds me of “False God” but at a faster tempo. As someone with the correct opinion that the track is one of the best on “Lover,” I’m thrilled by this direction.
“Maroon” is a sultry standout that recalls the best of “Reputation.”
Ahlgrim: If you got 2017 flashbacks from “Lavender Haze,” you probably weren’t prepared for the shimmery nostalgic rush of “Maroon.”
This song is imbued with the sexiest shades of “Reputation,” stripped of the album’s annoying maximalism: “The lips I used to call home, so scarlet” recalls the feminine lust that’s central to “Dress,” for example, and Swift’s delivery of “your roommate’s cheap-ass screw-top rosé” could’ve been lifted straight from “King of My Heart.”
Larocca: “Maroon” is a brilliant play on Swift’s outdated color theory about love, adapting it to a relationship that I’d presume happened post-“Red” (She wouldn’t have been downing a bottle of discount wine prior to her 21st birthday) but pre-“Lover” (when she realizes love isn’t red, but instead “golden like daylight.”)
With swaths of scarlet, burgundy, ruby, rose, and obviously, maroon, Swift paint a portrait quite similar to that of “Dress”: “When you splashed your wine into me” is reminiscent of “I’m spilling wine in the bathtub, you kiss my face and we’re both drunk” while “Like you were my closest friend” seems to nod to “‘Cause I don’t want you like a best friend.”
There are shades of “Gold Rush” from “Evermore” too. “And how the blood rushed into my cheeks / So scarlet, it was maroon” recalls “I don’t like anticipating my face in a red flush.”
“Maroon” is an example of Swift’s best storytelling, the kind that carries across albums, shading in new hues and perspectives with each new addition.
“Anti-Hero” is bound to be polarizing.
Ahlgrim: “Anti-Hero” is certainly not the soul-bearing revelation that many fans expected, but underneath its ’80s synths, glockenspiel plinks, and bouncy melodies, Swift has buried nuggets of her trademark wit and nuance.
Swift threads references throughout the song that straddle generations and cultures: she alludes to the cautionary myth of Icarus (“I’ll stare directly at the sun but never in the mirror”), compares herself to a Godzilla-type monster (“Too big to hang out / Slowly lurching toward your favorite city”), and even slips in a sly nod to drag culture (“At teatime / Everybody agrees”).
“When my depression works the graveyard shift / All of the people I’ve ghosted stand there in the room,” is an obvious lyrical standout, succintly summing up the overarching theme of the album.
But my personal favorite couplet comes in the second verse: “Did you hear my covert narcissism / I disguise as altruism like some kind of congressman?” Not many songwriters could zoom out of their own self-scrutiny for a quick second to skewer the facade of US politics, particularly without sounding trite or insincere, but Swift pulls it off.
Larocca: This is the one with the already divisive lyric, “Sometimes I feel like everybody is a sexy baby / And I’m a monster on the hill.”
I’ve seen many people try to defend this outrageous pairing of words, claiming it’s a reference to a “30 Rock” bit or explaining that she’s using the metaphor to describe how she feels under the crushing weight of modern beauty standards.
But to argue that Swift couldn’t come up with a better phrase than “sexy baby” to explore this concept is an admission that she’s not the genius songwriter we know her to be. This is the same woman who wrote “Your Midas touch on the Chevy door / November flush and your flannel cure” and “You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath.” You can, and should, expect more from a prolific lyricist who proudly described “Anti-Hero” as “one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written.”
Looking at the track holistically, there are some poignant lines like “When my depression works the graveyard shift / All of the people I’ve ghosted stand there in the room” and “I’ll stare directly at the sun, but never in the mirror.”
But “Anti-Hero” oscillates too quickly between serious and unserious (“It’s me! Hi!”) that it’s difficult to tell if I’m supposed to be carrying a knot in my chest or simply bop along. Out of a paradox of choice, I do neither.
“Snow on the Beach” is a wasted opportunity for a duet with Lana Del Rey.
