Swift has come a long way since her debut country album, sonically she has evolved year on year exploring new genres with every new record and yet her lyricism to me has always stayed true to her country sensibilities of storytelling songwriting. Midnights is no different, on the surface there is very little linking her back to country music yet with each track – inspired by a sleepless night – she is crafting the story of the things that keep her up at night.
It opens with ‘Lavender Haze’ with it’s catchy chorus melody and gorgeous use of her controlled falsetto voice, Swift makes a statement from the very first song. Co-produced by Jack Antonoff, Swift reverts back to a more mainstream sound than her previous two albums with songs like ‘Maroon’ not sounding too different from something you’d find on her ‘1989’ record.
‘Snow On the Beach’ which features Lana Del Ray is a particular highlight, the way Swift addresses and explores love in this track is beautiful and again makes the most of her vocal range. My personal favourite though, is ‘You’re On Your Own, Kid’ which has excellent lyrics and a relatability about it. The soundscapes created after the chorus are intriguing as well. Meanwhile, ’Karma’ is catchy, it has you instantly nodding and tapping along, it could be an anthem in her live show.
Though critics have pulled her up on the lack of radio-friendly, chart topping hits, I don’t think the criticism will trouble Swift who, with each record, flexes her songwriting muscles and shows us there’s yet another string to her musical bow.
I saw online someone say, Taylor Swift IS the music industry, well I think they have a point. Every record there is to break she does. The most high profile musician of our generation, who is constantly in the spotlight manages to keep secrets and wow her fanbase with every new release. At the time of writing this, ‘Midnights’ is #1 on iTunes in 70 different countries… This is Taylor’s world, we’re all just living in it and it’s breathtakingly beautiful to witness!