Taylor Swift breaks records with Midnights


Photo by @taylorswift on Instagram

Taylor poses for Midnights album cover.

Avery Martin, Managing Editor of A & E

On October 21st, right at midnight, Taylor Swift released her 10th studio album, Midnights, as what she described as “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life”. Then, at 3AM on the same night, she released 7 bonus tracks. Diving into all the different eras of her life, Swift recounts her nocturnal moments of contemplation in similar synth melodies that we saw in Lover, Reputation, and 1989 in combination with metaphorical lyrics. The theme resembled a soft 70s styled late night. Veering away from the folk sounds of her last released Folklore and Evermore albums, Midnights had a more pop vibe. As senior and long standing swiftie, Rose Heller, put it, “The lyrics have lots of metaphors and interesting components like some of her recent work just in a more pop lens.”

One of the best things about the album however, is how directly Swift is speaking to her fans with songs like “You’re on Your Own Kid” which resembled her NYU class of 2022 commencement speech and “Dear Reader” where she is writing to her fans revealing her most inner insecurities. It’s a brave thing Swift did, being so vulnerable to the world about the things that keep her up at night through songs like “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” and “High Infedelity”. She has always wanted to make her fans feel understood through her music, and this album is a perfect reflection of that. 

Not only is Swift an outstanding lyricist, but has recently demonstrated herself as a talented director. The first example was in her release of the All Too Well (Ten Minute Version) short film, and following the release of Midnights, she dropped the Anti-Hero music video and the Bejeweled music video, which gave the perfect visualization of that version of ourselves that keeps us up at night and left us feeling dazzling through elaborate set designs such as grand gold clocks she swung on. And of course, the music videos featured cryptic easter eggs hinting at the release of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) soon. Swift tends to be a mastermind in preparing to announce her next albums, and the months leading up to Midnights were no exception leaving fans following clues and posting conspiracies on Tik Tok.

Plus, fans loved Swift’s dig at her former music executive, Scooter Braun, and his failed business deals and marriage after he sold the rights to Swift’s music without her involved (hense her re-recordings of her albums) through lyrics like ‘King of Thieves’ in the song “Karma” referencing his company 100 Thieves.  

But what is amazing about the album is the unbelievable amount of records it has already broken. It became the most streamed album on spotify in a day with 184.6 million spotify streams, breaking Drake’s Certified Lover Boy record of 153 million streams in a day. Consequently, she became the most streamed female artist and first to cross 35 billion streams across her discography. It was the best selling album of 2022 with the biggest debut sales week since Adele’s 25 in 2015 with over 1 million sales in its first week – a number thats still growing. Most significantly though, Swift became the first artist ever to hold all top 10 spots on the Billboard 100 chart (also first time ever there was not a single male artist on the Billboard 100 chart in the top 10). A mastermind of music, Swift stays dominating the music industry.