Ahlgrim: “Snow on the Beach” is pretty, but it drags — especially when you’re expecting a verse from Lana Del Rey that never comes.
Plus, the production is so intentionally wintry that it runs the risk of sounding like a Christmas song, kind of like a diluted version of “‘Tis the Damn Season.”
Larocca: The phrase “snow at the beach, weird, but fucking beautiful” turned out to be an unexpected earworm for me, but overall I’m not huge on feeling like I’m trapped inside a snowglobe.
When I first heard “Snow on the Beach,” I wrote down, “mid.” Nothing’s really caught my ear enough (positively or negatively) to change that take.
“You’re on Your Own, Kid” is a heart-wrenching reflection on isolation and body image.
Ahlgrim: “You’re On Your Own, Kid” is a clear descendent of “The Archer,” the fifth track on “Lover” that serves as the album’s emotional core.
While “The Archer” explores the slow-burn terror of falling in love, nudging the listener towards the precipice until it’s too late to turn back, “You’re on Your Own, Kid” reflects upon the sacrifices Swift has already made to chase her ambitions. It’s not a journey deeper into her anxieties so much as a removed recitation of them.
“You’re On Your Own, Kid” doesn’t quite manage to recreate its predecessor’s perfect pacing and tension, but it does build towards a vivid catharsis. It’s the best bridge on “Midnights,” evoking the climactic revelation in a horror film — that the broken-down, bloodied heroine has to save herself.
Larocca: I’m immediately struck by the clarity of Swift’s voice. Up until this point, she’s sounded further away, floating above the whole scene. But on “You’re on Your Own, Kid,” she’s right here, guiding us through her early years. She pines to get out of a town she didn’t choose, until she does and life spirals into stardom. Suddenly, her friends from home don’t know what to say.
“I search the party of better bodies / Just to learn that you never cared” recalls a gut-wrenching line from the 10-minute version of Swift’s most famous track five, “All Too Well”: “But then he watched me watch the front door all night, willing you to come / And he said, “It’s supposed to be fun turning 21.”
There is some real vulnerability here (“I hosted parties and starved my body / Like I’d be saved by a perfect kiss” is a stab to the heart) but Swift’s track fives are known for being the most emotionally exposed moment on her albums. I enjoy it, but I’m not sure how well this one can hang with the likes of “The Archer,” “Dear John,” or “Tolerate It.” Some of Swift’s fans might come away from this feeling like it didn’t deserve its placement.
“Midnight Rain” doesn’t deliver on production or lyrics.
Ahlgrim: “He was sunshine, I was midnight rain” is just so corny. “Midnight Rain” is a corny combination of words on its own, but I expected a seasoned songwriter like Swift to serve a double entendre, or some kind of layered metaphor. Alas, the phrase is presented on its face, used exactly how it sounds.
I do like the lyrical concept of leaving a nice boy behind because he couldn’t keep up — like “Dorothea” from Swift’s own perspective, or a grown-up “Fifteen” after she realized those bigger dreams — but this song doesn’t go deep enough to do it justice.
Larocca: The first time I heard “Midnight Rain,” I thought the song was uploaded incorrectly or was playing at the wrong speed. Turns out that sonic jump scare was a stylistic choice.
I wouldn’t totally rule out the song from that alone — I thought Bon Iver’s introduction on “Evermore” was unpleasant at first, and now the track is one of my favorites on that album — but I will discard it due to the lack of gripping lyrics and a bridge. And no, the outro isn’t anywhere near the caliber of “The Other Side of the Door” to warrant skimping on the necessary architecture.
If you told me this was an unfinished demo instead of a fully polished track, I’d believe it.
“Question…?” combines bright, nostalgic production with painful lyrics about regret and yearning.
Ahlgrim: Several songs on “Midnights” carry hints of “1989,” Swift’s celebrated pivot to pop music, but “Question…?” is the album’s one true torchbearer.
