Midnights by Taylor Swift: Album Review


Natalie Ren, Editor

Taylor Swift’s 10th album, Midnights was released last month, since announcing the album in late August, Swift sent her fans into a frenzy with a series of Tiktoks teasing her upcoming songs. It’s safe to say that when Midnights came out on October 21st, it did not disappoint.

All 13 songs on Midnights are unique in their own way. Each song is an expression of Swift’s emotions, feelings, or even just her imagined aesthetic for the album.

On tracks like Karma and Vigilante Sh*t, Swift conjures up her sassy, revenge-seeking alter ego. With vindictive lyrics most likely directed toward high-profile celebrities with who she has had public feuds for years, and ominous murmurs in the background, Swift reveals her revenge fantasy of seeing her rivals get their comeuppance. Yet other songs such as Maroon and Snow On The Beach have a mystical and warm feel to them. Maroon tells the story of a doomed romance, giving the listener an image of the aftermath of a long night fueled by “cheap-a*s screw-top rosé,” along with drums that echo and morph perfectly with Taylor’s vocals. The mystical Snow On The Beach which features Grammy-nominated artist Lana Del Rey does not tell a story but rather sends the listener into a world surrounded by strange beauty and the sounds of twinkling string instruments and Del Rey’s warm harmonies.

While some of Taylor Swift’s previous albums such as Folklore and Evermore come from a fictional narrative, separating her personal life from the emotion and tension that can be felt in her lyrics, Midnights seems like a return to her autobiographical writing style. One of the most diaristic songs on the album, Anti Hero, reveals Swift’s own self-loathing and self-consciousness. Yet instead of being full of self-pity, Swift makes light of her own insecurities and faults. While the lyrics are dark, the beat and melody are upbeat and energetic. “It’s me, hi/I’m the problem,” she says at the bridge, letting her audience know that she is aware of her own mistakes, and the public’s negative perception of her.

Midnights is also Swift’s first album to be fully recorded and produced with her longtime friend and collaborator songwriter and producer Jack Antonoff. With Midnights Antonoff adds a hue of moodiness and vintage imagery through his vivid synth-pop production and storytelling. His contributions to Taylor’s previous albums Folklore and Evermore on songs like “Goldrush” and “Mirrorball” were praised by both fans and critics for being standouts in her work. So it’s no surprise that Swift and Antonoffs collaboration on Midnights would result in an amazing album.

Of course, Swift’s new album is not without its faults. Swift has said that Midnights was intended to be a concept piece of 13 songs, based on troubled sleep, and having the aesthetic of sleepless nights and eerie heartfelt songs. But while the album is certainly dark, there is something off-putting about not being able to hear or feel Taylor Swift’s general cheeriness or brightness that her fans are used to.

But perhaps Midnights is symbolic of Taylor’s career. She along with her music has matured. And while her lyrics may have grown dark, and in a way almost depressing, they are honest, and representative of how much her sound and personality have changed.


The Hawkseye gives Midnights an 8.5/10