Midnight Mayhem with Taylor Swift

Sophia Edwards, Writer

After weeks of midnight surprises and easter eggs by the one and only Taylor Swift, Midnights is finally here. Swift’s tenth studio album recounts the stories of thirteen (plus seven from the three a.m. edition) sleepless nights throughout her life. Different from her previous two albums, folklore and evermore, Swift returns to the pop scene with this experimental, fun, yet vulnerable album almost entirely produced by Jack Antonoff. Influences of Reputation and 1989 with a touch of Lover all come together in the album that encapsulates falling in love, self-loathing, falling apart, fantasizing about revenge, and wondering about what might have been. 

The opening track, “Lavender Haze,” highlights the genuine love for her longtime relationship with boyfriend Joe Alwyn and rejects archaic expectations people set regarding marriage and pregnancy reminiscent of the 1950s. Swift communicates this through the lyrics “All they keep asking me/ Is if I’m gonna be your bride/ The only kinda girl they see/ Is a one night or a wife.”

Track two, “Maroon,” illustrates a night full of wine, laughter, and love. The track is effortlessly catchy and combines the beloved elements of Reputation and Lover while allowing insight into the Red era (as Swifties have theorized). Unlike the light-hearted theme of “Maroon,” the following track “Anti-Hero” conveys Swift’s insecurities, and as she puts it “not feeling like a person.” Swift portrays this idea of being her worst enemy in a literal way through the music video by cloning herself to personify her self-loathing. So, don’t be fooled—this song may be upbeat, but it’s a representation of Swift’s darkest nightmares, intrusive thoughts, and everything that haunts her at night. 

“Summertime Sadness” singer, Lana Del Rey, makes an appearance as both songwriter and vocalist on track four “Snow On The Beach.”  Despite its controversy on social media (yes, Lana should have gotten a verse), this ethereal and folklore-esque song balances out the more upbeat tracks on the album. Similar to the reaction every Swiftie had when Midnights was announced, Swift describes the song in one question: “Wait, is this real?.” She equates the shock of “falling in love with someone at the same time they’re falling in love with you” to seeing snow on a beach—unexpected but beautiful. 

A true anthem of independence, growing up, and learning from mistakes, “You’re On Your Own, Kid” is perfect for any fan of Red, and is sonically reminiscent of Lover’s “It’s Nice To Have A Friend.”  At the end of the day, the only person you can truly rely on is yourself. The following track “Midnight Rain” also speaks on self-reflection and finding comfort in being alone after a mutual breakup. The following track, “Question..?,”  acknowledges that while that relationship belongs in the past, there’re a lot of questions that naturally arise. 

Tracks eight and nine, “Vigilante Sh!t” and “Bejeweled” are both beloved by fans; “Bejeweled” has especially been on repeat for its catchy chorus and fun music video that may or may not hint towards Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). The perfect dance song after track ten, “Labyrinth,” “Karma” plays with the idea that the universe will always be on Swift’s side which is reflected in the lyrics “Karma’s a relaxing thought/ Aren’t you envious that for you it’s not?.” Co-written with William Bowery (aka Joe Alwyn), Swift expresses the comfort and peace she feels in her current relationship in “Sweet Nothing.” Being one of the biggest celebrities in the world isn’t exactly easy; at the end of the day, Swift is grateful to have someone who sees her for more than just Taylor Swift popstar and public figure. 

Last, but not least, track thirteen “Mastermind” reveals Swift’s tendency to plan her life out far in advance. In her words “I laid the groundwork and then, just like clockwork/ The dominoes cascaded in a line.” Swift has previously mentioned that she hints at albums and songs years before they’re actually released, and drops easter eggs whenever she can. So, it’s fitting that she would end the album with the line “’Cause I’m a mastermind.” 

           Or so you think that’s where the album ended. Just as everyone was getting ready to sleep from staying up until one a.m. to stream the album upon release, Swift continues the already eventful night (or should I say morning) and drops seven new tracks at three a.m.—the witching hour just got crazier. “The Great War”, “Bigger Than The Whole Sky”, “Paris”, “High Infidelity”, “Glitch”, “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve”, and “Dear Reader” prove that even the scrap songs Swift creates are unique and album-worthy. 

All in All, Midnights showcases that even after ten albums and sixteen years in the music industry, Taylor Swift still proves to be one of the most talented songwriters of our time. Whether she’s singing country, indie, pop, or even folk, there’s a song for everyone to enjoy and relate to.