Taylor Swift’s album ‘Midnights’ is out. So what’s the verdict?




CNN

Taylor Swift is embracing late nights with her first original album in two years.

The 11-time Grammy Award winner unveiled her 10th studio album, “Midnights,” on Friday after a surprise performance at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards.

Swift, who has been revisiting her early albums in an effort to regain ownership of her work with her former label Big Machine Records, started with the folk-rock sounds of 2020’s “Folklore” and “Evermore.” something more mainstream.

“Midnights is a collage of intensity, highs and lows and ebbs and flows,” he told fans. social networks following the release “Life can be dark, starry, cloudy, scary, electrifying, hot, cold, romantic or lonely. Just like midnight. Now it’s all out.”

After “Swifties” took to Spotify to listen to the album at midnight, the streaming giant experienced massive traffic and users reported outages around the world.

But despite early technological issues, the 13-track album, written, produced and performed with Swift’s longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff, is already a hit with fans.

“I can’t stop listening to Midnights. The whole album is amazing! You are such a genius, @taylorswift13!” one fan wrote on Twitter.

Another said: “Taylor Swift rocked Midnights so hard, no one will ever come close to her level of prodigy. This woman is not only a talented writer, but also a brilliant musician. I never doubted it.”

Music critics were equally enthusiastic about the album, although some pointed out its subdued tone.

Giving “Midnights” a five-star rating, Alexis Petridis of The Guardian describes the sound as “pop rich with self-deprecation and stereotype-breaking” and “foggy, atmospheric and gracefully understated”.

He adds: “Midnights makes a firm return from what he called the ‘forest folk’ of his last two albums to electronic pop.”

Petridis also notes that Swift’s collaboration with Lana Del Rey, “Snow on the Beach,” is “beautifully done” — a perfect gene-splitting of their two musical styles with a gorgeous melody — but it’s far from a great pinnacle. from one. two pop icons: there is an incredible lightness of touch, a restrained blend of their voices”.

According to Rolling Stone writer Brittany Spanos, Swift’s new album “picks up where 1989’s pure pop triptych Reputation and Lover left off, a mesmerizing bath of synths that make up lyrics caught between a love story and a revenge plot.”

For LA Times pop critic Mikael Wood, the songwriting and vocal performances of “Midnights” carry the album.

“She’s playing with the cadence and emphasizing the grain of her voice like never before…you finally stop caring what’s straight out of Swift’s real life and what’s not,” he writes.

Giving “Midnights” an 8 out of 10, Matthew Neale of the Clash Music website wrote that the album “feels both voyeuristic in its exposition and bold in its execution”.

“Defined by the dark nights of the soul and set in equal shades of blue-purple, ‘Midnights’ offers little revelatory purpose for those who have yet to succumb to Swift’s charms,” ​​he explained. “For those already enthralled by his craft, however, they’ll want it to be recognized as their best album to date.”