Taylor Swift’s Midnights album review

A screenshot of Spotify showcases Taylor Swifts latest album.

Roma Sharkey

A screenshot of Spotify showcases Taylor Swift’s latest album.

“Lavender Haze”


Taylor Swift kicks off her newest album, Midnights, with this sweet sounding track. Swift said that “Lavender haze means the ‘all-encompassing love glow.’” She captures the feeling of being in a love that people doubt, and constantly judge, possibly about her current relationship with Joe Alwyn. The line “I just wanna stay in that lavender haze,” hints at how she wants to be the one that perceives her relationship, not be influenced by onlookers. -J.J.



Swift has a talent for using symbols to represent the different types of emotions she is feeling. In her second track on Midnights, Swift uses the color maroon to portray her relationship and the problems within it. It opens with drums echoing in the background to create a peaceful yet heartbreaking atmosphere, capturing the feeling of parting from someone. Swift’s cool energied vocals combined with the buzzing synth drone that plays in the second half of the song creates the feeling of a more mature version of her past songs. There have been connections between “Maroon” and her fourth studio album “Red”. Her fan base have called “Maroon” a grown up “Red” as it has rich descriptions of typical images such as red lipstick, rust, roses, and spilled wine. This song shows the complexities of a relationship and how those are not always a bad thing. -J.J.




The third track on Midnights is centered on the idea of thinking you are always the one at fault. There are multiple references to one’s struggles and paranoia. It could be said that Swift is talking about her own paranoia, specifically emphasized in the line, “It’s me, hi, I’m the problem it’s me”. She knows she is the problem, the one making a bigger deal out of something unnecessary. Then, in one of the most popular lines of the entire album, she portrays the feeling of self hatred in the line: “I’ll stare directly at the sun, but never in the mirror”. She would rather burn her eyes than have to look at her face, an example of feeling like she is self-sabotaging. Swift is the “Anti-Hero”, she feels she lacks any heroic characteristics and is the problem. -J.J.

“Snow on the Beach”


Swift is well known for writing romantic songs for every type of love experienced. “Snow on the Beach” describes the sensation of falling in love with someone who feels the same way. The feeling as if it is a dream, something you would never expect to see, like snow on the beach. Lana Del Rey is featured in this track, adding subtle, but effective, vocals to fully encapsulate the elegance of the song. The bridge of the song fully pinpoints this majestic feeling, and the addition of the glistening sounds encapsulates the moment. Although some argue that Del Rey was not used enough in this song, I think that her vocals add the perfect amount to what Swift was trying to accomplish: the “cataclysmic, fated moment where you realize someone feels exactly the same way that you feel at the same moment.” -J.J.

“You’re on Your Own, Kid”


Known primarily for her songwriting, the other most prominent characteristic of Swift’s music are her phenomenal bridges. In musical composition, the bridge is a passage that connects two sections of a song, and often provides contrast and a musical change of pace. Some of her most notable and famous bridges are found in “All too Well’ (Red 2012) and Out of the Woods (1989 2014). While no one could have expected her to release a song that lives up to these expectations, “You’re on Your Own, Kid” placed itself right up there with all of her best bridges. Additionally, it was crowned as a ‘track five’ on Midnights, which is the place  that Swift’s most heart-wrenching songs are often found. The song retells the story from Swift’s life, where she is searching for friendship and love, but realizing this is not a race she can finish. The song brings you along a journey that ends in this realization, and also the realization of the beauty in being on your own. -R.S.

“Midnight Rain”


The sixth song on Midnights dives into a story from her past, and the lyrics invite her audience to stand right in her shoes. It dives into the mindset of her past self, as a young woman hungry for success in a brutal music industry. More prominent than the lyrics here is the unique sound of the song. It begins with a strongly reduced pitch of Swift’s voice, and combined with a deep synth beat that plays throughout the song. This song strays from the songwriter acoustic and highly instrumental sounds of her eighth and ninth studio albums, folklore (2020) and evermore (2020). The sound is not for everyone, and is not towards the top of my list for this reason. -R.S.



This song sets out for one purpose and one purpose only; to be fun and uplifting. From right after its release, it has reached beyond this, and provided a pop anthem and TikTok phenomenon. Following in the footsteps of her previous songs like “22” (Red 2012) and “Shake it Off” (1989 2014). She starred in and directed an equally creative and uplifting music video, which is a joint-role that not many artists take on themselves. The video stars Oscar-winner Laura Dern, the Haim sisters, and Swift’s co-collaborator Jack Antonoff. It captures the essence of the song perfectly. -R.S.



