A Review of Taylor Swift’s Midnights


Oscar Hershkowitz, Staff Writer

Midnights, Taylor Swift’s tenth studio album (not including her re-released albums), was released at midnight on October 21. Swift has constantly been producing music her entire career, and explores new genres with each album while using unique and introspective lyricism. After 18 years, her career hasn’t slowed and her popularity continues to grow due to the activity of her fanbase, who call themselves Swifties, on social media platforms. Like many of her previous albums, Midnights centers around one central theme, and has a coherent musical style that makes for a great listening experience. 

In Midnights, Swift turned away from the folk inspired style of her last two albums, opting for a pop style with an electronic and synth infused sound. The album is based on the thoughts that occur in the middle of the night, and the subdued, mellow sound in many of the songs attempts to capture the undisturbed nature of late night thoughts. As Swift puts it, the album tells “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life.” 

Despite the laid back feeling evoked by the sound, the album deals with the serious elements of Swift’s personal life, and also highlights the chaotic and irrational nature of late night thoughts. One example is her single,“Anti Hero,” which deals with her insecurities and intrusive thoughts.

Some songs on the album, such as “Lavender Haze,” “Bejeweled,” and “Karma,” stand out due to their brighter, more upbeat sound which makes them feel like surges of confidence people may feel at night. “Bejeweled” is about partying and emanates confidence, and “Karma” is a joyful anthem about how karma is on Swift’s side. The velvety textured sound of “Lavender Haze” speaks about Swift’s escape from her critics into a carefree, unbothered state of mind; she sings, “I’m damned if I do give a damn what people say.” 

“Midnight Rain” stands out with a dark and futuristic sound that evokes a feeling of a rainy night. “Sweet Nothing” has a contrasting feeling; it’s a soft sounding love song that feels like a warm embrace. “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” stands out among Swift’s other bonus tracks with expressive lyrics and an extraordinary bridge.  

Midnights has garnered mixed responses from Swifties at Friends Seminary. Abby Tusk ‘24 appreciated the references within the album, explaining that one of the album’s strengths is that “it can span so much time and it can have references to other albums… There’s enough of her music to know this is true Taylor. The context of her other music makes the album even better in my opinion.” Tusk also voiced some negative feelings towards the album: “I love it, and yet the production of some of the songs — they’re just not my faves compared to those of her other albums. The production of Red is much less monotonous.” 

Buzzie Levine ‘23 missed the subject matter of older albums like Folklore and Evermore, saying “I felt that I could relate to them in a way that I couldn’t necessarily relate to Taylor Swift herself, because she was writing about fictional characters. Now she’s back to talking about her own personal life. While I relate to it less and don’t like the production as much because it is a little too pop sounding for my taste, it’s still bangers, and it feels like the old Taylor Swift that we know and love is back.”

One small issue I initially took with the album was that some of the lyrics felt forced or awkward at first, such as the line “karma is a cat” in the chorus of the song “Karma.” However, these lyrics grew on me, and they now seem more purposefully playful and unserious; it feels more natural when understanding that we are listening to Swift’s inner monologue. 

The album allows the listener to feel a deep connection with Swift and her storytelling, with each track taking you on a journey through her mind. They provide raw, honest, and vivid storytelling of her experiences; this honesty requires bravery and vulnerability on Swift’s part. To me, the album doesn’t seem like it’s trying to do anything entirely new or reinvent Swift as a musical artist, but I don’t take issue with this. Instead I think the goal of the album was to reflect Swift’s thoughts, and to incorporate a mixture of genres from her previous albums. 

Midnights has done extremely well and has broken many records: it generated the biggest album debut in seven years, with more units sold in the first week than any past Swift album. Midnights also passed one billion global streams on spotify within one week, and broke spotify’s record for most streams for a single day. Her album also claimed all top ten songs on the Billboard Hot 100s Chart, making Swift has become the best selling recording artist of the year. Swift is also now the only artist to have five albums debut with more than a million units sold in their first week. It is clear that Taylor Swift is a force to be reckoned with, and she continues to make a huge impact on the music industry with her art.