Taylor Swift’s new album introduces a new Taylor


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Taylor Swift poses for a photo at the 2022 MTV Awards, where she announced the release of “Midnights.”

With the release of her first song, “Tim McGraw,” in June of 2006, Taylor Swift began her work in the music industry as a country singer-songwriter from West Reading, Pennsylvania. Now, with 10 studio albums as of October 2022, Swift has left her country roots behind, embracing a more poppy, alternative style with albums such as “Evermore” and “Midnights.”

According to the New York Times, with the release of Swift’s fifth studio album, “1989,” she cut ties with her original country sound, marketing “1989” as her “first documented, official pop album.” “1989” would later become her most successful and longest-charting album, according to The Swift Museum.

On Oct. 21, Swift released “Midnights,” her 10th studio album. The electronic pop album is dominating the charts; on Oct. 31, Billboard announced that the album’s songs took up all of the top 10 spots on its Hot 100 list. This marked the first time in history that there were no male artists in the top 10, according to Far Out Magazine.

Cierra Martin, a Guilford senior and Taylor Swift fan, shared her thoughts on Swift and her relevance in today’s music industry: “I believe she is extremely relevant and has been and will always be. She is the first artist ever to occupy all top 10 spots of the Billboard Hot 100…She outsells most everyone.”

“Midnights” is Swift’s newest work since the surprise release of “Folklore” and “Evermore” in 2020. The singer surprised her fans when she announced “Midnights” at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, after accepting the video of the year award for “All Too Well (10 Minute Version).”

“’Midnights,’ the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life, will be out October 21.” Swift announced on Instagram later. “Meet me at midnight.”

Guilford students provided their thoughts on Swift’s newest album.

““I think ‘Midnights’ is a great album,” Martin said. “It encapsulates who she is as an artist now and has ties back to all of her previous albums.”

“I love ‘Midnights,’” said junior Morgan Kinney. “I think it is so amazing and is a very mature album. I don’t think it’s her best ever, but it is definitely up there.”

When asked about whether she thinks that Swift changed her style to stay relevant, Kinney said, “Partly, yes…but I also think as she has gotten older, she has found her own sound. Also, moving away from Nashville and the country music culture there has probably influenced her pop sound.”

Just hours after the release of “Midnights,” Swift was already breaking records, as it became the most-streamed album in a single day in Spotify’s history. According to popculture.com, Spotify shared the news to its Instagram and Twitter accounts, saying, “And before the clock could even strike midnight on October 22nd, Taylor Swift broke the record for the most-streamed album in a single day in Spotify history.”

Parke Puterbaugh, a professor in Guilford’s music department, shared his insight into Swift’s career and her developing musical style.

“I think she has made stylistic changes throughout her career because she has a creative artistic sensibility and also wants to reach as many people as possible,” he said. “In that sense, I believe she is this generation’s Madonna, minus the gratuitous sexuality and shock value.

“I think it’s an attempt to mature by embracing more adult themes and more contemporary styles,” Puterbaugh said of “Midnights.” “But personally I prefer ‘Folklore’, ‘1989’ and ‘Red.’”