Taylor Swift Shares Her ‘Midnights’

Jocelyn Rodriguez, Staff Writer

The Red (Taylor’s Version) era has officially come to an end with the release of Taylor Swift’s 10th album Midnights on Oct. 21, 2022. After winning the Video of the Year category, she first announced her album at the VMAs. The album Midnights follows Swift through “the stories of thirteen sleepless nights scattered throughout…[her] life.” The songs focus mostly on herself, something different from her usual style.  Many have different opinions on the new album, but personally, I really enjoyed it. Midnights is different from her other albums Folklore and Evermore, which were the last albums she released that aren’t rerecordings. Here’s a run-down of some of my favorite songs on Midnights.

The opening song to Midnights is “Lavender Haze,” a very upbeat song. Swift said that this song is about her current relationship with Joe Alwyn. She got the phrase “Lavender Haze” from watching the movie Mad Men, and discovered it was a saying to describe being in love used in the 1950s. Swift explains how in her relationship with Alywn, they had to avoid and ignore certain odd rumors that were spread in the media. The song describes the feeling of love slowly creeping up on you and you don’t care about what the rest of the world has to say about it. You just want to stay trapped in the lavender haze because of its comfort. 

The second track on Midnights is “Maroon”. If you ever wanted a different word for “red”, this is the perfect song to listen to. This is one of my preferred songs from the album. Swift takes us on a nostalgic journey through her memories of a romantic affair and begins reminiscing over late nights and spilled wine. The memories of the romantic relationship seem to have been important since it was enough to have “robbed her of her oxygen” when the relationship ruptured. This deep message was successfully carried in a slow, almost ballad-like rhythm. Definitely not a song for disco.

“Anti-hero” became one of the most popular songs on Midnights and is also Swift’s most personal song. In the song, she describes herself as the problem in her life: “It’s me/Hi!/I’m the problem/It’s me.” Swift released the music video for Anti-Hero after the release of the new album. The video became very controversial as Swift included a clip where she is weighing herself, and the scale reads “Fat”. People assumed she was fat-shaming others, for as the video continues, it shows her feeling downcast after looking at the result shown on the scale, and her inner self shaking her head at her. But what most don’t know is that Taylor Swift has struggled with eating disorders and body image. The clip was soon deleted from the music video on Youtube.

The beginning of “Snow On The Beach” reminds me of cringey Christmas Hallmark movies but in the best way. “Snow on the Beach ft. Lana Del Rey” depicts the joyful feeling of falling in love while knowing the other person feels the same way. This song has gotten many mixed reviews, as the most we hear from Lana Del Rey are her background vocals and an occasional “snow on the beach.” People were extremely excited about their collaboration but felt disappointed to find out you could barely hear Lana Del Rey in the song. “I think Lana could’ve been more prominent, but the song is still good,” said senior Kendra Leroux. Apart from the mixed feelings, I personally really enjoy this song. Although it is a bit sad that we don’t hear much from Lana Del Rey, I think the whole vibe of the song gives off more Lana Del Rey vibes than Taylor Swift vibes.

Track five on the album is “You’re On Your Own, Kid.” This song describes Taylor Swift wanting to be noticed by a boy. She waits for him to finally see her, but he never does. The song states, “I wait patiently/He’s gonna notice me.” Disappointed, Swift continues on with her life, but after becoming successful, she finds herself still feeling lonely. The song also mentions Swift’s past struggles with eating disorders: “I hosted parties and starved my body.” Although she has been through trials and tribulations, she still has managed to have one of the greatest careers of all time. 

“Midnight Rain” depicts Swift talking about breaking up with her significant other. A lot of fans suspect that she wrote this song about breaking off her relationship with either Tom Hiddleston or Taylor Lautner, two of her past exes. She has previously written songs about both those relationships, “Getaway Car” from Reputation describing Hiddleston and Swift’s relationship and “Back to December ” from Speak Now about her relationship with Lautner. The song says “He wanted a bride/I was making my own name,” describing how she wasn’t looking for a serious relationship at the moment and wasn’t ready for the next big step because she was focused on her career. I deeply enjoyed this song. I loved how she described her significant other as “sunshine” and herself as “midnight rain.” 