A labyrinth is a complicated set of paths which it is difficult to find one’s way out. In Swift’s song “Labyrinth” she uses this definition to describe her past encounters with love, and how she gets lost in the maze within her mind. She shows how her mind comes in the way of her love by the line “Uh oh, I’m falling in love again,” portraying how she has a lot of skepticism of letting herself fall in love because of the past. She repeats this line in a peaceful manner and harmonies showing more of an experience rather than a fun heartbreak song. -J.J.



Every music-listener has a song that gives them an immense amount of serotonin after listening. This is mine. “Karma”’s lyrics may seem foolish at first, such as “Cause karma is my boyfriend Karma is a god Karma is the breeze in my hair on the weekend” which certainly made me roll my eyes at first listen. However, after listening to this song a few times, I could not help but fall in love with it because of all the joy it brings. Not all songs are meant to be contemplated deeply, which is my first instinct after hearing new lyrics from Swift. Instead, this is a song to dance to with friends, blast in the car with the windows down, or be a pick-me-up halfway through the school day. This song is also an example of Swift’s love for placing Easter eggs in her work that hints at her future music. Fans put on their detective hats to see that this song was hinted at during one of her Lover (2019) music videos – which was three years in advance of its release. This detective work has become tradition among fans, which is a testament to the strength of her fan base. -R.S.

“Sweet Nothing”


One of my personal favorite lyrics from the entire album is found on “Sweet Nothing.” As simple as it is beautiful, Swift sings

“And the voices that implore

” ‘You should be doing more’ ”

To you I can admit

That I’m just too soft for all of it”

One narrative that Swift has been open about, and shown through interviews and her songwriting, has been the struggle with her public perception. As someone who has been fueled by success since she started her music career at the young age of 14, she spent years of her life chasing satisfaction from fans and critics alike. Here, she gives detail to her current relationship, one that she feels is not transactional. He expects only ‘sweet nothing’ from her, which contrasts the type of relationship that Taylor has with so many other people. -R.S.



My favorite bridge from Midnights is in “Mastermind,” Swift sings


“No one wanted to play with me as a little kid

So I’ve been scheming like a criminal ever since

To make them love me and make it seem effortless

This this the first time I’ve felt the need to confess

And I swear

I’m only cryptic and Machiavellian ’cause I care”


Swift implies that she has been striving to make people love her, in a way that is effortless. This captures the feeling of never feeling enough, and the need to feel love from others for validation. This concept then leads into the main message of the song, planning out relationships in advance. -J.J.

“Bigger Than the Whole Sky”


Arguably the most emotional song on the album, “Bigger than the whole sky” is full of powerful lyrics. She paints a vivid picture from the very first lines of the song:

“No words appear before me in the aftermath

Salt streams out my eyes and into my ears

Every single thing I touch becomes sick with sadness

‘Cause it’s all over now, all out to sea”


One of the reasons Swift connects with her audience so well is the ability of her songs to be related to any number of circumstances in people’s lives. For this song, many fans have noted its similarity to the feelings of having a miscarriage. While it is unknown what Swift is referring to in lyrics such as


“Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

You were bigger than the whole sky

You were more than just a short time”


They have helped fans all over the world express their pain through her lyrics. It is one of her most notable talents, this ability to connect so deeply with other people’s experiences even if they are not the same as her own. -R.S.


“Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve”


One of the edges that Swift has over other artists in the industry are her deep-cutting lyrics that hold honesty and exemplify her sharp-wit. Following in the footsteps of “Dear John” (Speak Now 2010) and “All too Well” (Red 2012), this song encompasses reflection with an honest perspective. And not with only honesty, but also with the female rage she encompasses so well. Personally, I cannot imagine the album without this song. It is clever lyrics that adds the perfect “punch” to the back half of the album. -R.S.

“Dear Reader”


As the last track on the full 3 a.m. version of Midnights, this song perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Swift’s album, which is of brutal honesty and self reflection. Referencing the common beginning of advice columns, the song gives advice in the voice of a friend. At the same time, it hints at one of Swift’s personal struggles: the feeling of needing to reinvent herself in order to continue her professional success. The simple repetition of the pre-chorus that sings “Never take advice from someone who’s falling apart” shows her unique perspective, that she realizes this advice comes from a person who does not have it all figured out. Perhaps she only has this perspective after all the sleepless nights that led to the release of this album. -R.S.

A screenshot of Spotify showcases Taylor Swift’s latest album. (Roma Sharkey)