Hot or Not: Taylor Swift “Midnights” album review

by Olivia Berard, Copy Editor

The Swifties have finally gotten what they wanted: a brand new Taylor Swift album. All new music and nothing redone. Taylor Swift has been rereleasing lots of her old albums so she owns the rights to them. Since Scooter Braun owned the record label where she used to record, he owns all the rights to her old music. Now, since she is at a different label, she is able to redo her music so it is her own. 

Lavender Haze: Shockingly, this is one of my favorite songs of the album, which could be alarming to people because it’s the first song. It’s the perfect way to introduce the rest of the album; it sets the tone. “Lavender haze” was a phrase used in the 1950s that describes being in love. In this song, she talks about how her lover disregards all the bad publicity. The lyrics encapsulates this meaning, but not in the 1950s way, but in a futuristic way with the beats and autotune of the instruments.  

Maroon: The flow from the first song to the second song is well done. The songs sound similar, which I like because it is a good transition. It talks about the different parts of a relationship: the good, the bad and the ugly. It has a grim undertone when she discusses the toxic aspects, then lightens up when she sings of the happy experiences. This song is a melting pot of emotions even if you haven’t experienced this kind of relationship before. 

Anti-Hero: There is something about this one that I do not find appealing. I agree that it is a good message, that is that people have bad qualities, including Swift, but that shouldn’t be what defines them. She shoves words down the listeners throat rather than singing it though. The composition of it is also unattractive; she attempts to make her voice sound a lot higher than it is naturally. Hey, not all the songs can be winners!

Snow On The Beach: This song is about the stages before getting into a relationship. She says, “I can’t speak, afraid to jinx it,” talking about how it’s scary losing someone, even if you aren’t dating them. She doesn’t want to possibly mess anything up if there is a chance of her connecting with someone. She captures this feeling so well, making me feel normal when I also have these feelings. She sounds adult, with her voice being lower opposed to some of the other ones. 

You’re On Your Own, Kid: Swift is known for writing love songs regardless if the relationship turns out well or not. But, this one is a twist on her typical love song. She writes it to a young person who longs for love and affection. Swift is telling this young person that you are on your own and no one will be there for you except yourself in the end. It is a sad song with a more upbeat tone. The spin she took on this song is exceptional and I would definitely put this on my like-side for the album. 

Midnight Rain: Swift writes a narrative about coming up and creating her own name while being in a relationship. The idea of individualism doesn’t exist in this relationship and she felt held back by her lover even if he was a nice guy: “He wanted it comfortable, I wanted that pain, he wanted a bride, I was making my own name.” The autotune of the music combined is a mysterious combination, with a magical twist on this love story. 

Question…?: The song “Keep Driving” by Harry Styles popped into my mind during my first listen to this song, which is funny because people on the internet have concluded that it is indeed about Styles. This is another song that Swift is talking to the listener, but I like it, which is contradictory to my opinion of “Anti-Hero”, and I apologize, but I don’t make the rules. She’s asking an ex lover if they wished they did more in their relationship. The set up of lyrics is like a poem if you read it without the music in the background. 

Vigilante Sh*t: I don’t love the beginning of this song, but I do like the lyrics “I don’t dress for women, I don’t dress for men. Lately I’ve been dressing for revenge,” because it sounds very powerful. Other than that, though, the lyrics don’t speak to me. There is speculation that this song is about a failed marriage and Swift’s involvement with the wife.

Bejeweled: This opinion might get me in trouble, but this song is the worst song on the album. The song is about how Swift is frustrated with her lover with them not valuing her. The whole chorus sounds repetitive and lame. The music itself isn’t original in the slightest either.

Labyrinth: I am so in love with this song. Swift talks about a past relationship and all the experiences she shared with the significant other. She says that she will be getting over this lover for the rest of her life. Similar to “Snow on the Beach”, it could apply to both romantic and platonic relationships. It is more of a soft tone until you get farther into the song when the beat begins to pick up. Musically, this song is magic. 

Karma: I have some friends who don’t love this one and I’m not quite sure why. This is probably the only up beat song of the album that I enjoy listening to. The public thinks that its about the issues between Swift and Kanye West, which by the lyrics, could be true, but we have not received any confirmation. This is a great song to put down all the windows in your car and just sing along because the lyrics are not hard to pick up. 

Sweet Nothing: If this song was a person, I would want to be friends with them. Swift reveals many things about her current relationship with Joe Alywn, who is an actor. She talks about how people didn’t believe the relationship was going to work out because of her stardom. Its similar to “Lavender Haze” because she discusses what the public sees versus what actually goes on in the relationship, but this one is more of a soft tone rather than a futuristic one. 

Mastermind: This song is about Swift’s work ethic and how she got her fame. I like the versus, but I am not fond of the chorus; they don’t match the way she starts and ends the song. The change in tone doesn’t sit right with me, which makes me sad because I love other aspects of the song. I will say, though, my dislikes aren’t enough to make me skip the song when it comes on. 

The Great War: Throughout the album, Swift talks about the different stages of a relationship, because we all know she has been in a bunch of them. The lyrics are a story, following the heartbreak and tough times of a relationship. Even though it talks about depressing parts of an argument with a loved one, the beat is faster, which is incomparable to her sad songs. Songs similar to these are intriguing to listen to because they put an unexpected twist on a typical sad song. 

Bigger Than The Whole Sky: At some point in the song, she asks if there was any way they could’ve kept the person they lost. This is a great song to turn to if you just lost a loved one. It is a typical sad song, which is a good addition to the album because there aren’t many typical songs. 

Paris: This song sounds like a conversation I would have with my friends, especially the first part when it says “Your ex-friend’s sister met someone at a club and he kissed her.” It’s definitely not one of the best songs on the album, but the first 50 seconds are fun, especially if you know the lyrics. Otherwise, it sounds like it belongs in the “Lover” album. 

High Infidelity: This one is a story about how Swift no longer feels loved in her relationship and the process of her moving on. The idea of this song is interesting, but I wish it was composed differently. She has a low tone when singing with an upbeat tempo. It would be more appealing if it was slower in my mind, so people could resonate with the lyrics. 

Glitch: Swift describes how she wasn’t intending to fall in love with her lover, but ends up falling anyway. She talks about how she isn’t afraid to get attached to someone when she says, “Five seconds later, I’m fastening myself to you with a stitch.” In past songs, Swift talks about how scary it can be getting attached to someone that could possibly leave. This is her reaction to someone telling her that they are into her. I’m not quite sure what it is about this song, but there is some ingredient that makes me melt every time I listen to it. 

Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve: I have discussed this song with many of my friends and we have collectively decided that it reminds us of the song “Dear John” in Swift’s album “Speak Now”. She discusses the regret in a past relationship when she was younger. She sings this from the perspective of her older self to the person who hurt her when she was younger. Swift sounds experienced and the song is a punch in the gut because it is so heart wrenching. 

Dear Reader: Swift gives advice to the listener through this song. She gives ways on how to avoid heartbreak and how to leave issues in the past. 2:04 minutes to 2:24 is the best part of the song by far, although it is definitely one of my least favorites of the 3 a.m. tracks. I will say, though, the lyrics are well written and put together, but the whole song itself is not what I was hoping for. It was missing something, but I can’t seem to put my finger on it. 

Overall, this is a good album. I would not say that it is her best, but it is still one for the books. This album can take a few listens to fully take in the music. So, if you do listen to this album, don’t judge it on the first listen. Listen to it again! Trust me on this one. The first time I listened to it, I was not a fan, but the second time was when I realized that most of the songs were well crafted.