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The album review no one asked for: Taylor Swift’s “Midnights”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UMKC chapter.

Since it was released on Oct. 21, I have listened to the entire Midnights album four times. This does not include my music video watch parties or the time I’ve spent analyzing lyrics to my personal favorites. Since I have so many thoughts on this album, I’ll be taking it apart song-by-song.

The Danceable

“Lavender Haze” is suitable for clubbing or steamy nights with your SO. It’s not the most original or lyrically stunning, but the initial “meet me at midnight” makes this song a worthy opener as it sets the tone for this darker pop album.

“Midnight Rain” is a banger. It’s not a happy song (spoiler alert: there are no happy songs on this album). However, its synth sounds and pitch make  it perfect for low-lit nights out

The sing-along-able

After one too many glasses of wine, “Maroon” will  hit that perfect mix of an emotional yet energetic ballad. It’s sad, but not haunting. It’s a love song, but it’s not about a breakup or perfect happiness.

“Bejeweled” is a better song for getting dressed up for a night out. I’ll admit, it’s not one of my favorites, but it is fun. It’s a sparkly bop, even if it has loud tones of imminent romantic tragedy.

Ah, “Karma.” My recently most-played song. There is no need to explain this one—it’s a bop. 

“Vigilante Shit” is catchy, but I can’t help feeling  that at this point, Swift has outgrown this specific subgenre and is reaching here. I know people who love it, but this song personally makes me cringe

Knife to the heart-type tracks

You already know “Anti-Hero” is on this list. Is its phrasing funny? Yes. I giggle at “everybody is a sexy baby” every time. But hasn’t everyone felt like this at some point? I can’t count the number of times that I’ve walked into a room and felt out of place because everyone was better dressed and more polished than me. As a teenage girl, I often felt like an awkward Frankenstein coming to terms with my body. The catchy chorus here is a lifesaver in that this song does not make me cry, even if it hits uncomfortably close to home.

“You’re On Your Own, Kid” is the saddest song on the original album. It has some competition from the songs added on the 3am Edition, but ugh. It doesn’t matter where you’re listening to this song—it’s going to hurt. Luckily, it has a hopeful note at the ending: “Everything you lose is a step you take.” 

“Mastermind” perfectly describes how I consistently manage to convince myself that I’ve manipulated everyone around me into liking me. The song  captures the sense of an imposter syndrome that so many of us feel in our relationships, but with a surprisingly optimistic ending that wraps up the originally released album. 

“Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” took me OUT as someone whose favorite sad Taylor Swift song is “Dear John.” Swift sings, “If I was a child, did it matter if you got to wash your hands?” HAUNTING. John Mayer, watch out because your days are numbered.

Soft, starry-eyed dream sequences

The first time I listened to the album, I had my eyes closed and I hadn’t gone through the track list beforehand. I didn’t know Lana Del Rey was featured on “Snow On The Beach” and I still have a hard time distinguishing her voice. Does that ruin this song for me? Not in the slightest. 

“Paris” receives an honorable mention for being a beautiful, classic romantic ballad about wanting to escape the spotlight. 

Listening to this album can be painful as hell, but it feels like a natural transition at this point in Swift’s career. I like it better upon each listen, discovering something new in the lyrics every time. You don’t have to be a fan of Taylor Swift, but you have to admire the consistency of her success and the amount of new content she produces. 

Lauren Textor is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City who is studying English. She is one of UMKC's Campus Correspondents. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, painting, and sight-seeing at possibly haunted locations.