By Amelie Arango & Keira De Vita
On August 28, 2022, the world of music essentially froze, or at least for upwards of thirteen million people. The yearly ceremony of the VMAS occurred that night. With live performances and astonishing results, it was a night to remember. Yet, the thing that most noticeably topped off the night was the moment Taylor Swift accepted her third VMA of the night, Video of the Year, for the All Too Well Short Film. When Swift accepted the award, she included in her speech something that would drop the jaws of people around the globe.
Midnights, which will be Swift’s tenth studio album, was announced to the world at midnight on August 29. Along with the album announcement, a slew of physical music products were launched to the Taylor Swift website: a CD, a vinyl, and a cassette tape. Ever concerned about detail, she released a contraption that would allow for fans with all four vinyl variants to make it into their very own clock. Swift has slowly released easter eggs and extra products to the public since the night of the releasal. Swift fans quickly jumped to their computers when four different versions of her Midnights CD’s and vinyls went live on the website. The world later found out that these CD’s create a clock on the back of the physical music pieces. Not even two weeks later, there was a lavender version CD and vinyl released through Target as well. Included are three special tracks, as well as new images for the album inside. Through a TikTok video posted at midnight on September 20th, Swift announced that she would be announcing the track list one song at a time, determined by a bingo cage filled with ping-pong balls that have a number on them. With a shalant amount of luck Swift rolled out the 13 ball. She announced that track 13 is a song called “Mastermind,” and later a few days later revealed track 4 is called “Vigilante S**t.”
Along with the release of the album title, Swift also released a premise of the theme which encapsulates what the album is about.
Swift has gradually released re-recordings of her past albums throughout the last year and a half, the most recent being Red (Taylor’s Version), featuring the #1 hit, “All Too Well (10 minute version) (From the Vault) (Taylor’s Version).” While she pauses her re-recording journey for the release of Midnights, Swift will continue to release her past albums, as she has acquired the trademarks for Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), 1989 (Taylor’s Version), and Reputation (Taylor’s Version). Previous to the announcement of Midnights, Swift fans speculated that either Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) or 1989 (Taylor’s Version) would be released, so Swift’s announcement of a new album came as a surprise.
In preparation for the upcoming album, highly suggested listen-to-albums would be 1989, Tracks 5, 7, 9, 10, and 15 from Lover, and evermore, It is rumored that this next album will be a pop album, her last original pop album being Lover. While evermore has a completely different sound than 1989 or Lover, the dark aesthetic of Midnights has fans believing that the album will be toned-down and more acoustic, similarly to evermore. Here is a list of two songs from each album that we recommend to listen to to fully immerse yourself. Debut: “Should Have Said No,” and “Picture To Burn.” Fearless (Taylors Version): “White Horse” and “Mr. Perfectly Fine.” Speak Now: “Dear John” and “Better Than Revenge.” Red (Taylors Version): “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (From the Vault)” and “I Bet You Think About Me.” 1989: “Shake It Off” and “You Are In Love.” Reputation: “Look What You Made Me Do” and “Dress.” Lover: “Soon You’ll Get Better,” “The Archer,” and “London Boy.” Folklore: this album in specific has a trio of songs that tells a story line: these being “Betty,” “Cardigan,” and “August.” Last recommendation from this album, “mirrorball.” evermore: “evermore” and “marjorie.” These songs are two songs from each album that will aid in delving into the world of Taylor Swift. These pieces of art are musts.
Overall, fans and non-fans alike are looking forward to a new era of Taylor Swift’s music. The new music, although no one has a clue what it is like, seems to resonate with a wider audience of pre-existing fans that enjoy a new genre of music—music that everyone finds exciting, no matter what genre of music is their favorite. This “darker” 1989 has everyone excited for the project, as well as what Swift has in store.