Swiftly to the top of the charts

Midnights streamed over 1 million times in first week

This October, after much hype and speculation, Taylor Swift dropped her latest album, Midnights, to mixed reviews across the board. While some praised the album’s striking aesthetic and emotionally powerful lyrics, others were apprehensive of the differing style from her earlier material. I’m here to say these people are WRONG. Midnights is an absolute masterpiece and one of the best albums she has ever released.

True T-Swizzle enthusiasts are well aware of her various “eras,” each encapsulating a contrasting yet brilliant part of her heart and worldview. The youthful country sass of Speak Now, the natural and acoustic feel of Folklore, and even the controversial saccharine bubblegum pop of Lover are all amazing staples of her discography. Midnights fits in perfectly among these, adopting a dreamy and floating vibe and utilizing an indie pop feel to convey the theme of the album, which is songs about personal topics that have kept her up until midnight over the years.
From the opening track, “Lavender Haze,” you are sucked into Taylor’s world. It is an excellent opener, with the phrase “Meet me at midnight.” both setting the tone and exciting the listeners who have been waiting for the album to drop for so long. “Lavender Haze” centers on Taylor’s struggle in separating her private life from what the public wants from her, wanting to stay in the “lavender haze” of her unlabelled relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn.

Then, of course, there’s the fan favorite “Anti-Hero.” This track is essentially Taylor addressing the claims made against her saying that she constantly makes songs about having her heart broken by men but has failed to examine the idea of herself being the problem. At first, fans were skeptical of the song due to some of it’s lyricism like the line “Sometimes I feel like everybody is a sexy baby, and I’m a monster on a hill” being a topic of discussion among confused listeners (before the reveal that it was a reference to the popular TV show 30 Rock). Despite this, it has quickly shot up the charts to Top 25 on the pop radio chart and a shocking number 1 on the U.K. overall music charts along with being a staple in many “Best of Taylor Swift” playlists.

I feel like the honest writing style lends itself beautifully to the song. The verse in particular about her having a nightmare where her daughter-in-law kills her for her money feels so raw and personal that it’s hard not to be invested in her plight and relate to her insecurities.
The album does include a feature from Lana Del Ray, though if you weren’t extremely familiar with her voice and style you wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell. “Snow On The Beach,” the track Lana sings on, she is purely backing vocals. While this has been controversial among people expecting a climactic feature from her, I think it adds to the dreamy feel of the song.

The song focuses on Taylor’s feelings of her newfound love being like a strange but beautiful dream and at times feeling too good to be true. Without the backing vocals, this could have turned into simply another “Wildest Dreams,” but Lana Del Ray’s vocals add a real magic to the song like I don’t think I’ve ever heard before on a mainstream pop album.

My favorite song on the album has to be “Bejeweled” hands down. I have streamed this song over 500 times since this album came out (as of November 8th, 2022… definitely more by the time this is published).

I wish I was joking.

I am OBSESSED with this track. I love the bouncy feel of the song and the addition of the occasional “Nice!” and the sounds reminiscent of sparkling diamonds are very fun to listen to.

This song is one of the strongest aesthetically, with the visuals of jewels and glitter setting the perfect mood. You can just feel the careless joy Taylor was having with the song through the instrumental, lyrics, and vocals. The music video, featuring a cameo from her long-time friends HAIM, is also brilliant.

My least favorite song on Midnights is most likely “Sweet Nothing.” Don’t get me wrong, the song is absolutely stunning. It just goes to show that even the songs on the album that aren’t my favorite are still amazing. I’m just less of a fan of the minimalistic style.
However, it is pulled off exceptionally well in this song. This one is about the delightful simplicity of love, so the modest style makes sense. Sweet Nothing is a sweet and peaceful tune, and deserves its place near the end of the album.

Overall, Midnights is well worth the listen, even if you aren’t a big Swiftie, but ESPECIALLY if you are one. The best songs are absolutely incredible, and the worst songs are still bangers. Taylor’s prowess in the pop genre shines through like sunlight through a stained glass window, magnified through the bedroom indie aesthetic. Now, here’s just hoping she releases the rerecording of Speak Now sooner rather than later.