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Taylor Swift’s “Midnights”: An Overnight Success

Did you set your alarm for 12 a.m. on Oct. 21 to listen? Did you ecstatically tune in to each song, not knowing which one of Taylor Swift’s lyrics you would relate to more next? You were not the only one, as fans all over the world anxiously awaited Taylor Swift’s tenth studio album, titled “Midnights”, which she announced during her speech at the MTV Video Music Awards. Swift’s album announcement on Aug. 28th, 2022 sent fans into an uproar before the album was even released. Taylor Swift’s fans, known as Swifties, are notorious for this. What is it about Taylor Swift that makes her die-hard fans never tired of worshiping her?

If Taylor Swift is known for anything, it is writing about the heartbreaks and troubles she encountered during past relationships. Examples of this are seen throughout all of her albums.  “Style”, from her fifth album “1989”, discusses her relationship with fellow star Harry Styles. In “Dear John”, featured on Swift’s third album “Speak Now.”, Swift sings about the heartbreak she encountered during her relationship with John Mayer. These are just a few examples. While many criticize Swift for writing specifically about relationships, her loyal fans love her for this, seeing their own past relationships woven into her lyrics. “Midnights” is no exception to this theme. The album had 88 million streams in the U.S. on Spotify just within the first day of its release. Within those 88 million listens are steadfast fans of Swift, hearing themselves in songs such as “Karma” or “Bejeweled”. When feeling angry, heartbroken or lost, many turn to Swift’s songs, giving her more and more streams and making her the record-breaker she is known as.

While many of Swift’s songs are about love or hatred for another person, a couple of tracks on “Midnights” take a different turn. Track 3, “Anti-hero” and Track 5, “You’re On Your Own Kid” discuss love and hatred in a different manner; they display her hatred towards herself. The lyrics in “Anti-hero” stick out to fans and are already being analyzed by her fanbase on Tiktok under the hashtag “#SwiftTok”. A lyric that has specifically struck a chord with fans is, “It’s me.  Hi. I’m the problem, it’s me.” “SwiftTok” did not hesitate to make this an audio on TikTok, showing the song’s relatable nature. Everyone has likely felt like they are a problem in some situation at some point in their life. As sorrowsome as that may sound, Swift is not afraid to bring this issue to life, making her fans love her even more for her honesty and relatability. As for “You’re on Your Own Kid”, she expresses her heavy emotions on difficult things she has encountered in her life, such as her struggle with an eating disorder. This is displayed in the lyrics “I gave my blood, sweat, and tears for this/I hosted parties and starved my body” Swift is essentially saying she sacrificed her own well-being to be liked by others, so much to the point where she starved herself and drained her social battery. Taylor Swift’s lyrics can now cater to an even larger audience of people, as not everyone may have experienced the emotions that come with a romantic relationship, but mostly everyone has experienced self-loathing at least some point in life.

Taylor Swift does not fail to impress her audience every time a new album or song is released. Whether she is writing about first love, first heartbreak, or self-loathing, small truths are woven within her lyrics that can make everyone feel seen. The relatability of her songs gives them a replay value that is unmatched, making albums of Swift’s such as “Midnights” overnight successes.   

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