Taylor Swift’s Midnights Album Review
Molly Kober, Staff Writer
On August 28th, megastar Taylor Swift won two VMA’s and decided to show her gratitude by announcing her tenth studio album, Midnights. Fans were unsure of what to expect from the 11-time Grammy winner as she has a tendency to keep the world on its toes.
After much anticipation and many sleepless nights, the album is finally here.
Starting off with a bang, “Lavender Haze” is an upbeat and uplifting tune describing finding stability in a relationship and blocking out the noise. While lyrically unique, the song is sonically similar to “I think he knows”, the sixth track on her seventh studio album, “Lover”. Both tracks contain similar happy, high notes in the chorus mirroring the tone of the song.
“Sweet Nothing”, track 12 on this album, is beautifully simple and encapsulates the calm security found in a loving relationship. Here, Taylor Swift’s mellow and clear voice absolutely melts listeners.
While many fans were thrilled at the prospect of a collaboration between Taylor Swift and Lana Del Ray, “Snow on the Beach” seemed to fall short of expectations. While melodically beautiful, Swift seems to take the lead on the vocal aspect. Many were hoping to hear more of Lana Del Ray’s famously lower and dark-toned voice yet were disappointed as she is mainly featured in the backing vocals. This track is describing the unbelievable feeling of falling in love at the same time as your partner. This song is warm, soft, and soothing, capturing a moment of pure bliss.
Track ten “Labyrinth” is a personal ballad with high-pitched, captivating verses that eventually bring listeners back down in the chorus with lower-toned, simple repetitive phrasing, encompassing the fear and surprise of falling in love.
This album is nothing but versatile as seen with the piercingly energetic song “Bejeweled”. “Bejeweled” is a boastfully carefree tune about rediscovering yourself. These vivacious harmonies take this song to the next level, reminding listeners to find their shine.
Throughout this album, Swift often references the various societal pressures she feels. The song “Midnight Rain” is no different. This fast-paced independence anthem emphasizes the internal battle between pleasing those around you and going after what you want. Upon first listening, the unexpected reverb is shocking but over time becomes a lively beat.
Track seven “...Question?” is a quick-paced, exciting tune all about seeking answers and finding closure. The campy autotune at the end of the bridge is absolutely electric.
“Anti-Hero” is a deep reflection on Taylor Swift’s tricky relationship with her fame and larger-than-life persona. In the music video, Swift gives listeners a closer look into her insecurities regarding friendships, body image, as well as her battles with “ghosts” from her past. While the singer-songwriter has an abnormal life, the themes in this track remain universal and applicable to the average person.
Swift has a pattern of using the track five slot as her designated sad number and this album is no different. “You’re on your own, kid” takes listeners through the trials of growing up and the loneliness and uncertainty that accompanies this journey. The childlike softness in her voice provides listeners with a front-row seat to the hard truths she faced as a young star throughout her life and career.
Many fans have theorized since 2016 that Taylor Swift had a project titled “Karma” in the works. It was teased in interviews and music videos for years and, finally, it’s here. Swift brilliantly flips expectations with an upbeat banger full of pettiness and zingers. “Karma” is about finally getting what’s yours and absolutely reveling in it. It is an invigorating and essential moment on this album.
“Maroon” is track two on the Midnights album and is an angsty ballad about falling in love on a tightrope and dealing with the aftermath. In the final chorus, Swift brings her voice to a raw, low register, illustrating the exhaustion of replaying events over and over in your head.
Track thirteen, “Mastermind” is a confession of scheming and plotting in order to get exactly what you want. This track contains hints of anxiety and apprehension but is resolved by the end when a joint knowingness is acknowledged. The deeply vulnerable bridge section fits beautifully within the song.
The Midnights album is certainly one of Taylor Swift’s best bodies of work. Her growth as an artist is ever-present through the multitudes of lyrical and sonic callbacks throughout the album.
Between the raw emotion, the variety of sounds, the strength in her voice, and the vivid detail, this album is a can’t miss.
PHOTO CREDITS // GETTY IMAGES