LH Album Review: Taylor Swift: Midnights

Taylor Swift tells the story of 13 sleepless nights with her 10th full-length studio album, Midnights.


Sadie Bodzin, Editor

Known for love stories and revenge machinations, superstar Taylor Swift has experimented with genres from country to pop to, most recently, indie-folk with folklore and evermore. So, it was a surprise when Swift’s latest release Midnights turned out to be an energetic, electronic, synth-pop album. Originally released with 13 tracks, three hours after the album’s release, Swift revealed seven more songs with Midnights 3am Edition. 

Midnights combines the sounds of three of Swift’s albums, 1989, Reputation, and Lover to form a chaotic yet sleek, mostly energetic, electro pop album. The vocal modulations and buzzing synth beats throughout the album are akin to Lorde’s Melodrama which isn’t a surprise as Jack Antonoff was a big part of both projects. The 3am tracks, however, are entirely more cryptic and depressing than the first 13 tracks and are more to the description of turmoil and tears that Swift released. 

Swift references some of the hardest points in her life with this album. “You’re On Your Own, Kid” discusses her body image issues and a relationship she didn’t feel enough in, with lyrics like: “I hosted parties and starved my body/Like I’d be saved by a perfect kiss.” The most upsetting track for me to hear is “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” where Swift grieves her 19-year-old self before “losing her innocence,” referencing “Dear John” off of her third studio album Speak Now. The parallels between the songs are genius and add more depth and understanding for the listeners.

Swift has been praised tremendously for her songwriting ability, with her brilliant musicality especially showcased in folklore and evermore. But, the lyricism in Midnights often felt lacking and artificial. “Karma” feels cringy with lyrics like: “’Cause karma is my boyfriend,” and “Me and karma vibe like that.” Overall, some of the lyrics were simply lacking in detail and her incredible metaphors weren’t showcased as much with this album.

“Sweet Nothing,” which was written by Swift and her longtime boyfriend Joe Alwyn under the pseudonym “William Bowery,” the song showcases a more vulnerable side of Swift. “I’m living on such sweet nothing/But I’m tired of hope with nothing to hold,” muses Swift. “Snow on the Beach,” a collaboration with Lana Del Rey, showcases dainty and elegant vocals from both artists. “Anti-Hero,” which Swift released a music video for, recognizes self-image issues with lyrics like “I’ll stare directly at the sun, but never in the mirror.” Though Swift’s storytelling lyrics as seen in songs like “the last great american dynasty,” and “champagne problems,” are some of my favorites to listen to, it is nice to hear her being so vulnerable about her own personal issues that many of her fans could possibly relate to. 

Tracks like “Maroon,” and “Bigger Than The Whole Sky,” which are personal highlights of the album, showcase Swift’s duality in Midnights alone. Whether you want a sappy love song or a song you can cry your eyes out to, Midnights has it all. With production comparable to Reputation and Lover, the lyrics on Midnights diverge into an area of sensitivity Swift hasn’t really shown before. Yet again, Taylor Swift has proven her capabilities as a versatile and incredibly talented artist, and I’m always excited to hear her music.