Album review: Taylor Swift begins a new chapter with the release of ‘Midnights’

By MONIQUE VARELA and MARSHALL SCOTT

Taylor Swift released her latest album, Midnights, on Oct. 21 at 12 midnight. The idea for the album was for it to be released exactly at midnight, however, due to the different time zones, Midnights was released at 9 PM pst, 10 PM mst, and 11 PM cst. 

The album has 13 songs in total with one song, “Snow on the Beach,” which features Lana Del Ray. 

According to nylon.com, “Midnights has also broken several streaming records, including being the most streamed album in 24 hours (184.6 million streams) and the most streamed act on Spotify in 24 hours (228 million streams).” 

Swift fans thought that Midnights had a different vibe than her previous albums, as she has a tendency to make her albums about past failed relationships, so the change is something fans thoroughly enjoyed. 

You’re On Your Own, Kid

You’re On Your Own, Kid was the fifth track on the “Midnights” album. The song is about Swift’s own personal journey navigating gaining fame, love, and the people she has lost and gained throughout her journey through fame.

Though the song lyrics seem to be more closely related to Swift’s romantic side and wanting a boy’s attention. Throughout the song she continues gaining fame but yet still feeling alone even around so many people who love her.

She also seems to briefly address her past eating disorder in the song with the lyrics “I hosted parties and starved my body.”

The song strongly suggested that this song is about growing up and learning to release negative things from your past. Learn to keep the positives about life instead of the negatives.

Lavender Haze

Many fans speculated that “Lavender Haze” was Swift coming out as bisexual due to the color association. 

Christobal Hastings CNN article “How lavender became a symbol of LGBTQ resistance” states,  “In 1969, the color came to symbolize empowerment. Lavender sashes and armbands were distributed to a crowd of hundreds in a ‘gay power’ march from Washington Square Park to Stonewall Inn in New York, to commemorate the Stonewall riots that had just taken place a month before.” 

However, the song is actually about Swift’s relationship with her partner of six years, Joe Alwyn. People speculated that Swift and Alwyn were allegedly engaged which was neither confirmed nor denied. 

The lyric “All they keep asking me is if I’m gonna be your bride” makes it seem like Swift is tired of people asking whether Alwyn and Swift are going to get married.

Swift has spoken on social media about her relationship before as well as talking about the song. 

On an instagram post, she talked about the meaning of the song stating, “My relationship for six years, we’ve had to dodge weird rumors, tabloid stuff, and we just ignore it. This song is sort of about ignoring that stuff to protect the real stuff.” 

Swift also mentions in the instagram post how she decided on the name of the song, Swift looked up the meaning of the term “Lavender Haze” which was a common phrase used in the 50’s that meant being in love. 

Maroon

Maroon was the second track on the Midnights album and is suspected to have a lot to do with past flings with lovers. Maroon is assumed by fans to be her backtrack to Swift’s “Red” album ex Jake Gyllenhal and her romance with Harry Styles. 

In the album Swift uses many colors to describe her emotions throughout the songs, one example would be the color maroon. With the song fans get to see deep into Swift’s thoughts and what keeps her up at night. 

In the song she talks about a lover she once had and remembers the first night they spent together.  Swift recalls the days and nights she spent with the lover which she felt she could really be herself around them.

The color maroon resembles what it used to be which was a bright red but it slowly burned out and turned to maroon, the color suggests it was similar to how the relationship between this lover went. Swift and her lover didn’t understand how to fix the drift and silence that came between them and all she has left are the memories that keep her up at night.

Anti-Hero

Within the Midnights album, Anti-hero was the third song. This song was very relatable for some of  fans and for Swift, as the song is about Swift’s insecurities and her anxiety in both her public and private life. 

On one of Swift’s Instagram posts she states that the song is one of her favorites on the album, “This song really is a real guided tour throughout all the things I tend to hate about myself,  We all hate things about ourselves” Swift says. 

In addition she says “So yeah, I like ‘Anti-Hero’ a lot because I think it’s really honest.” There are many deep lyrics in the song which can be interpreted in different ways. 

Some of the lyrics such as, “I should not be left alone to my own devices” and “I end up in crisis” can be seen as relatable to her fan as some people believe they shouldn’t be alone because they’re afraid of what could happen. 

