Review: Taylor Swift drops new album ‘Midnights,’ surprises fans at 3 a.m.


Nora Vedder

In a graphic, Taylor Swift’s album cover for ‘Midnights’ claims the showcase spotlight. The album has a total of 20 tracks, including the seven she dropped at 3 a.m. the night of the release. ‘Midnights’ came out Oct. 21.

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Taylor Swift released her 10th studio album titled “Midnights” on Oct. 21 – at midnight – followed by seven bonus tracks released in the 3 a.m. version for a total of 20 tracks. Swift said the story behind the album is the 13 sleepless nights that have kept her lying awake throughout the middle of the night. Days before she released the album, Swift announced that “Anti-Hero” would be the lead single for the album.

Track 1 “Lavender Haze”

Cate Emma: 9/10

Opening the album, “Lavender Haze” has this synth-pop music vibe that is similar to Swift’s song “I Think He Knows” and “Cruel Summer” off her “Lover” album. “Theoretically, when you are in the Lavender Haze, you’ll do anything to stay there and not let people bring you down off of that cloud,” Swift said in a social media post.

The song is very lively, and I think it is a great way to intrigue listeners and start off the album.

Track 2 “Maroon”

Sofia: 10/10 

As seen with other songs by Swift, she has used shades of red to describe her love. For example in the song “Red” she sings “but loving him was red” or in the song “Daylight” where she sang “I once believed love would be (burning red), but it’s golden.” The song describes one of Swift’s past loves as something “Maroon.” The song has been allegedly said to be a parallel song to “All Too Well,” the 10-minute version that was released Nov. 12. 2021.

The darker shades of red represent Swift’s maturity and growth in her relationships through the years. Overall this was a great song from beginning to end, the lyrics and the composition of the song itself were all so good. This song brings back nostalgia from Swift’s second re-recorded album “Red (Taylors Version).” Maroon is definitely one of my favorite songs on the album. 

Taylor Swift

Track 3 “Anti-Hero”

Cate Emma: 8/10

The opening beats to “Anti-Hero” sound very similar to ‘Only the Young,’ which was featured in Swift’s ‘Miss Americana’ documentary in 2020. “Anti-Hero” was the first song to have a music video on the album. Taylor has previously talked about the struggles of being a woman in the music industry and how the entertainment industry over-sexualizes women. Women in music specifically tend to have a shorter run than their male counterparts. As women get older, they tend to become less relevant. In the song she compares herself to the younger, newer artists, and how she feels enveloped by the reality of aging.

Overall, I really enjoyed the song and how she was able to take a song with such a deep meaning and make it sound upbeat.

Track 4 “Snow On The Beach” ft. Lana Del Rey

Sofia: 9/10

“Snow On The Beach” is Swift’s fourth track on the album. The song starts off with a sublime and majestic tune to highlight Swift’s vocals. The meaning behind “Snow On The Beach” is when something too good to be true happens and it feels so surreal. “The song is about falling in love with someone at the same time as they’re falling in love with you,” Swift said in a social media post. “And you’re kind of looking around going, ‘Wait is this real? Is this a dream? Is this for real? Is this really happening?’ Kind of like it would be if you were to see snow falling on a beach.”

The soothing and beautiful lyrics of this song also make it another one of my favorite songs on the album. It reminds me of those special moments you wish could last forever, but when they come to an end it feels like everything was just a dream. 


Track 5 “You’re on Your Own, Kid”

Cate Emma: 9/10

Swift is known for putting her most emotional, heartfelt songs as the fifth track on her albums. “All Too Well” off of “Red”, “The Archer” off of “Lover”, and “my tears ricochet” off of “folklore” are just a few. This track does not disappoint. Swift discusses her insecurities in the large music industry, the reality of growing up, and how she can feel alone in her struggles. The song is written so well. Swift writes a song, burns the lyrics, and suddenly she is on her own trying to figure her life out.

Track 6 “Midnight Rain”

Sofia: 8/10

Different from the other songs on the album, Swift uses a whimsical and toned-down version of her voice to record the track. The song represents growth instead of settling for something that you aren’t looking for. 

Track 7  “Question…?”

Cate Emma: 7/10

Similar in sound to Swift’s ‘Out of the Woods’ off of her “1989” album, the song starts off with an upbeat tone building into the rest. The opening lyrics “Good girl, sad boy,” seem to be a connection to ‘Style’ of her “1989” album as well. The song about is looking back on a previous relationship and the questions Swift is asking are toward her former partner asking how their new relationship compares to their old one. 

Track 8 “Vigilante”

Sofia: 6/10

This song starts off with edgy and darker beats that tie back to Swift’s “reputation” era back in 2017. The lyrics focus on getting revenge on people who wrong you, as well as karma which leads to the 11 track on the album “Karma.”

Personally, this song wasn’t one that stood out to me, but the overall effect and mood of the song were all set well. 

