Album Review: “Midnights”


Taylor Swift’s new album Midnights gives you a look into 13 sleepless nights throughout her life and takes pieces from many of her past albums and records. October 21st was a sleepless night for “Swifties” after Taylor dropped Midnights, her 10th studio album, and then Midnights (3am Edition) just hours later as her very chaotic surprise that she had announced in recent posts.

Midnights could have been any genre – it could have been upbeat pop like Lover, indie-folk like folklore and evermore, or even country like her first album – but this one was different. This experimental pop album could be described as synth-pop, mixed with indie pop, and is a chill album, but it’s also a rollercoaster of emotions. 

Midnights starts off strong with “Lavender Haze,” a song inspired by rumors going around about Swift and her boyfriend, actor Joe Alwyn. The track has an upbeat sound, along with great storytelling, as she describes the feeling of being in love and having her partner not care about her history and her past. The record describes the happiness and will to do anything to stay in this stage of her life. This song really kicks it off to a great start, showing the aesthetic of the whole album.

Next on the tracklist is “Maroon,” and already by looking at the title, the album and song Red come to mind. This track sounds similar to past songs, and it tells a story nicely. It is calm but has a lot of energy and is more complex than “Red.” It is a song you could have in the background, or a song you could turn up and sing to.

“Anti-Hero” is a perfect lead single for the album; it is upbeat and relatable to many. It is a parallel to her song “The Archer,” from the album Lover, and it is one of Taylor Swift’s “favorite songs [she] has ever written.” It is more of a pop song compared to the other songs, with a little bit of comedy, while still including important struggles. 

The collaboration many have been waiting for has arrived, between Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey, with the song “Snow on the Beach.” Although Del Rey doesn’t have her own verse, the backing vocals sound perfect together. The song has a nice sound and the meaning is different and original. It is about being in love with someone who loves you back, and how it feels weird but amazing at the same time, as if it was snowing at the beach.

“You’re On Your Own, Kid” is another relatable song, this one about a young person wanting love but understanding they are alone. It definitely sounds like a song from a past album, but a little darker. It is a soft alt-pop song with good, relatable lyrics.

The sixth song, “Midnight Rain,” sounds different at first, with Swift singing in a deeper voice, but it is a clever song. It’s dark, catchy, and it fits the theme of the album well. It is a complex song and really grows on you after a couple times of listening to it.

“Question…?” is a really catchy song that’s upbeat and similar to “Out of the Woods,” as they are both about looking back on memories of past relationships.

The revenge-filled song “Vigilante Shit” is dark and moody. It is about past drama that could either be with Kanye West and the drama he caused at the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards, or Scooter Braun, who bought the rights to Swift’s first six albums.

“Bejeweled,” the second single, is confident and bubbly. As she walks into a room, “she can make the whole place shimmer” despite what’s happening in her life at the time.

“Labyrinth” is straightforward and, again, relatable. It is a softer song and is about finding love after a heartbreak, which fans have seen her do. A lyric from the song was even used in her NYU graduation speech: “breathe in, breathe deep, breathe out.” 

“Karma” is a song many fans were waiting for, after it was mentioned in a music video for a song from her album Reputation. The track is bubbly and upbeat as Swift celebrates while her enemies get their karma. It is catchy and petty, and a great song.

The twelfth song, “Sweet Nothing,” is slow, soft, and filled with gratitude. It is about Swift and Alwyn, and it describes the peace of the relationship. As she is constantly watched and under scrutiny, her boyfriend simply wants “sweet nothing” from her.

The last song is “Mastermind,” which she has proven herself to be with all of the easter eggs and cryptic messages she slips into everything she does. The track is about her schemes to ensure she ends up with her partner, and how he knew all along as she sings, “You knew the entire time/You knew that I am a mastermind.” 

Midnights (3am Edition) surprises “Swifties” as a double album, including seven extra songs. The tracks are a mix of the whole album’s style and are just as good, with important messages and relatable lyrics. They include bubbly songs such as “Paris” and “Glitch,” as well as darker ones like “High Infidelity” and “Bigger Than the Whole Sky.” 

Overall, the album is dark at times, bubbly at others, and relatable all the way through, The revenge-filled pop songs mixed with softer ballads and dark lyrics form an unexpected but whimsical mix. The album is chaotic and emotional, combining aspects of old albums while still being its own creation.