‘3 a.m. and I’m still awake’

Along with the release her new album, “Pinterest Shuffles” has been overflowed with the hashtag, “midnights,” and other various hashtags to promote edits of the midnight aesthetic.

Graphic by Chiara Arendt

Along with the release her new album, “Pinterest Shuffles” has been overflowed with the hashtag, “midnights,” and other various hashtags to promote edits of the midnight aesthetic.

With the long awaited release of her tenth studio album, “Midnights,” Taylor Swift has entered a new era.

Since the announcement of her tenth studio album at the VMA’s at the end of Aug., there wasn’t a lot of detail given out to fans about what projection the album would go. “Midnights” hit streaming services at midnight Eastern Time, with what she labeled as, “a very special chaotic surprise” at 3 a.m. on TikTok. 

That very special chaotic surprise was seven additional tracks, named “Midnights (3 a.m. Edition).”

The information given to fans leading up the album release was that it was going to be a collection of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout her life, along with now another seven songs to encompass her stories.

As time went on, Swift took to TikTok to announce each of her track list names through a series she created called, “Midnights Mayhem with Me,” that showed her picking random tracks using an old fashioned bingo ball machine. One of these nights, she announced all of the track titles before the release.

And on the release eve, fans were quick to go to streaming services and listen.

“Right off the bat with ‘Lavender Haze,’ I listened to it with my friends and we were very excited,” Ava Sullivan, senior, said. Sullivan has recently gotten into her music in the past few years, and voiced her opinion in a seperate article on the album. “I’ve always thought it was a great song. And then ‘Maroon’ was also a great song. And then it kind of just fell off the wagon at ‘Anti-Hero.’” 

There was a substantial amount of controversy about some of the lyrics as well as visual pieces through the music video portrayed through the “Anti-Hero,” which tended to steer listeners away on the first listen. 

“I loved it,” Emme Staten, junior, said. Staten had also recently commented on her predictions for the album, and considers herself an older fan. “To me, it felt like a mix between two of her past albums, ‘reputation’ and ‘Lover,’ with a bit of something completely new thrown in.”

The album “reputation” is pop with a dark aesthetic of the era, an ode to her reputation receiving controversy on Twitter, while “Lover” as an innocent hopeless romantic with visual themes of pink and hearts throughout. Although her albums show their individuality against each other, some are starting to view “Midnights” as a mashup of these albums together. 

Swift has been acclaimed for her eras, as she is one of the few successful artists who have transitioned from country music to pop. Each album is similar to Swift’s personality however all have their own aesthetic and theme for each release.

“I think ‘Midnights’ is a really amazing album,” Staten explained. “Possibly some of her best work yet. It’s unique to have an album like this that can vary so much from song to song and still manage to maintain the feeling that everything belongs together. There’s something really amazing about how it feels like multiple albums and eras all at once.”

The new aesthetic of this era is purple and sparkly, as depicted in the music videos as almost a retro but somewhat modern theme. There’s a use of purple glitter, jewels, and glam depicted in the music videos for “Anti-Hero” and “Bejeweled”. Blue hues and darker color spectrum colored vinyl and CD’s are being sold, as well as darker blue and violet merchandise. 

But not everyone thinks this album is a masterpiece.

Her sister albums “folklore” and “evermore” were extremely successful by reaching new audiences that started to popularize her again. Many newer fans have become avid listeners due to the release of “folklore.”

“I was pretty disappointed,” Sullivan said. “She’s so talented. And I expected a lot more from ‘Midnights’ especially coming back from folklore and evermore [in] which her lyricism was just off the charts, but ‘Midnigths’ had that as well. But almost every song on the album, I feel like there’s a better version of this on ‘Lover’ or ‘reputation.’”

The musicality of the album was different from the last two albums, giving more of a seventies to eighties electric feel compared to the cottage-core softer and emotional songs of the “folklore” and “evermore,” however still incorporate those aspects of her lyrics fans adore. 

“There’s been a lot of time and thought put into all of the announcements, songs, and music videos released during this era,” Staten said. “I think that’s definitely something Taylor has worked hard on to do in order to tell these ‘Midnights’ stories in a meaningful way to her fans.”