Taylor Swift is endorsing late night with her first original album in two years.
The 11-time Grammy Award winner unveiled her 10th studio album, “Midnights,” on Friday, following a surprise announcement at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards.
Swift, who is currently in the midst of revisiting her early albums to reclaim ownership of the work released under her former label Big Machine Records, moved away from the folk-rock sound of 2020’s “Folklore” and “Evermore” to something more mainstream.
“Midnight is a collage of intensity, highs and lows and ebbs and flows,” he told fans social media Release follows. “Life can be dark, starry, cloudy, terrifying, electrifying, hot, cold, romantic or lonely. Just like midnight. Which is out now.”
As “Swifties” flocked to Spotify to listen to the record in the middle of the night, the streaming giant faced overwhelming traffic and users reported worldwide outages.
But despite initial technical issues, the 13-track album, almost entirely written, produced and performed with Swift’s longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff, is already popular with fans.
“Can’t stop listening to Midnights. This whole album is amazing! You are such a genius, @taylorswift13!” A fan wrote on Twitter.
Another said: “Taylor Swift mothered Midnights so hard that no one will come close to her level of awesomeness. This woman is not only a talented writer, but also a brilliant musician. I never doubted her.”
Music critics were equally enthusiastic about the album, although some noted its subdued tone.
Giving “Midnights” a five-star rating, Alexis Petridis of The Guardian described the sound as “pop rich with self-loathing and stereotype-smashing” and “foggy, atmospheric and tastefully subdued”.
He added that: “Midnights brings him back to electronic pop from the ‘Folklorian Woods’ of his last two albums.
Take a look back at Taylor Swift’s most influential moments
Petridis also noted that Swift’s much talked about Lana Del Rey collaboration, “Snow on the Beach” is “beautifully done – a perfect gene-splice between their two musical styles with a great melody – but it’s a long way from a great peak.” Two pop icons: there’s a charming lightness of touch about it, a restrained melding 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 dizzying bath of synths complementing songs caught between a love story and a revenge plot.”
For LA Times pop critic Michael Wood, the song-writing and vocal performance on “Midnights” carried the album.
“She’s playing with cadence and emphasizing the grain of her voice like never before … you finally stop caring what’s taken directly from Swift’s real life and what’s not,” he wrote.
Matthew Neal of the website Clash Music gave “Midnights” an 8 out of 10, writing that the album “feels both visceral in its presentation and gritty in its execution.”
“Defined by the dark night of the soul and cast in the same blue-purple hue, ‘Midnights’ offers little revelatory purpose to those who have yet to succumb to Swift’s allure,” he explained. “For those already impressed by his craft, however, this could reasonably be recognized as his best album to date.”