Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” presents a fully fleshed-out Taylor

Swift’s latest album, which (in less than one month) has already received dozens of accolades, is fully deserving of the hype


Photo courtesy of taylorswift.com

Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” has been called the artist’s most important production yet

Faith Taylor, Arts & Culture Writer

It’s fall, Swifties, and you know what that means: it’s time to stream “Midnights” by Taylor Swift!

Back in August, Swift announced the release of her new record during an acceptance speech at the VMAs, beginning the anticipation of Midnights. 

“I know with every second of this moment that we wouldn’t have been able to make this short film if it weren’t for you, the fans,” Swift said at the end of her announcement. “I had sort of made up my mind that if you were gonna be this generous and give us this, it might be a fun moment to tell you that my brand new album comes out October 21.”

In the weeks following, she began releasing track names in a recurring Tiktok segment called “Midnights Mayhem with Me.” For a little over two weeks, she posted 13 Tiktoks of her spinning a bingo cage full of numbered balls–each representing one of the album’s tracks. One by one, she announced the name of whatever track she rolled, leading up to her final setlist.

After much built up anticipation, Swifties finally got to listen to the album on October 21. 

Swift’s latest album has a fairly experimental, unique sound compared to the majority of her discography. Yet, it has a definitively more “pop” sound than two of her most recent albums; “Folklore” and “Evermore’.” It also differs from a lot of the pop music that is being made today. The album has a hybrid feeling of modernity and antiquity, blending heavy voice affectation with lots of synth. The use of a deep, bassy synth sound is present on almost every single track.

The lyricism, on the whole, is just what you would expect from the music mogul; nothing short of poetry, but also crafted in a way that when put to music, becomes completely singable and anthemic.

There is quite a prevalence of cursing, which is not exactly new, as a more crude version of Swift emerged during her “Reputation”-era and has since emerged further. In this latest project she is cursing with reckless abandon; it is her most explicit album yet. Though, while it may cut down on her audience, I personally like a less restrained Swift. It makes her feel like more of a fully fleshed-out adult woman, who isn’t refraining from certain words in order to fit inside society’s expectations and preconceptions about her.

I personally like a less restrained Swift. It makes her feel like more of a fully fleshed-out adult woman, who isn’t refraining from certain words in order to fit inside society’s expectations and preconceptions about her.

Another thing Swifties noticed is how interconnected every track is with the rest of her discography. Every song sounds similar to one that came before on another record. This makes sense, given that the concept of the album is basically a tour of the sleepless nights throughout Swift’s life.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention the “Gaylor” community, which is a group of fans that believe that she has been deliberately infusing certain queer codes and references into her music over the course of her career. Some even speculate that she herself might be secretly–or not so secretly–a part of the LGBTQ+ community. They point to things she has worn, said, or done, relationships she has had, and the lyrical references she has made in her music to well-known queer writers, artists, and historical events. A noticeable frequency of “you” in place of gendered pronouns and purposefully vague lyrics fill this album (but is nothing new in the scope of Swift’s discography). Nearly every song on “Midnights” has a fair queer interpretation. It would seem that Swift is intentionally leaning into the speculation. 

Some of the recurring motifs that Swift sings about in this album are love, anger, drama, revenge, pining, regret, loss, confidence and religion. She describes relationships of every kind; old, new, current, toxic, healthy, private and real. Another newer idea that seems to pop up more than once on this album is a negative view of marriage; almost like she sees it as a trap or loss of freedom. 

One thing I would recommend is that you give the record at least two full listens. In my experience, Swift’s music sometimes has to kind of sit in your brain and rattle around a bit before it can be fully appreciated. There are so many layers to her lyricism that you couldn’t possibly hope to understand it all at first glance. Even for the most shrewd and most dedicated Swifties, it can take a little while for it all to make sense.

I’m hard-pressed to criticize “Midnights” because I think it is just an excellent album, point blank. I also love Taylor Swift. That being said, there are definitely songs that are worse than others, they just aren’t necessarily bad songs. The reason they stand out is that Swift is an objectively talented musician. Both her triumphs and her misses are going to be extremely pronounced. And even her worst song is still going to be above average. 

The appeal of the album is fairly universal, finding fans of all age groups. One of Rancocas Valley’s very own Statistics teachers, Ms. Somers, said, “My favorite song is ‘Anti-Hero,’ and I just think it’s catchy, and I like the video for it.”

“You can close read and annotate a Taylor Swift song,” junior Mikaela Bennett said of the complexity and depth of Swift’s music.

“Midnights” has generated much commercial success, as for the first time in history, following the album’s release, Swift monopolized all top ten spots of the “Billboard Hot 100” chart, becoming not only the first woman, but the first artist in history to do so. This was also the very first time no male artist had occupied one of the top ten spots.

As if these accolades were not enough, the internet almost crashed and burned as millions of passionate Swifties flocked to Ticketmaster in hopes of snagging a spot in the pre-sale lines. Some waited as long as eight hours in cue, even while the site glitched and ultimately malfunctioned. Hell hath no fury like a Swiftie who has been denied access to their idol.

All in all, it’s safe to say that Taylor Swift will never go out of style. She has done it yet again, making another smash-hit record, and history: that’s a “real f***ing legacy to leave.”

If you haven’t given “Midnights” a listen yet, I cannot recommend it enough. Here is my personal ranking of the complete tracklist:

Favorite Tracks

  • Maroon
  • Anti-Hero
  • You’re On Your Own, Kid
  • Midnight Rain
  • Question…?
  • Karma
  • Sweet Nothing
  • The Great War
  • Bigger Than The Whole Sky
  • High Infidelity
  • Glitch
  • Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve
  • Dear Reader


  • Lavender Haze
  • Snow on the Beach 
  • Mastermind

 “Depends on the Day” (songs that are hit or miss)

  • Vigilante Sh*t
  • Bejeweled 
  • Labyrinth
  • Paris


  • None 😉 she’s that good