Taylor Swift: What the critics are saying about her new album, Midnights

Her latest release embraces introspection and electronic instrumentation.
Her latest release embraces introspection and electronic instrumentation.

Taylor Swift has released her 10th studio album Midnights to much fanfare, with critics publishing a string of glowing reviews.

In the American singer-songwriter’s follow-up to 2020’s Folklore and Evermore, Swift tells the story of 13 sleepless nights throughout her life which grapple with love in the glare of fame.

The 32-year-old created much excitement after announcing the album in late August but kept details of the record scarce with only minor teases via social media.

The songs delve into complex and strained romances, and also appear to reference her own personal relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn.

Alexis Petridis of The Guardian gave the “sophisticated” album five stars, writing that its “cool, collected and mature” feel makes it unique from “everything else currently happening in pop’s upper echelons”.

He added: “It’s an album that steadfastly declines to deal in the kind of neon-hued bangers that pop stars usually return with, music brash enough to cut through the hubbub.

“The sound is misty, atmospheric and tastefully subdued.”

Rolling Stone magazine’s Brittany Spanos similarly gave Midnights five out of five, praising how “Swift lets her intrusive thoughts win” to create an honest, introspective record and “leaves more and more to be uncovered beneath the purple-blue synth fog on the surface”.

With a rating of four stars, Neil McCormick of The Telegraph wrote that the album has “a sensuous electro-digital sound”.

While the reviewer felt the album had “no obvious chart-smashing bangers”, he acknowledged that “Swift fans will love this album”.

He said: “Midnights pivots back towards mainstream pop following the analogue Americana of her more reflective pandemic albums, Folklore and Evermore.”

The Times’ Will Hodgkinson also gave a four-star rating, singling out the album’s “icy effects” and “synthesized vocals”.

Describing Midnights as “essentially an old-fashioned singer-songwriter album about human weakness”, he added that “Swift is doing what she has always done: taking themes of the heart and cementing them to solid Nashville songcraft”.

Hannah Mylrea of NME agreed with this assessment and provided the same rating, hailing the album as “a shimmering return to pure pop”.

She said: “Midnights is what plays in the rideshare home, city lights swirling past when the night is winding down but you’re on the hunt for the afters.”

Esquire’s Alex Bilmes gave an eight out of 10 score and declared Midnights “an Instant Classic”, writing: “As ever, Swift flip flops between bitter recrimination, wistful nostalgia and romantic ecstasy.”

Swift is set to embark on a tour in 2023 for the first time in five years.

She will also be returning to The Graham Norton Show on October 28.