Taylor Swift

Track 9 “Bejeweled”

Cate Emma: 10/10

“Bejeweled” was the second song on the album to receive a music video. Swift took a twist on the typical Cinderella story and made it her own. The video features cameos from the Haim sisters and Laura Dern. “I want to make a video that is just for the fans who like certain things like glitter and easter eggs,” Swift told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show on Oct. 24. “There are so many (easter eggs) we could not keep track.”

I thought the song was super bubbly and whimsical. It is one of my top three on the album.

Track 10 “Labyrinth”

Sofia: 9/10

“Labyrinth” is one of the more heartbreaking songs on the album. Swift uses a soft and angelic tone in her voice to describe the fear of falling in and out of love. Overall the message of the song is the difficulty and the pain you go through when getting over a past relationship with somebody.

The song was so heartbreaking and sorrowful making it another one of my favorites of the album. 

Track 11 “Karma”

Cate Emma: 6/10

Through Swift’s previous work, fans have theorized Karma as an album, the original album that was supposed to be after “1989.” Karma was mentioned heavily in her album “reputation” and it was written twice on the infamous “The Man” music video wall. The anticipation for the song once the name was revealed was huge. Swift has previously said “The world moves on, another day another drama, drama. But not for me, not for me, all I think about is karma” in “Look What You Made Me Do” and this new song assures that notion.

Knowing more of the context of the song made me appreciate it more, however, I think there are definitely stronger songs on the album.

Track 12 “Sweet Nothing”

Sofia: 5/10 

“Sweet Nothing” has a soothing and sweet melody that stays the same throughout the song. Swift describes her healthy and sweet status in her relationship. I didn’t find this song as appealing as the others, but its sweet tune gives a sense of relaxation. 

Track 13 “Mastermind”

Cate Emma: 10/10

Swift revealed “Mastermind” as track 13 in the first video of ‘Midnights Mayhem With Me’, a video series that premiered on TikTok starting on Sept. 21. Closing out the album, Swift connects back to her song ‘invisible string’ off of folklore where she states that her and her partner, actor Joe Alwyn, are meant for each other, and were brought together by fate however it wasn’t all up to fate. Swift confesses she had a hand in the game in order to bring the two together. One of the lines, “​​I’m only cryptic and Machiavellian ’cause I care,” references Niccolò Machiavelli, an Italian diplomat, author, philosopher and historian who lived during the Renaissance. Being called Machiavellian is saying someone is sly, deceptive, distrusting, and manipulative, which Swift describes as being a ‘mastermind.’ The title goes hand in hand with how fans call her a mastermind for all the clues, easter eggs, and hidden meanings she leaves in her work. I loved this song, it was super upbeat and catchy while also making me want to dive in deeper to her lyrics.

Track 14 “The Great War”

Sofia: 8/10

This track was one of the bonus tracks Swift released in the ‘3 a.m’ version of the album. The chorus of the song was good and illustrates a significant image – overall, I enjoyed listening to the song. 

Track 15 “Bigger Than the Whole Sky”

Cate Emma: 6/10

“Bigger Than the Whole Sky” sounds similar to Swift’s “Daylight” off of her “Lover” album. The song is about losing someone you love, even though you have only known them for a short time. Throughout the song, she uses imagery of nature, through the sea, birds, and ashes she creates a sense of peace.

Track 16 “Paris”

Sofia: 9/10

This song brings me back to Swift’s “Lover” era back in 2019. I loved listening to this track – it gives an uplifting and joyful mood. 

Track 17  “High Infidelity”

Cate Emma: 6/10

Combining the sounds of “Renegade” Swift’s collaboration with Big Red Machine and “long story short” off of “evermore”. “High Infidelity” continues to discuss cheating and infidelity as previously mentioned in Swift’s past work through songs like “illicit affairs”, “august”, “betty”, “no body no crime”, and “ivy.” 

Track 18 “Glitch”

Sofia: 6/10

Swift starts off singing about a relationship that ends up becoming serious. Personally, even though Swift did a great job with the lyrics this song is one of my least favorites on the album. 

Track 19 “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve”

Cate Emma: 7/10

The song has connections to some of Swift’s past work like “I Know Places” off of “1989” and “mad woman” off of “folklore”. Fans believe this song is about John Mayer, who Swift dated at 19. She released this song as track 19 on the album she released at 32, the age he was when they dated. “Dear John” off of Swift’s “Speak Now” album is also rumored to be about Mayer. I really liked how this song felt different from the rest of the songs on the album but still fit the overall vibe. 

Track 20 “Dear Reader”

Sofia: 8/10

The track “Dear Reader” is the last song on the album. I loved the advice and the thought that Swift put into the lyrics. It gives a very calming and soothing melody. The main purpose of the song was to describe Swift’s ‘reinvention,’ which also is seen in ‘look what you made me do’ in her ‘reputation’ album back in 2017.