Album number ten from Taylor Swift is a return to electronic Pop that foregoes big hooks for atmospheric mood setting. Following on from the title, ‘Midnights’ collects together sleepless ruminations on Swift’s principal topics of unbalanced romantic relationships, critical self image, and the weight of societal expectation.
Produced by Jack Antonoff, there’s a dreamlike quality to the synth swells with beats drawing on towards dusky, pulselike Disco and Synth Pop. While ‘Maroon’ builds and falls, tantalisingly offering a soul-bearing crescendo that never comes, ‘Vigilante Shit’ creeps on a deep bass crawl and sharp rimshot beat with a subtly restrained vocal performance from Swift that is sides towards coldly calculating rather than malevolent.
Album highlight, ‘Snow On The Beach’ is a whispered duet with Lana Del Rey that opens out into an expansive ballad.