This connection is underscored by the “Out of the Woods” interpolation that opens the song (“I remember”) and the “Style” reference shortly after (“Good girl, sad boy”). Then, Swift sets the scene: a “big city” where mistakes were made. Perhaps the lights were so bright, they managed to blind her after all.
Thematically, “Question…?” deals with a big one: “What if?” Swift seems to yearn and fume in equal measure, incapable of forgetting her feelings in that crowded room and letting everything else fall to “second best.” We’ve seen this film before, most notably in “Hoax” (“You know I left a part of me back in New York / You knew the hero died, so what’s the movie for?”).
Swift loves asking questions she doesn’t want to hear the answers to — or, better yet, questions that don’t even have sensible answers. Love, especially love that lingers beyond a relationship, doesn’t make sense. It’s that haunted limbo where Swift, as a songwriter, truly shines.
Larocca: I have loudly proclaimed my love for Swift’s “The 1” time and again, so I was beyond thrilled when she announced on Spotify that one of the things that inspired “Midnights” was “wondering what might have been.”
Enter “Question…?” the song that lays bare what Swift may have been persisting and resisting the temptation to ask on the opening track of “Folklore.” She zeroes in on the one moment she believes changed her and her ex’s course and spirals through a dizzying list of follow-ups to figure out, if had one thing been different, would everything be different today?
And oh man, is the first set of Q’s a doozy (and one of my favorite couplets on the entire album): “Did you ever have someone kiss you in a crowded room / And every single one of your friends was makin’ fun of you?”
It snowballs from there: “Then what did you do? Did you leave her house in the middle of the night? Did you wish you’d put up more of a fight? When she said it was too much? Do you wish you could still touch her?”
Like “The 1,” there’s no clear answer. It’s just a question… or seven.
“Vigilante Shit” is dark, arrogant, and a little too on-the-nose.
Ahlgrim: This is the little sister of “I Did Something Bad” and the slutty best friend of “Mad Woman.”
Like it or not, “Vigilante Shit” is extremely on-brand for Swift. She loves a melodramatic revenge fantasy, and this one gets especially juicy when Swift befriends her enemy’s ex-wife and flirts with her, for good measure (“Picture me thick as thieves with your ex-wife, and she looks so pretty”).
Swift definitely isn’t treading new territory here — and “Vigilante Shit” is far from my favorite in the aforementioned trilogy — but there’s a special kind of swagger to the production, reminiscent of Billie Eilish’s “You Should See Me in a Crown,” which compliments the song’s theme quite nicely.
Larocca: For “Midnights,” Swift revisited nights throughout her life. Apparently, that means she also dug through a bunch of Tumblr posts from 2013 and convinced herself that “Draw the cat eye sharp enough to kill a man” was a clever thing to put into a song in 2022 instead of a vomit-inducing display of weaponized femininity.
Swift already perfected her moody revenge fantasy on songs like “Mad Woman,” making “Vigilante Shit” redundant at best, and cringeworthy at worst. Just because Swift has learned to live alongside cringe, doesn’t mean she has to embrace it wholeheartedly.
“Bejeweled” is bad.
Ahlgrim:“Bejeweled” sounds very juvenile, like a demo that Swift cut from “Fearless” but never bothered to revisit as a vault track. “I miss you, but I miss sparkling” would be a cute lyric if the singer were a teenager; “So put mе in the basement / Whеn I want the penthouse of your heart” sounds like a poem I wrote in high school. One would hope that Swift has outgrown such clichés.
Fans of “Bejeweled” will say it’s a prime example of Swift’s self-described “glitter-gel-pen” genre, but just because Swift knows the lyrics are frivolous doesn’t make it a good song. For my money, this is the worst moment on the tracklist. It’s the “Me!” of “Midnights.”
Larocca: “Bejeweled” is a glitter-gel-pen mess. I can’t even wrap my head around why she felt this was necessary — it’s mutilated “Mirrorball.” It’s as if she took one of the best songs on “Folklore,” told a 7-year-old to interpret it in their own words, and then recorded it and shoved it onto this tracklist as if we wouldn’t notice.
