Students reflect on Taylor Swift’s Midnights

Jamie Watson

At the stroke of midnight last Friday, Taylor Swift released her 10th studio album. The appropriately titled Midnights was the subject of feverish anticipation at the College. The album is composed of 13 pop songs, with Midnights (3am Edition), a surprise deluxe album released at the same time, containing seven additional songs. [It’s] the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life,” Swift said in her Instagram announcement post on Aug. 29. “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,” she added in an interview with the New York Times

Midnights sees the singer-songwriter reunite with producer Jack Antonoff, who contributed production to Swift’s five most recent albums, including the 2020 projects folklore and evermore. If those albums represented a departure for the pop superstar with their spare, folksy production and surprise, then Midnights is a return to tradition. Animated by electronic pop and supported by a full album rollout (with a capitalized title to boot), Midnights resembles Swift circa-1989.

But do students at the College think Midnights measures up to Swift’s past discography? 

Trinity Conant ’23 described herself as “a pretty huge fan of Taylor Swift,” but said she prefers to engage with the music in a more personal way. “I don’t care to speculate wildly about her personal life, or to fight with other people over what different things mean,” she said. 

Despite her initial excitement for the album’s release, Conant said her first impressions of the album were negative. “I listened to it with my friends at midnight and we were crying laughing over how bad we all thought it was,”she said. “I think the lyricism in general is not as good as usual, not just compared to folklore or evermore but to her pop stuff too.” Conant added, however, that her opinion of the album rose the more she listened to it. “I was surprised by how much it grew on me,” she said. 

Devoted Swiftie Rick Yanashita ’26 said he was also unimpressed by the album. “It was definitely underwhelming,” he said. Yanashita compared the album unfavorably to Swift’s 2008 track “You Belong With Me.” 

Alina Ramirez ’26, another big Swift fan, disagreed and said she enjoyed the album. “I feel like I like it more than most people do,” she said. “It’s not its own era — it’s reaching back to her other eras. It’s more poppy, but I don’t mind that.” Ramirez noted that she prefers Midnights (3am Edition).

Despite mixed opinions on the album, if Friday’s lively Midnights release party is any indication, love for Taylor Swift is still high on campus. The party, hosted at Dodd House, was a crowded, energetic affair. But of all the tracks moshed to that night, songs from Midnights were almost entirely missing from the playlist.