Waiting for midnight

Taylor Swift’s record-breaking album Midnights sparks mass hysteria among fans. Midnights has been critically acclaimed for its vocals and pop-like tunes.

Credit: Beth Garrabrant via New York Post

Taylor Swift’s record-breaking album Midnights sparks mass hysteria among fans. Midnights has been critically acclaimed for its vocals and pop-like tunes.

As midnight struck on October 21, 2022, Swifty hysteria swept across the world as fans rushed to stream Taylor Swift’s tenth, new album Midnights. In just one day, Midnights accumulated 88 million streams in the U.S. and over 185 million streams worldwide, breaking the previous record of 183 million streams set by Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny. 

     After three days, Midnights became the best-selling album of 2022, swiftly taking the title even in October, besting albums that have had most of the year to sell units. This new album has been critically acclaimed, with praise directed in a broad range, from vocals, to production, to lyrics.

     “I feel like she’s taken what she’s done with each of her past albums and put it all together into this album,” senior Jaime Kaiman said. “She has the lyricism from Folklore and Evermore but the poppy-type beat from 1989 and Lover.”

     Album drops have become their own type of watch party. Groups of friends get together to listen to the album the minute it is released. Kaiman planned a whole night out with her friend for the Midnights release.

     “My friend planned to be in town, and she picked me up a little bit before it was going to drop,” Kaiman said. “We went to McDonalds, got food, and sat in the parking lot waiting for it to drop.”

     The minute the album is released is quite the hysterical moment. But to intensify the excitement with Midnights, Swift released seven more songs to the album at 3 A.M. EST, releasing the deluxe edition unusually earlier than her usual album releases. 

     “We turned the volume on full blast and screamed the whole time,” Kaiman said. “We screamed so loud that we needed to listen to [Lavender Haze] again because we were screaming too loud.”

     And if friends weren’t listening together, they were excitedly messaging each other.

     “I was getting multiple text messages in all caps being like ‘Oh my god, this one’s so good,’ and ‘Oh, the lyrics of this one,’” Kaiman said. “Definitely lots of communication during it.”

     But like all albums, there are always haters—whether they are haters of the artist, album, or both. Megan Terry, a senior at Monte Vista, is a hater that’s gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. 

     “I think her songs are just corny as hell,” Terry said. “They are just so millennial and bad, and it’s not relatable—for example the lyric, ‘draw the cat eye sharp enough to kill a man.’ Is this who we really are in 2022?”

      Swift fans, nicknamed “Swifties”, have been quick to defend the album.

     “When someone says the album is ‘mid,’ I usually give them a blank stare and ask ‘Why?’,” Kaiman said. “I just tell them to listen to it again because they’re not trying hard enough to like it.”

     Unlike many of Swift’s past albums, which are typically about boy drama or messy breakups, the songs in Midnights reflect on topics such as struggling through insecurities and self-hatred.

     “Anti-Hero,” the most streamed song on the album, is also one of Swift’s favorite songs she has ever written, and she is not alone. Within the first 24 hours of the song’s release, “Anti-Hero,” alone, accumulated 17.4 million streams on Spotify and is the number one song on the Billboard Global. 

     “This song is a real guided tour throughout all the things that I tend to hate about myself,” Swift said in an Instagram reel discussing her album. “We all hate things about ourselves, and it’s all of those aspects of the things we dislike and like about ourselves that we have to come to terms with if we’re going to be this person.” 

     Swift describes Midnights as her struggle through heartbreak, loneliness, and self-loathing.

     “[Midnights] is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams,” Swift said. “The floors we pace and the demons we face…Midnights, the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life.”