Alternatively, “Bejeweled” is what would happen if you asked an AI generator to give you Taylor Swift lyrics. “And I miss you, but I miss sparkling.” What?
Some will find “Labyrinth” boring, but it’s an understandable inclusion on the album.
Ahlgrim: I like “Labyrinth.” I just don’t quite like it enough to keep my eyes from glazing over.
“Oh no, I’m falling in love again” is not a lyric that’s strong enough to warrant so much repetition. In fact, only one line has consistently managed to pierce through the haze and snap me out of my reverie: “You know how much I hate that everybody just expects me to bounce back, just like that.”
Swift’s vocal delivery on “Labyrinth” is reminiscent of another song that fails to command my attention: “Epiphany,” the only weak spot on “Folklore” (sonically, not lyrically).
Larocca: Personally, I love a hazy dreamscape, but if you’re going to cloud your vocals for four minutes and seven seconds, you’ll inevitably run into listeners who will label the song as boring and move on after one listen.
That said, if this misty soundscape doesn’t immediately put you to sleep, I’d suggest giving “Labyrinth” a chance to pull you in. Swift has exceeded at this style before; “This Is Me Trying” breaks through the fog with piercing lyrics like “They told me all of my cages were mental / So I got wasted like all my potential” while “This Love (Taylor’s Version)” ebbs and flows between its chorus and verses.
“Labyrinth” instructs you to breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep, and breathe out, and then lets you go. Listening to this song feels like falling asleep on a yoga mat during meditation. An album called “Midnights” needs a moment like that.
“Karma” will delight some and irritate others.
Ahlgrim: Now this is the kind of glitter-gel-pen songwriting that I can get behind.
“Karma” is undeniably fun, even if it’s not Swift’s most insightful songwriting. I typically don’t like when she uses too-online slang in her songs (“me and karma vibe like that”), but I’ll give her a pass when it’s masked by breezy, rhythmic delivery and a powerful urge to dance.
Larocca: There have long been theories within the Swiftie community about a scrapped album called “Karma.” Now we know all the things Swift thinks karma is, and an album isn’t one of them. Thank God for that.
With lines like “Karma is a cat purring in my lap ’cause it loves me” and “Spider boy, king of thieves / Weave your little webs of opacity,” this song is so ridiculous that it’s almost funny. Swift wrote a meme.
Honestly, if you want to argue it’s camp, I won’t fight you. But I don’t think I’ll ever reach for this one again.
“Sweet Nothing” should have been the final track.
Ahlgrim: “Sweet Nothing” most closely resembles the kind of music I thought we were getting from “Midnights.”
It opens with the comforting, vintage chimes of a Wurlitzer electric piano, which appears on the alternate cover for the “Jade Green” vinyl. You may recognize the instrument from Frank Ocean’s “Blonde” and ’60s soul classics like “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James.
Drawing from that tradition, “Sweet Nothing” is soft and sentimental, weaving together the tender vignettes that anchor a long-term relationship: picking up pebbles next to the sea, humming in the kitchen, going home together. The song was cowritten by Swift’s longtime partner Joe Alwyn, who praises her impromptu poetry with a simple affirmation: “What a mind.”
The bridge recalls “The Lakes,” the final track on the deluxe edition of “Folklore,” in which Swift frets that she’s too sensitive for the life she created. The embrace of her lover is the only place she can truly be herself — and “Sweet Nothing” is the only song on “Midnights” that gives me chills every time I hear it.
Larocca: Swift is famed for her ability to take specific moments from her own life and turn them into universal truths.
Up to this point, I was losing faith that Swift had her trusty fountain pen handy while writing “Midnights” as it is largely devoid of specificity and emotional catharsis. Possibly a bit late to the party — but exceptionally welcome anyways — Swift stumbled in with a rock she and Alwyn pocketed in Ireland and “Sweet Nothing,” the softest and most sensitive track on the album.
