Tenth Time’s the Charm



       Taylor Swift has engraved herself in music history as one of the most successful and beloved singers the industry has ever seen. Release after release, the fans, nicknamed “Swifties,” drop everything to listen to Swift’s newest track or record. Although, the reaction to Taylor Swift’s new album, “Midnights,” never could have been anticipated. 

At the 2022 VMAs (Video Music Awards), Taylor Swift received the awards for Best Longform Video, Best Direction for her short film/music video “All Too Well” (Ten Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version), and Video of the Year. While collecting her third award, Swift announced her upcoming album to the crowd and 3.9 million viewers on television, erupting the crowd into celebration. Its release date was October 21.

Taylor Swift as she accepts the award for Video of the Year at the VMAs. (CNN)

“Midnights,” produced by Republic Records™, consists of thirteen tracks, or “thirteen sleepless nights,” according to Swift. A somewhat of a deluxe version of the album titled “Midnights (3 A.M Edition) includes an additional seven tracks. This is her tenth studio album, not including the re-recordings of her previous records. The singer rose to fame in the mid-2000s as a country singer, but she slowly shifted into the pop genre. With other albums such as “Speak Now,” “1989”, “Lover,” and now “Midnights,” Taylor Swift is the most streamed female artist on Spotify. Upon the release of her new album, she has broken numerous other records, including:

  • Most streamed album in a single day (184.6 million streams)
  • Most streamed artist in a single day (228 million streams)
  • Apple Music’s biggest pop album of all time
Taylor Swift’s new album cover for “Midnights” includes the track list in order of appearance. (Spotify)

The most important record that Taylor Swift has recently broken is that of the Billboard Hot 100. In 2021, rapper Drake occupied nine out of the Hot 100’s top ten. Swift surpassed him and other artists, such as the Beatles, making her the first to occupy all ten spots. Another personal victory for Swift, her new hit song, “Anti-Hero,” has reached number one on the Billboard charts. This is her ninth song to hit number one. On top of record-breaking success, Taylor Swift has recently racked up six more American Music Awards, maintaining her spot as the most-awarded artist in the organization’s history. 

Hard-core Taylor Swift fans began to delve into “Midnights” almost immediately. Swift is known for writing almost exclusively about falling in love, breakups, and other aspects of relationships. Since the singer has an array of past relationships, most of the meaning pulled from the album is based on educated guesses. Throughout the investigation into the new album, it is suspected that many of the songs are about her current boyfriend of six years, actor Joe Alwyn, who co-produced some of her music. Although one particular song, “Midnight Rain,” is rumored to be about Tom Hiddleston, another actor Swift dated. Regardless of who the songs are about, the captured message is that throughout the highs and lows of love, one must not see in black and white. One must look at the grey of life during the hard midnights.

Amid her widespread success, Taylor Swift announced her first tour in five years. Due to COVID-19, she could not tour for her last three albums. The North American, and in the future international, was named the Eras Tour. Not only will the setlists showcase Swift’s new music but also pay homage to her previous nine albums. The concerts will feature many opening acts with artists such as GAYLE and Paramore. Eighth-grader Payton Connors says, “especially since I like her earlier albums, I think this tour will be a really good representation of her career for the fans.” However, the tour’s announcement has caused significant problems. Ticketmaster, a service used to purchase tickets for events like concerts, instantly made a ton of money from the Eras Tour. They bought another similar company, Live Nation, eliminating other competing retail ticket sites. Ticketmaster was the only company making money off the tour, and they were doing so at expensive rates. A ticket for one of Taylor Swift’s concerts was sold on the platform for $22,000. There is a question that the U.S. government is now investigating: “is Ticketmaster a monopoly?” Since Ticketmaster has been buying out its competition in the last few years, there may be no other alternatives to choose from when purchasing tickets, such as those for the Eras Tour. Public sales on Ticketmaster for the concerts have ceased, and Congress will hold a court hearing to discuss the matter.

The poster for Swift’s new tour with dates beginning in 2023. (Instagram)

With overarching success across many categories, Taylor Swift will no doubt sweep upcoming award shows, enchant concert-goers on her tour, and continue to move the hearts of many with her music. In the words of Swift herself, “are you ready for it?”