Taylor Swift’s newest album, "Midnights," was released Oct. 21.
Swift stated on Twitter: "Midnights is a collage of intensity, highs and lows and ebbs and flows. Life can be dark, starry, cloudy, terrifying, electrifying, hot, cold, romantic or lonely. Just like Midnights."
Only ten days after its release, "Midnights" had filled the top ten slots of the Billboard Top 100. Swift is the first artist to ever accomplish this feat, a tribute to the lyricism and storytelling that has been highlighted in all of her music since the start of her career.
"Midnights" accentuates maturity in her voice, becoming increasingly apparent in her recent albums. Her heartache and conveyance of that heartache have emerged repeatedly through the years. However, how she approaches her pain has varied from album to album.
When it was first announced, many wondered if "Midnights" would be similar to her previous two albums: "Folklore" and "Evermore." However, from the start of “Lavender Haze,” it was clear that it was not, in fact, a continuation of that style of music; rather, it is much closer in style to her earlier albums, like "1989" and "Reputation."
At 3:00 a.m. on the day of the "Midnights'" release, Swift released an additional seven songs that didn’t make the original cut. The introduction of "Midnights (3am Edition)" brought the total to 20 new songs, many of which are some of her finest work yet.
The overwhelming favorite in the album is “Anti-Hero.” The song has a unique refrain within it, where Swift sings “It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it's me” in reference to feelings of self-doubt she has. In the song, there is a short anecdote where she describes herself as a “monster on a hill” that scares people away, a clear indication of her antipathy for herself at times.
Abby Settipani ‘26 finds the song similar to “mirrorball” from Swift's "Folklore" album and says that the song is very relatable to many listeners.
"The line ‘I’ll stare directly at the sun but never directly into the mirror’ is one I think everyone can relate to," Settipani said.
Swift collaborated with Lana Del Rey to produce “Snow On The Beach,” the only featured artist in the album. The story within the lyrics is similar to the track “Enchanted" from Swift's "Speak Now" album, where two people are catching feelings for each other simultaneously. Both songs detail how a couple finds each other and quickly falls in love. “Snow On The Beach” has a captivating soundtrack; the strings being plucked in the background lend fairy-like undertones to the song, making the song that much more dazzling.
One of her 3am releases, “High Infidelity,” like a handful of other songs in the album, captures a story similar to songs she has released in the past.
The song recalls a perspective from the song “illicit affairs” of a person cheating on their loved one. The story is of a lover who has been caught in the act of infidelity. After they are caught, they are faced with the aftermath of their decision where the one they cheated on is now moving on from them.
The song is really poignant, describing how one regretted their partner finding out about the affair, though Swift, who sings from the perspective of the unfaithful, does not reflect any regret for the actual act of cheating. “You know there's many different ways that you can kill the one you love. The slowest way is never loving them enough," is the perfect lyric to describe falling out of love and being driven to disloyalty.
Overall, the album delivered a surprising yet familiar set of songs. While soundtracks were new to listeners, the messages were something that fans have come to associate with Swift. Her moving lyrics are consistent with the art she has created before, leaving fans waiting for the next batch of tapestries that are in the works right now.
Gabriel Kopp '26 is majoring in Journalism and Law and Public Policy at Mercer University. He has written for The Cluster since he started at Mercer, and currently works as the Sports Editor. When he isn't studying, he enjoys going for runs and reading the New York Times.