The instrumentation is minimal, aside from a warm and melodic Wurlitzer and some well-placed horns. It feels distinctly vintage and nostalgic, like a lullaby a parent may have used to sing you to sleep. In this vein, it reminds me of “Peace” from “Folklore.” Both are songs that evoke the feeling of peace sonically while exploring deep anxieties in a relationship through their lyricism. Both bloomed out of Swift’s current relationship with Alwyn (who cowrote this one under the pseudonym William Bowery). Both have made me ugly cry in the middle of the night.
Maybe it’s unfair that I wanted more out of “Midnights” when the line that has been turning my eyes into faucets for the past 24 hours is “And the voices that implore, “You should be doing more” / To you, I can admit that I’m just too soft for all of it.” But one stellar song does not an album make — no matter how grateful I am for the tears I still have yet to shed to “Sweet Nothing.”
If you’re having a similar experience of thinking “Midnights” feels a bit hollow lyrically, especially after the Folklorification of Swift’s discography these past couple of years, give “Sweet Nothing” a couple more spins. The hurt is there.
“Mastermind” doesn’t live up to its potential.
Ahlgrim: The problem with an underwhelming closing track is that it becomes bad over time; eventually you’ll just stop listening to the album before you reach it.
Once again, Swift toys with an interesting concept: women are raised and socialized to be “the pawn in every lover’s game,” so they must become masterminds to get what they truly want, or to orchestrate a fulfulling relationship.
But once again, Swift stops just short of excavation and only grazes the surface before moving on to basic similes (“I’m the wind in our free-flowing sails”) and an overused underdog narrative (“No one wanted to play with me as a little kid / So I’ve been scheming like a criminal ever since”).
Larocca: My only takeaway from “Mastermind” is “Invisible String” was just a pretty lie. “Mastermind” took the sweet notion of fate tying Swift and her partner together and said, “Actually, just kidding, it was me all along.”
Now if you’re going to ruin the integrity of one of your own songs, it better be because you’re pulling out something even stronger.
But “Mastermind” merely gloats about what we already know: Swift is a brilliant labyrinth-brained schemer who can plan the tiniest of details out three years in advance. She owns up to her Machiavellian ways, sure, and provides a brief glimmer into how she became that way, but the song never digs deep enough to earn its place.
Consuming this as the final taste of “Midnights” left a sour taste in my mouth.
Final Grade: 5.8/10
Ahlgrim: Taylor Swift is a genius, but not everything she does is genius.
Much like “Reputation,” its closest relative in Swift’s discography, “Midnights” is a collection of highs and lows. I can easily sort its tracklist into songs I love, songs I like just fine, and songs I loathe.
But unlike “Reputation,” the highs on “Midnights” are not stratospheric, and the lows did not make me physically recoil. Each end of the spectrum is far less intense. “Sweet Nothing,” my favorite song on the standard-edition album, does not hold a candle to “Delicate.” “Bejeweled,” my least favorite song, doesn’t send a cold shiver down my spine like “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things.”
This disparity is due to the lack of texture and tension on “Midnights.” To paraphrase a voicenote Courteney sent me, Swift and Antonoff put very little work into the architecture of this album; it’s a mostly flat plane.
To those who have compared the album’s quality to “1989” and “Lover,” I ask, where are the passionate bridges à la “Out of the Woods” and “Death by a Thousand Cuts,” the structural artform that Swift is best known for? To those who would argue that you need to sacrifice moments of release, shock, or awe in order to achieve cohesion, I ask, have you ever listened to “Folklore” and “Evermore,” her most fascinating and most cohesive albums to date?
Lackluster production is easily forgivable, of course, as long as Swift’s legendary songwriting is on full display. To be sure, there are glimmers of her lyrical prowess: she slips in words like “Machiavellian” and “aurora borealis” with astonishing ease; references the horror classic “Carrie” in one breath and Janet Jackson’s “All For You” in another; describes a once-promising romance as “carnations you had thought were roses” and estrangement as “the rust that grew between telephones.”
