By Toyin Owoseje, CNN
(CNN) — Taylor Swift endorses late nights with his first original album in two years.
Swift, who is currently revisiting her early albums in a bid to reclaim the work she released under her former label Big Machine Records, has gone from the folk-rock sound of “Folklore” and “Evermore.” from 2020 to something more mainstream.
“Midnights is a collage of intensity, ups and downs, ebbs and flows,” she told fans on social media following the exit. “Life can be dark, starry, cloudy, terrifying, electrifying, hot, cold, romantic or lonely. Just like Midnights. Which is available now.”
As “Swifties” rushed to Spotify to stream the record at midnight, the streaming giant experienced overwhelming traffic and users reported outages around the world.
But despite the initial technical issues, the 13-track album, almost entirely written, produced and performed with longtime Swift collaborator Jack Antonoff, is already a hit with fans.
“I can’t stop listening to Midnights. This whole album is amazing! You’re so awesome, @taylorswift13!” a fan wrote on Twitter.
Another said: “Taylor Swift mothered so hard with Midnights that no one will ever come close to her level of prodigy. This woman is not only a talented writer but also a smart musician. I never doubted of her.”
Music critics were equally enthusiastic about the album, although some noted its subdued tone.
Awarding “Midnights” a five-star rating, the Guardian’s Alexis Petridis described the sound as “pop rich in self-loathing and shattering stereotypes” and “hazy, atmospheric and tastefully understated”.
He adds that: “Midnights delivers her firmly from what she called the ‘folkwoods’ of her last two albums back to electronic pop.”
Petridis also noted that Swift’s much-talked-about collaboration with Lana Del Rey, “Snow on the Beach,” is “beautifully done — a perfect genetic splice between their two musical styles with a gorgeous melody — but it’s far from complete.” to be a summit platform between two pop icons: there is an astonishing lightness of touch, a restrained fusion of their voices.”
According rolling stone Writer Brittany Spanos, Swift’s new album “picks up where 1989’s pure pop triptych Reputation and Lover left off, a dazzling bath of synths complementing lyrics caught between romance and revenge plot “.
For LA Times pop critic Mikael Wood, the songwriting and vocal performances in “Midnights” carry the album.
“She plays with cadence and emphasizes the grain of her voice like never before…eventually you stop caring about what’s pulled straight from Swift’s real life and what isn’t,” he writes.
Giving “Midnights” 8 out of 10, website shock musicMatthew Neale writes that the album “feels both voyeuristic in its exposition and brash in its execution”.
“Defined by the dark nights of the soul and cast in the same blue-violet hues, ‘Midnights’ offers little telling purpose for those who have yet to succumb to Swift’s charms,” he explained. “For those already influenced by his artistry, however, it can reasonably continue to be recognized as his best album to date.”
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