Worth Staying Up? A ‘Midnights’ Album Review


Lucy Goldberg, Deputy Arts Editor

I am a Swiftie, and seeing that Taylor Swift was releasing a 10th studio album felt like a dream. I immediately bought the vinyl online as soon as I could. Once the album came out I was blown away. I wasn’t sure if it was my favorite album by her because the adrenaline may have altered my perspective of the album. But now, after listening to it many times, it’s definitely in my top three albums of hers. The aspect of her looking back on her life was so beautiful, especially considering that she was shamed during many of the times she reflects on in this album.


Swift is a hugely popular artist and has already won 11 Grammys so far in her career, claims the official Grammy Awards. Since the release of Midnights, Swift became the first artist to have claimed the first 10 spots on Billboard Hot 100 at once. Midnights also had the biggest streaming week of the year with 375 million streams. This is also the first time in history where a man is not on the top ten of Billboard Hot 100, according to Rolling Stone.


In the past two years, Swift has released two re-recordings of her albums, Fearless and Red. Swift’s fans, known as Swifties, were expecting another re-recording before any new album would come but Swift shocked many when she announced at the 2022 VMAs that she would be releasing her album, Midnights. In her Instagram post describing the upcoming album, she wrote the caption “Midnights, the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life, will be out October 21. Meet me at Midnight.” 


This album’s aesthetic is unlike any of her previous work. She is often pictured with glittery, cool-toned eye makeup and ’70s outfits. As for the sound of the album, it is very breathy and feels dreamy to the listener. Lavoz News states, “Taylor Swift introduces dreamy pop songs with Midnights.”  This album, as stated, brings us back to her pop genre. Some songs, such as “Karma,” have a similar vibe to her 2017 album Reputation


After taking a deeper listen to the album and focusing on the lyrics, Swift seems to be reflecting on her life in this album. The 19th track on the album, titled “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve,” is most likely referring to Swift’s past relationship with fellow singer John Mayer, whom she dated when she was 19 and he was 32. A powerful lyric from the song that is beautiful, relatable, and gut-wrenching, has specifically impacted me: “Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first.” It shows the innocence that was stolen from her by Mayer.


There is only one collaboration on this album. Track 4, titled “Snow On The Beach”, features singer Lana Del Rey. For certain fans of Del Rey, this was an underwhelming song. Insider states, “‘Snow on the Beach’ is pretty, but it drags — especially when you’re expecting a verse from Lana Del Rey that never comes.” This collaboration has been long-awaited and it’s easy to understand why people would be upset that“Snow On The Beach” only features backup vocals from Del Rey instead of a verse. 


Since the release, Swift has released two music videos. Her first was for “Anti-Hero,” which she has said to be one of her favorite songs she has written. This song mainly touches on being a villian to yourself. She mentions her struggles with body image and how she was often the main person tearing herself down. Swift also shares her internal struggle with the feeling that no one genuinely loves her and she will only be remembered for her fame, as stated in the bridge when Swift  sings “I have this dream my daughter in-law kills me for the money.” 


The second music video released was for the song “Bejeweled.” In this video she puts her own twist on the fairytale Cinderella. The video has many cameos including the band HAIM, Laura Dern, Dita Von Teese, Pat McGrath, and Swift’s own producer, Jack Antonoff. 


This album satisfies what was craved by many swifties, including me: a change from her folk era back to pop and an absolute no skip album. If you have not listened to this masterpiece I suggest you do so, even if somehow Taylor Swift isn’t someone you normally listen to.