But Swift undermines those feats with long stretches of repetition and entire songs of regressive, unimaginative pop-speak.
Although “Midnights” was marketed as an intimate and keen-eyed deep-dive into Swift’s past neuroses and regrets, her “demons” and “self-made cages,” the reality is a set of broad strokes that feel vaguely familiar — like the hazy scenes of a dream you can’t quite remember in the morning. Many critics will call these lyrics “cryptic” when they’re really just non-specific. There are no red scarves to be found.
Although I feel more positive about “Midnights” as a whole than my esteemed editor and fellow lifelong Swiftie — and I will bop to “Anti-Hero” and “Karma” without a shred of guilt — I cannot deny that my immediate reaction when the album ended was disappointment.
Perhaps my expectations were too high and I’m the problem (it’s me).
Larocca: While working on this review, a friend pinged me to ask, “Are you in Taylor bliss?” Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to answer that question with anything other than an “always.”
Listen, it brings me no pleasure to report that “Midnights” is an average pop album at best. I’m anticipating accusations of “Well, it wasn’t going to be ‘Folklore!’ You just hate pop music!” To which I’d say, I am not upset by a return to pop. Ultimately, Swift can successfully slap any production she damn well pleases onto a song. It often works because she typically builds off a foundation of sturdy lyricism.
Take “Reputation,” her most critically panned pop album, for example. I know several people who have said they didn’t like “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” until they heard the acoustic version. Same with “King of My Heart.” Callie even sent me a stripped-down version of “Me!” recently, although that one didn’t change my mind that the lead single from “Lover” is unlistenable.
But if I were to dive into a lyric booklit for “Midnights,” the logical conclusion I’d make is that Swift, like every writer, could use an editor. And Antonoff is certainly not up to the task.
Now, it’s not Antonoff’s fault either that the album is mid. This is a man who helped make undeniable hits like “Getaway Car” and “August.” But it’s clear that his best work comes when the people he’s working with have a clear vision and rein him in. This is the first album in which Swift and Antonoff were the only two main collaborators. They can make magic together, but there’s no one keeping either of them in check when Swift wants to write about sharp eyeliner or sexy babies.
But that magic I just mentioned only comes in glimmers. Her highest highs on “Midnights” (“Lavender Haze,” “Maroon,” “Sweet Nothing”) don’t reach the same peak of most of her other albums. These are the type of songs that would feel second-rate if put alongside the likes of their older sisters, “Cruel Summer,” “Don’t Blame Me,” and “Peace.”
It’s not like Swift forgot how to write. She actually wrote a lot of great songs, and chose to leave them off of what my friends and I have begun calling “Midnights” Proper. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a well-constructed bridge within the city limits Swift set, but if you can find one to “Midnights” Suburbia (or, as Swift is officially calling it, “The 3am Edition”), you’ll be delighted to encounter tracks like “Glitch,” “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” “High Infidelity” and “The Great War.” Take exit 13, and you’ll run into “Hits Different” at Target, she looks a lot like Shania Twain or Faith Hill in the late 90s.
When left to her own devices, Swift often misses the mark when selecting a lead single. “Midnights” didn’t have one, which apparently translated to choosing the weakest set of 13 tracks and relegating her biggest hitters to land outside the boundaries of album reviews and vinyl sales.
The good news, is that if you’re also disappointed by the album, another rerecording is not far off. Swift has been churning out music at such an unprecedented rate, that another sampling of her songwriting is never too far away. “Midnights” would’ve been devastating had it come after three years of nothing, but instead, it’s a just-OK addition to her ever growing collection. It won’t be long now until Swift pops up again saying, “Hi! It’s me!”
Worth listening to:
“You’re on Your Own, Kid”
“Snow on the Beach” (featuring Lana Del Rey)
*Final album score based on songs per category (1 point for “Worth listening to,” .5 for “Background music,” .5 for “Split decision,” 0 for “Press skip”).
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