As the clock stuck twelve on Monday, October 21, Taylor Swift released her 10th studio album, Midnights. Three hours later, she released 7 additional songs for the album, titled 3am Edition. Since then, it shattered records for most amount of day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, and day 5 streams in history, and broke Spotify's all-time record for biggest opening week.
The album shifts from the sad, slow paced sound of Swift's past two albums, Evermore and Folklore, into dreamy but upbeat pop tunes, reminding fans of her previous pop albums (1989, Lover, and Reputation). The songs on Midnights provide a new side of Taylor; they offer less edited and perfected lyrics, replacing it with raw, captivating emotion.
On my first listen, I was skeptical. I think that pop as a genre is generally slightly restricting. As a result, the heavily pop influenced tracks, such "Midnight Rain" and "Bejeweled", felt underwhelming to me. However, as I re-listened, I came to appreciate the tone of the songs; it's unedited, natural, yet dreamy feel.
You may be thinking; wouldn't an unedited, unperfected album be less popular than Taylor's other "perfect-sounding" albums?
No. The reason Midnights is so unique is because of its realness, not despite it. Taylor Swift, a wealthy and famous Hollywood star, writes songs that are relatable to everyone across the world. While the album may seem overrated to those who do not relate to Taylor's new form of lyricism, I believe that its genuineness is the factor that catapulted its success. This is not to say that the album sounds worse than her others; it is simply less edited and saturated.
Additionally, Taylor is commonly known for her songs about boyfriends, love, and heartbreak. Almost every Taylor album is splattered with songs about meeting boys, falling love, breakups, and the aftermath. Midnights looks deep into Taylor herself. It is her inner monologue. It is her most personal, deep, self reflective piece of work yet. And that is why it's so popular.