Taylor Swift’s ‘Midnights’ demonstrates the star’s hold on the music industry – Annenberg Media

What an exciting week for the Swifties! The 11-time Grammy winner released her tenth studio album at midnight on Friday, aptly named “Midnights.” In true Taylor Swift fashion, the release party was full of surprises, Easter eggs and, for some, tears of joy and sadness. Whether you’re a fan or not, chances are you have something to say about the country singer turned pop, turned folk rock, turned pop again. Meredith McCabe produced this report.

Midnights is already topping the charts – it quickly broke Spotify’s record for most-streamed album in a single day. Fans stayed up all night waiting for her thirteen songs to be released. If you’re a Swiftie, you’ll know that Taylor’s favorite number is thirteen and, as fans would have you believe, the singer doesn’t do anything by accident.

Freshman communications student Grace Oh listened to the album over and over.

GRACE OH: I really liked it. Bordeaux is my favorite song right now.

Swift surprised fans at 3 a.m. by releasing seven more songs. She wrote on Instagram that while the first thirteen songs signify the intensities of “this mystifying and crazy hour”, the additional seven tracks provide insight into her journey to find the “magic 13”.

The singer released her debut album – a series of country songs about love and heartbreak – in 2006. Since then, she’s broken records, played to sold-out stadiums and re-recorded some of her old music for the purpose. to appropriate the tracks. Despite her gender-switching career, Swift has managed to maintain a strong fanbase — 229 million Instagram followers to be precise.

This is Sol Yoo, a young political science and communication student.

SUL YOO: We’ve kind of grown with her, and the audience that she has now, as we’ve seen her really progress in genres and we try to eat everything she puts out, honestly.

Zahra Raja, an expert in international relations and the global economy, attributes Swift’s success to the quality of her songs and her ability to relate to listeners.

ZAHRA RAJA: I think she really relates to a lot of women, and I think a big part of her message is about empowering women and being as authentic to yourself as possible. And the authenticity of his words, I have the impression of attracting a lot of people.

While Swift is best known for her breakup songs that often allude to one of her famous exes, Midnights explores topics like self-loathing and scheming fan comments. For some, this was a welcome change. Esquire called the album “the most revealing music to date”.

Grace Oh, a first-year communications student, spoke about the success of Midnights in relation to the evolution of the music industry.

OH: I think it’s because it’s about change and we’re becoming more and more open-minded about different types of music. We are like exploring new genres. So I have the impression that artists are also experiencing this change. So as they are like adapting, we also adapt.

While the change was welcome for many — Entertainment Weekly called it a dream comeback to pop — the genre and the so-called overproduction were too much for others. Nostalgic for the slower, folkloric rhythm of Swift still and folklorethe Daily Beast called her latest album “shockingly boring”.

However, if you’re actually a fan of Midnights, the thrill of a new album isn’t over yet. Tune into The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon for an interview with Taylor Swift tonight, and, if you’re ready for a second late night, get ready for another music video release tomorrow at midnight EST. . For Annenberg Media, I’m Meredith McCabe.

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