Taylor Swift sent the world into a frenzy when she announced her tenth album, “Midnights,” would be released Oct. 21.
As the album approached, Swift dropped several short videos on TikTok about it in a series called “Midnights Mayhem with Me.” In the videos, she used a bingo wheel to determine which song title she would reveal.
Swift also took to billboards to tease lyrics and promote the album. A trailer for “Midnights” even premiered during “Thursday Night Football.”
Anticipation was so high, in fact, that Spotify crashed upon the record’s release. Despite this glitch, Swift broke Spotify’s record for most-streamed album and artist in a single day.
Like many others, I stayed up until midnight (haha, get it) in anticipation of the album. And I have to say, it was worth the wait.
“Midnights” is completely different from Swift’s recent studio albums “folklore” and “evermore.” It’s much more reminiscent of her pop records “1989,” “Reputation” and “Lover.”
Rolling Stone has labeled “Midnights” an instant classic, and rightfully so.
“Midnights” is refreshing; it’s synthy, poppy and electronic. On this record, Swift is vengeful and gives us a glimpse into her deepest, darkest thoughts. I just can’t get enough of it.
The album opens with “Lavender Haze,” a danceable track that’s been stuck in my head since I first heard the chorus. In this song, Swift addresses tabloid rumors about her and Joe Alwyn’s relationship. She also tackles her desire to defy gender roles, singing, “I'm damned if I do give a damn what people say / No deal / The 1950s shit they want from me / I just wanna stay in that lavender haze.”
“Maroon” is next, and it’s one of the stand-out songs. It feels ethereal, with Swift’s beautiful vocals echoing over an electronic beat. The bridge for this track was one of my favorites as well.
Following “Maroon” is “Anti-Hero,” a poppy song in which Swift acknowledges that she is in fact the problem. This song’s strikingly relatable; all I’ve gotta say is Swift knows her audience very well.
“Snow On the Beach” features Lana Del Rey, my favorite artist of all time. When Swift announced this collaboration, I was elated. I was slightly disappointed upon listening to “Snow On the Beach” once I realized Del Rey didn’t have a verse, but it’s still my favorite song from “Midnights.”
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Del Rey’s backing vocals are simply perfect, and I love the way she sounds with Swift. Once I finished listening to “Midnights” the first time, I played this song on loop, and I’ve had it on loop since. I’m not the only one who loves this track — “Snow On the Beach” broke Spotify’s record for biggest debut for a female collaboration.
“You’re On Your Own, Kid” is beautifully bittersweet. I like to imagine it as a song meant for Swift’s younger self. She gets extremely personal here, revealing, “I gave my blood, sweat and tears for this / I hosted parties and starved my body / Like I'd be saved by a perfect kiss.”
The beginning of “Midnight Rain” was a bit of a jumpscare. The shift from “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” to distorted, deep vocals was jolting and completely unexpected. I’m not really a fan of the distorted effect, and I think I’d like this track better without it.
On “Question…?” Swift seems to be reflecting on a failed relationship. She wants closure, and asks a former lover if he wished he fought more for her, if he could still touch her and so on. She drives home the fact that her ex lover will never have such a special relationship again.
“Vigilante Shit” is exactly what it sounds like it’d be: a girlboss anthem. It’s very reminiscent of Swift’s “Reputation” era and fits the vengeful tone of “Midnights” very well.
“I don't start shit, but I can tell you how it ends / Don't get sad, get even / So on the weekends / I don't dress for friends / Lately I've been dressin' for revenge,” Swift sings.
I’d also classify “Bejeweled” as a girlboss anthem, and it shows us that Swift knows her worth. She considers herself a jewel that doesn’t sparkle for others, but for herself.
“Labyrinth” is one of the most beautiful tracks from “Midnights.” It’s simply divine, and I found myself absorbed in Swift’s vocals and stunning instrumentals. This is certainly a love song; a nice, sweet break between themes of vengeance.
“Karma” picks up the pace as Swift celebrates her foes – those who’ve done her wrong – getting a taste of their own medicine. “Sweet Nothing” follows “Karma,” and it’s another love song. It’s mellow, and the lyrics are very cute.
Swift closes the album with “Mastermind,” a song in which she reveals that she came up with a scheme to make her long-time relationship successful. The bridge in “Mastermind” has some of my favorite lyrics from the album: “No one wanted to play with me as a little kid / So I've been scheming like a criminal ever since / To make them love me and make it seem effortless.”
So, after finishing “Midnights” and listening to “Snow On the Beach” a few more times, I went to sleep feeling happy. I loved the album, and I was excited to listen to it the following day.
Imagine my surprise when I woke up to seven more songs.
Yes, Swift dropped an additional seven tracks to the album at three in the morning. They’re on a separate record titled “Midnights (3am Edition).” Swift revealed on Twitter that these additional songs were written during the production of “Midnights.”
These tracks included some of my favorites.“Bigger Than the Whole Sky,” a solemn track about bidding someone goodbye, made me emotional to say the least, and it gave me some serious chills. In “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” Swift sings of a relationship she had with an older man at age 19. This song feels like a punch to the gut in the best way.
And now, the line that gave me full body goosebumps: “Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first.”
“Dear Reader” concludes the additional tracks. Here, Swift is giving us advice, but she warns us to “never take advice from someone who’s falling apart.” So what do you want us to do, Taylor? Do we take your advice or not?
I guess that’s up to the listener.