by Taylor Swift
Released October 21, 2022 via Republic Records
Reviewed November 4, 2022
Top tracks (based on community voting)
Snow On The Beach (46%), Lavender Haze (36%), Maroon (27%)
At what point will we acknowledge the negative impact Jack Antonoff has had on the watering down of pop music? As the main producer, alongside Swift, Antonoff fingerprints are all over Midnights. He has lent a helping hand to some great records—Lorde’s Melodrama (2017), St. Vincent’s Masseduction (2017), Swift’s folklore and evermore (2020)—but the ones that worked had their own style going for them.
Midnights falls into the opposite category. It has its moments, but it feels like it is simultaneously doing too much and doing very little at all. Midnights primarily pulls from sounds of dream pop and synthpop, alongside an occasional hip-hop influence that leads to tracks like “Vigilante Shit.” It’s an approach that would be daring, if not commercially packaged and over-synthesized for the purpose of ’late-night vibes.’ It has its occasional highpoint with tracks like “Lavender Haze” and “Anti-Hero,” but it feels rather lifeless as a whole. And as a songwriter, Swift (with Antonoff as co-writer) takes a pretty noticeable step back from the emotional tenderness of folklore and evermore. The premise of “nocturnal contemplation” that Midnights goes for doesn’t exactly bring out the thought-provoking or existential questions you’d expect; rather, this supposed introspection just leads to a lot of cliches and uninspired melodrama. It might work for some longtime fans of Swift, but it isn’t accomplishing anything new or even improving on anything she has done before. – Dominick (5.5/10)
Pax: 8.2/10 | DeVán: 7.5/10 | Alan: 7/10 | Cam: 6/10 | Dominick: 5.5/10 | Victoria: 5.5/10