Midnights: Her Finest Hour!


Maroon Staff

On October 21, 2022, Taylor Swift released her new album titled Midnights.

Ethan Karp

October 21 was supposed to be the day of all days. As a major Swiftie, I was particularly interested in what the sound of Midnights would be. At the stroke of midnight, I found out: Taylor Swift’s Midnights is a pop album reminiscent of 1989 and reputation in terms of its prominent synthetic sound. Although I expected the aesthetics of folklore and evermore, I still enjoyed the album because it achieves the right balance of catchiness and darker tonality.

In my opinion, the best aspect of Midnights is its lyrics, and I find certain songs on the album to contain some of Swift’s best lyric writing I have listened to so far. Swift’s strong suit has always been and always will be her ability to write lyrics that flow, move the soul, and intrigue listeners into picking up their dictionaries. For instance, Midnight Rain explores some of Swift’s deep inner thoughts about a past relationship. Swift describes what could be interpreted as her significant other at the time as a “montage” alluding to the haunting memories of a doomed relationship that continue to loop in her mind. She also refers to him as a “slow motion, love potion” which communicates how she didn’t realize what she had until it was too late. Swift conveys her regret for how she treated him but that it was necessary as they both got what they wanted: Swift “chasing the fame” and her significant other “wanted a bride.” It’s in a song like this on Midnights that shows the personal growth Swift has gone through; that we’re all human and that being haunted by your past mistakes and them keeping you up at midnight is a part of owning up to them. Those restless thoughts capture the very spirit of what Midnights as a concept album is.

The other highlight of Midnights is Anti-Hero, a word-for-word of Taylor’s deepest mental health struggles. Although “It’s me! Hi! I’m the problem, it’s me!” isn’t Swift’s most brilliant lyric, it is how she delivers her lyrics that makes them powerful. Swift sings them in a lively and honest tone along with a pop soundtrack, giving the impression that there were times in her life when she believed that her identity did not fit the mold that was assigned to her. This contradicts the image Swift has crafted for herself because most people think of her as a strong, independent, songwriter-feminist. In the song, however, we realize that Swift is a person who is not as confident in herself as she projects. 

Midnights is the culmination of many pieces of Taylor Swift’s previous songwriting and discography. A reflection on her haunting past and reminiscence of nostalgic events. Some songs are new and innovative, but others serve as a return to the familiar pop sounds of 1989 and reputation. On a scale of 1 to 5, Midnights deserves a 4.5; another triumph for Taylor Swift. In short, Midnights succeeds in Taylor Swift’s ability to continue to story tell and find ways to relate to her audience.