Album Review | Midnights by Taylor Swift


Brooke Bass, Writer/Volunteer

If I had to describe Taylor Swift’s newest album, Midnights, in one word, it would be “extraordinary.” The anticipation for this album was almost palpable in view of the fact that fans had not received an album with solely new music from her in two years.  With the release of Swift’s solemn yet elegant sister albums evermore and folklore in 2020, fans did not know what to expect from this new album. 

Upon first listen, I — and many others — found that Midnights had a new, yet familiar sound. Many people thought that Midnights consisted of music replicating some of Swift’s other albums: Reputation, 1989 and Lover. Reputation’s signature sound lies in its distorted synths, which can be found on songs such as “Vigilante Shit” and “Mastermind.” 1989 is a classic pop album with upbeat drums, catchy choruses and — of course — a New York City reference which corresponds to “Anti-Hero,” “Maroon,” “Question…?” and “Midnight Rain.” Lover is another pop album that radiates the uplifting energy of self-acceptance and falling in love. Songs like “Lavender Haze,” “Bejeweled” and “Labyrinth” fit this category best. 

Next, I’d like to dive into the meanings of a few of my favorite tracks. 

“Anti-Hero” is the lead single from Midnights, marking over 340 million streams on Spotify at the time of writing. This song can be described as discordant or bittersweet. The lyrics depict Swift’s own insecurities, highlighting that she thinks she is the problem and that everyone around her agrees. However, the instrumental that backs these heartfelt lyrics is upbeat, just like another one of her classic pop tracks. I think this symbolizes how a person can feel so down and insecure on the inside, but seemingly happy on the outside. I think this is a relatable topic that can resonate with anyone and could be a reason why “Anti-Hero” is the most streamed song off this album. 

Next, I would like to shine a light on a track that many fans were disappointed with when Midnights first came out, but has grown to become one of my favorites: “Snow On The Beach.” This solemn and beautiful track featuring Lana Del Rey describes the feeling of falling in love and how that process can be so otherworldly. Swift uses the analogy of snow falling on the beach because when one concept with a specific meaning contradicts itself, it can be surprising.

When you think of the beach, you may think of summer, waves crashing on the shoreline, the sun beaming. But in the winter, when snow starts to fall, the beach does not demonstrate those preconceived notions. This does not mean that snow on the beach is a bad thing. It’s different, but still beautiful. When Swift first started her career in the music industry, her critics claimed that she only wrote songs about breakups. “Snow On The Beach” is quite the opposite. Instead of a breakup, Swift wrote about what falling in love felt like and how it was different from her past relationships, describing it as “weird, but beautiful.” 

Finally, I want to talk about my favorite track from this album: “Karma.” This song is all about how your own happiness and success is like karma to anyone who doubted you. Swift has been a juggernaut in the music industry for over 10 years now, and she has dealt with her fair share of haters and trolls. However, she persisted and never paid attention to the people who doubted her, and her success proves to be karma to those with that negative mindset. This is the perfect uplifting song to push you to achieve your goals and ignore those who keep you down. 

In my opinion, one of the best things about an artist with a fanbase of millions and over 10 diverse studio albums is that each person will have a different opinion on that artist than the next. Many fans debate over which Taylor Swift album is the best, but the truth is that there is no wrong answer. This is what makes Midnights such a beautiful album: It is a collage of Swift’s past work and newfound musical styles