Review: Swift’s ‘Midnights’ is Better With Every Listen

The songs on Taylor Swift’s new album take a dive into the many combinations of lovers in 13 of her own lyrical stories.

The album cover for Taylor Swifts Midnights, the story of 13 nights of her life told in songs.

Courtesy of Republic Records

The album cover for Taylor Swift’s “Midnights,” the story of 13 nights of her life told in songs.

Hannah Ruley, Staff Writer

On October 21 at midnight, Taylor Swift dropped “Midnights,” her 10th studio album. The 13-track album is the story of 13 sleepless nights in her life. Swifties all over the world were elated.

Then, at 3 am that same night, Ms. Swift surprised everyone when she dropped seven additional tracks, which she calls her 3 am tracks. I won’t be reviewing those tracks in this article, but I do recommend that you listen to them.

Here is my review of every song on “Midnights.” 

1. Lavender Haze 

This was not my favorite track on the album. The tune is just not my style. The music is similar to Swift’s seventh studio album, “Lover” – and here, too, the song is about two lovers. The phrase lavender haze was used a lot in the ’50s to describe an “all encompassing love glow,”( and that is what the song is about, just being so in love. But, despite the beautiful meaning behind the lyrics, it wasn’t my cup of tea.

2. Maroon 

This is one of the best songs on the album. It has a slow and dramatic tune, and the line “Carnations you had thought were roses, that’s us” is just one example of its beautiful and meaningful lyrics. It is about a love that was passionate, but the two people were also on different pages. Swift describes that love as different shades of red. She uses scarlet, and obviously maroon, which helps you kind of picture it. Altogether I really liked this track.

3. Anti-Hero 

Swift said this was one of her favorite songs on the album to write, and it shows. It is such a fun, catchy song to listen to. It is about being in your own head, and being anxious and worried. I didn’t grasp the full meaning of the lyrics until my second listen. Overall, I think this song was pretty good.

4. Snow on the Beach 

This song features American singer-songwriter, Lana Del Rey. She sings parts of the song and collaborated with the writing of it. The lyrics are soft and melodic, which gives the vibe of soft snow on the beach. The song is about falling in love with someone while they are falling in love with you. In an Instagram reel, Swift describes it as “a cataclysmic event,” and that is just so beautiful. I recommend this song, especially if you love the lyricism of either Swift or Del Rey, because putting them together is just gorgeous.

5. You’re on Your Own, Kid 

This song might be tied with “Maroon” as my number one favorite. It has everything you want in a Taylor Swift song: a great tune, and meaningful-but-heart-wrenching lyrics. Plus, it is just so good to belt out. But the song is about – you guessed it – being on your own. My favorite part is the bridge, which takes listeners through all of Swift’s years in the music industry. “I looked around in a blood soaked gown and I saw something they can’t take away” is just one of the gorgeous lyrics. It is so good, I can’t do it justice here. This song deserves to be listened to, just so people can get it in all of its glory.

6. Midnight Rain 

This song jumpscared me in a couple of places because of the voice effects in the song. In the first few choruses, Swift’s voice is distorted, and it takes you by surprise because the rest of the song doesn’t have that kind of feel to it. “Midnight Rain” is about a relationship in which two people had different ambitions and views of what they want their relationship to look like. The song is catchy and well-written. 

7. Question…? 

This was a relatable song if you have ever been to some big party with all your friends. It is just about drama and asking a question to that one person you like. “Question…?” is very upbeat, and has the type of lyrics that just hit your brain in the right spot; it doesn’t strike you until you sit down and really just listen to the lyrics. It is similar to “You’re On Your Own, Kid” in the sense that the lyrics are meaningful but the tune is so upbeat that you could get lost in the song and almost forget what it is trying to say. 

8. Vigilante Sh*t 

This is just the song you want if your favorite Swift album is “Reputation.” This has the music and vibes to be a song on that album, but it has the lyrical genius and storytelling like “No Body, No Crime,” from her album “Evermore”. The song is about Taylor getting revenge on a man. It is a powerful song that encapsulates pure revenge, and it is so darn good. 

9. Bejeweled 

This song gives off very pop music vibes. An upbeat tune and some alliteration in the chorus make it even more addicting. It was stuck in my head for days. The song is about still having that ‘wow factor’ after a relationship. The song describes walking into a room and still turning heads. It is a really good song and a nice change of pace from some of the more slow and meaningful songs on the album.

10. Labyrinth 

Oh, this song. This song makes me want to cry (in a good way). I love it. I know it is not many people’s favorite, but to me, it is one of the best on the album. The “Uh oh, I’m falling in love,” part gets me every time. If you had to listen to just one of the songs on “Midnights,” I’d probably pick this one. I fell in love with the song because of the lyrics, and how relatable they are to me. If you are a hopeless romantic too, this is definitely for you. 

11. Karma 

So, karma. Arguably, it is one of the worst songs on the album. The lyrics were just not the best and the song didn’t fit the more vengeful and “Reputation” esque vibe I thought the song would have.  I thought this song would be more in the same boat as “Vigilante Sh*t” but it just wasn’t what I was expecting. The song never grew on me, and I still don’t really like it. 

12. Sweet Nothing 

This is one of the sweetest songs I’ve heard in a long time. I suspect it is about Taylor and her boyfriend Joe Alwyn. Joe even collaborated on the writing of the song. It shows pure love, and it is so soft, in a good way. The song is everything you want love to be about. The music reminds me of some of Swift’s older songs, with the beauty of her lyrics from her albums “Folklore” and “Evermore” but more cheery. “Sweet Nothing” is a must-listen.

13. Mastermind 

This song is everything you’d want it to be and more. It is just so pure and has all the elements of a good song. It depicts a relationship where someone ‘schemed’ their way into it, and how they feel guilty for it, and worry the other person doesn’t really love them. But in reality, the other person in the relationship knew they were doing this, and they love them in spite of it. It is a really sweet song. 

Overall, I loved “Midnights.” I know many people did not have a good first impression of it, and I was one of them. I think people had really high expectations and that if they gave the songs time they would like them, which is what happened to me. Now, I am super excited when I see a “Midnights” song come up on my playlist.  The lyricism is definitely something to listen for, and maybe you’ll find your new favorite song.

So, yes, I think you should listen. The album shows Swift’s range as a singer and writer. It truly is a fantastic album with fabulous melodies and heart-wrenching lyrics.