Review: Taylor Swift “Midnights”

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Fans had been eagerly awaiting the release of Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” album since she announced it at the 2022 MTV VMAS.The album was finally released on Oct. 21 at midnight EST, sticking to the album’s theme of the early morning hours.

There are 13 tracks in the “Midnights” album that delve into her personal life experiences, her insecurities and her past relationships. Let’s look at songs from “Midnights” and explore some fan theories.

Perhaps, the four best songs in the album are “Lavender Haze,” “Maroon,” “You’re On Your Own Kid,” “Bejeweled” and “Sweet Nothing.” Each one is complete with great production from Jack Antonoff, Swift’s heavenly vocals and a killer bridge as to be expected of a Taylor Swift song. Each song carries its own distinct theme and story.

“Lavender Haze” explores her feelings about her current relationship with English actor Joe Alwyn constantly being in the public eye and the rumors circulating about them. Meanwhile “Maroon,” the track right after “Lavender Haze,” does a complete one-eighty where Swift revisits a past relationship, and realizes how toxic it was after removing herself from it.

“You’re On Your Own Kid,” is a unique song because it is the fifth track of the album. The fifth track on any of Swift’s albums is known for taking rather an emotional turn. It tells a story of loneliness and constantly waiting for “your moment,” only to realize that you can’t spend your whole life waiting for something good to happen or you’ll miss out on so many good things.  

Swift organizes her songs into three categories. One of these categories is “glitter gel pen songs.” As the name implies, these songs are usually more upbeat and catchy pop songs with meaning still behind them. “Bejeweled” is a quintessential glitter gel pen song.

Last but not least, “Sweet Nothing” is the most heart-warming song on the album, with lyrics written by Swift and Alwyn. With almost a dreamy lullaby-like melody, the song explores the comfort and happiness of their sweet relationship.

Now for the biggest criticism of this album. The songs “Anti-Hero,” “Snow on the Beach,” “Question…?,” “Labyrinth,” “Karma,” and “Mastermind” all felt half-baked. The lyrics to all the songs were underwhelming and made the songs feel like they were unfinished.

“Anti-Hero” was marketed as being the song Swift delved deepest into her insecurities in her entire discography. So it was disappointing to see that the lyricism was incredibly underwhelming in this song. 

Along with “Anti-Hero,” the most anticipated song of the album might have been “Snow on the Beach.” Many Lana Del Rey fans were excited about her collaboration with Swift in this new album. However, the final product was disappointing as we expected a verse from Lana, not background vocals. The two singers each have a beautiful, unique voice, and the song would have been even better if the two took turns singing verses.

“Question…?” and “Labyrinth” share a problem: they are easily forgettable. Neither of these songs is particularly bad in the area of singing or lyrics; it’s rather the production. The music hardly changes across the song, so it’s hard to feel any emotional intensity from either of them.

“Karma” is not a bad song. The lyrics and production are all great and blend together well. When compared to some of the bonus songs, it’s hard to figure out why Swift would choose this one to put on the main album instead. “Mastermind,” the closing track, is similarly disappointing.

The album, unfortunately, has two songs we’ve deemed skips. “Midnight Rain” is filled with voice distortion, which is incredibly jarring and makes it almost hard to listen to. While “Vigilante S***” has lyrics heavily reminiscent of 2014 Tumblr, such as: “Draw the cat eye, sharp enough to kill a man.”

It feels almost similar to her self-titled debut album “Taylor Swift” or her second album “Fearless” in the sense that you can see she has potential that is not being fully utilized. Compared to her older albums, “Midnights” was definitely not her best work and it felt unfinished. 

 The “Midnights” album was highly anticipated amongst fans, as she hasn’t released a new album since “Evermore” in winter of 2020. However, the “Midnights” album feels almost like half a concept, an unfinished album. As longtime fans, we would not call this album particularly bad by any means. It’s just not her best work. Following the release of her new album, Taylor Swift announced her Eras Tour which will start in March of 2023 and end in Los Angeles in August.