Taylor Swift Meets Fans at Midnight in New, Record-breaking Album


Taylor Swift released her tenth original studio album, Midnights, on Friday, Oct. 21, which broke streaming records and garnered the praise of many. 

Swift announced the release of her new album during the 2022 MTV Video and Music Awards, after winning video of the year for “All Too Well: The Short Film”. Fans were shocked at the surprise announcement and quickly took to social media to share their excitement.

“[I’m] still stunned! From the surprise VMA attendance…to a brand new album!” a Twitter user said. 

Leading up to the album’s drop, Swift’s promotion centered around nighttime and late-night thinking. Referring to its release, Swift told fans to “meet [her] at midnight.”

As the clock ticked towards twelve, fans across the world stayed up to listen to Midnights, consisting of 13 songs, the minute it became available. However, fans were in for another surprise when Swift released seven more songs in the deluxe version of the album unannounced. 

“I think of Midnights as a complete concept album, with those 13 songs forming a full picture of the intensities of that mystifying, mad hour,” Swift wrote in a Tweet. “However! There were other songs we wrote on our journey to find that magic 13. I’m calling them 3 a.m. tracks.”

In both editions of the album, Swift’s songs spanned from her familiar upbeat pop to more melancholy and introspective tracks. Within the range of styles, there is one common theme threading each song together: sleepless nights. 

“This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams. The floors we pace and the demons we face.” Swift said in a social media post announcing her album’s release date. “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.”

Upon its release, Midnights became Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single day in Spotify history, with nearly 185 million streams. Meanwhile, Swift became the highest-played artist in a given day, gaining 228 million streams throughout her entire discography on October 21. 

It’s not simply numbers that point to Midnights being an immediate success, but critics’ reviews as well. Just one being that of Alexis Pedridis of The Guardian, who gave the album a five-star rating in his review.

“With its confident songwriting and understated synth-pop, Swift’s sophisticated 10th album indicates that she feels she no longer has to compete with her peers,” Pedridis said. 

For the fans, however, many were disappointed with some of Swift’s artistic choices, such as her choice to use autotune and electronic backing tracks. 

This is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams.”

— Taylor Swift

“[It was] not at all [what I expected],” longtime listener Jessica Holleran said. “I’ve never heard her use autotune like that…[I’m] moving past it.”

Still, many listeners reacted with fierce approval, citing the anthemic highs to be another strong inclusion in Swift’s discography. 

 “Taylor Swift outdid herself, again,” one Twitter user wrote. “I can’t get enough of this album,” another said. 

Spurning initial ambivalence, Midnights has continued to gain praise since its release. Many listeners appreciate the unique style of the album, while others remain unsure. 

The new maturity of Midnights gives it a “crepuscular quality”, Will Hodginkson of The Times said. “Swift is doing what she has always done: taking themes of the heart and cementing them to solid Nashville songcraft,” Hodgkinson wrote. “All that has changed is the musical dressing they arrive in.”