“Question…?” follows Swift asking her love interest many questions. The main one repeated is “Did you ever have someone kiss you in a crowded room…” The questions asked are also about her significant other’s prior relationship: “Did you leave her house in the middle of the night?” The relationship seems to be struggling with miscommunication. It almost sounds like she is trying to make her significant other admit to their actions or thoughts. 

“Bejeweled” explains Swift finding her worth after being in a relationship where the love interest doesn’t treat her right. She is taken for granted by her significant other, but although she misses him, she knows she is off better without him. In the song, she says, “I miss you/But I miss sparkling.” In the end, Swift finally knows her worth and realizes that she doesn’t need a man to be happy. 

The first ten seconds of “Karma” had me questioning whether my headphones were giving me karma for the number of times I have dropped them on the concrete floor. “Karma” was one of the most anticipated songs on Midnights since most fans thought it was going to be about Taylor Swift’s feud with Kanye West, but the rumor hasn’t been confirmed. The lyrics satisfy the very soft and airy side of the feminine rage. Karma is also my cat, Meursault, “purring on my lap ‘cause he loves me.” She talks about how karma is a comforting feeling for her, while others fear it and feel envious towards her. 

“Mastermind” is the equivalent of a rom-com for your ears. I love how she reflects the social expectations for women (“‘Cause we were born to be the pawn/In every lover’s game”) and how her own insecurities have shaped her (“No one wanted to play with me as a little kid/So I’ve been scheming like a criminal every since”). It’s a portrayal of how she views her relationships, and how she approaches them. One lyric I found interesting was how she states she is “only cryptic and Machiavellian because [she] cares.” Both words have negative connotations which can be juxtaposed with the rest of the song. One of Machiavelli’s philosophies was that as a ruler, they should be feared rather than loved in order to rule by the fear of punishment, which seems counterintuitive as she states she has been “scheming” to make people love her by producing fear. I think she is referring to one of his famous quotes, “Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.” This quote sums up the song perfectly. As other people glance into her relationship as an outsider, they may call it a chance, coincidence– even fate; however, her significant other understands her well enough to know what she was doing, “On your face, you knew the entire time”, meaning that he has seen a part of her that not many people have. Romantic and philosophical. 

Shortly after the release of Midnights, Swift released six bonus tracks and called them the 3am Edition. 

I think “The Great War” demonstrates Taylor Swift’s abilities and showcases her talent for creating songs filled with delectable metaphors that you can analyze. However, you don’t need to spend your time analyzing the song to figure out that this was a rocky relationship with many struggles. Although, in the end, he chose her. It can also be seen as her own inner thoughts sabotaging the relationship (“Telling you to punish you for things you never did”). But once her significant other assured her that her thoughts were incorrect, she “called off the troops.” I really enjoyed the rise and fall of the tempo. Definitely a song you can crank up the volume to in your car and pour your heart out while driving down the 405. It is also a song that perfectly describes the “great war” that went down at the Era’s Tour pre-sale ticket sale. Wink wink.

“Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” is another beautiful song of Swift’s filled with extraordinary metaphors and imagery that paints a solid picture in your head. The relationship being described was filled with difficult moments for Taylor Swift. It’s a vulnerable song, almost as if she is exposing all the feelings she has bottled. She focuses on the lyricism and expression of her emotions. Examples are, “God rest my soul, I miss who I used to be/The tomb won’t close, stained glass windows in my mind,” and “If clarity’s in death, then why won’t this die/Years of tearing down our banners, you and I/Living for the thrill of hitting you where it hurts/Give me back my girlhood it was mine first.” Most fans believe that this song is about her relationship with John Mayer due to lyrics like, “And I damn sure never would’ve danced with the devil/At nineteen.” Even if you haven’t experienced what she is describing, her lyrics find ways to create a connection between the listener and herself. 

After listening to the entire Midnights album, along with its 3 a.m. bonus tracks, I think it is safe to say that Taylor Swift has wowed her fans all over again. Midnights is such a unique album, each song with such a deep and beautiful meaning. “It’s a very good album! It has great songs for any emotion you’re feeling at the time,” says Freshman Emma Gomez. Overall, I would rate this album a 9.5/10. I adored every single song on the album. Whenever you’re in the mood for some Taylor Swift, tune into Midnights at any time of day!