In her music video she shows thoughts on her weight and appearance which caused controversy against some of her plus-sized fans. During the music video, Swift stands on a scale and it read “Fat” which is what Swift felt because of her eating disorder. 

Mastermind

Mastermind was actually the last song of her “Midnights” album.  This song was revealed by Swift to be about Joe Alwyn and her relationship origin story.

This is not the first time Swift has referenced Alwyn in her music but this song recaps the beginning of their love. Swift and Alwyn were considered to fall in love at first sight at the 2016 Met Gala. In the song it constantly describes how she felt meeting Alwyn and how she immediately felt something special about him.

The chorus shares her dedication and stubbornness to making things work out between herself and Alwyn naming herself the “Mastermind” behind their relationship. The song shows a lot of dedication between their relationship and has a nice twist from her music about all her past relationships that didn’t work out well.

Snow On the Beach (feat.Lana Del Ray)

Snow On the Beach is the fourth song on the Midnights album. Swift’s idea for Snow on the beach is the wonderful feeling of someone falling in love with a person as they’re falling for you too. 

It’s almost the feeling of a dream and realization of love. Like other songs on the album, this song is also assumed to be about her relationship with Alwyn. Lyrics that support this claim are “You wanting me tonight, feels impossible.” 

Midnight Rain

“Midnight Rain” was the sixth track on Midnights. The song’s meaning isn’t exactly known, however, guesses can be made by paying attention to the lyrics being sung. 

The possible meaning towards the song could be that Swift did not want to be the small-town girl she wanted to be well-known but her partner at the time could not have wanted that for Swift and wanted to lead a “normal” life. 

The lyrics “He wanted a bride, I was making my own name.” could have represented this idea.

Question…?

“Question…?” was the seventh track in the Midnights album. The true meaning of the song is unknown but queer fans of Swift believe the song might have something to do with Swifts former best friend and rumored kissing partner, Karlie Kloss. 

Queer fans believe this to true because the context in the song. The song uses mainly she/her pronouns. 

In the lyrics “Did you ever have someone kiss you in a crowded room?” could be linked to Swift’s song “dress” in her album with the lyrics, “Our secret moments in a crowded room” and “I don’t want you like a best friend, I only bought so you could take it off.” 

Vigilante S— 

The eighth track in Midnights is Vigilante S—. Vigilante S— is said to be about a wife finding out about her cheating ex-husband who has also done some white-collared crimes. 

This song is also Swift’s second song to ruin a man’s reputation to avenge one of her friends. Swift helps the ex-wife take revenge on the ex-husband, while they are said to look hot doing it. 

The song allegedly references Scott “Scooter” Braun, who Big Machine sold six of Swift’s songs to. As well as the feud between Kim Kardasian and Kanye West with the rumored album “Karma” that was then reworked into “Reputation.” Swift’s fan base is excited for the alleged official music video to drop. 

Taylor Swift’s ’Midnights’ album CD in the target music section which includes the 13 songs as well as three bonus tracks. (MARSHALL SCOTT/Ethic News photo)

Bejeweled

The song Bejeweled was the seventh track on Swift’s new album. This song is a feel good song and reminds the listener to not settle for less and to those who feel or have felt taken advantage of. 

The song discusses dating someone who doesn’t treat Taylor how she wants to be treated, she starts to feel under appreciated and loses her shine. As the song progresses Swift realizes she is better without him and with or without him she can still “make the whole place shimmer.” 

One thing about the song that really caught people’s attention when one of the lyrics described Swift dancing with another man while talking to her lover about this new man. People suspect this may be a reference to Tom Hiddlestone they met at the 2016 Met Gala  and famously danced with him while she was still dating Calvin Harris. The dance quickly hit headlines in May 2016 and in early June 2016.

Labyrinth

Labyrinth was number ten in the Midnights album. The song Labyrinth is another song about her current long-term boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. The song represents how Swift was afraid to fall in love with Alwyn because of her failed past relationship. 

The lyrics “Oh no, I’m falling in love again” shows how Swift really panicked when she found herself falling for Alwyn. 

Another lyric, “I thought the plane was falling down how’d you turn it right around” shows how she originally thought that the relationship could’ve turned out badly because of past experiences but in fact, it’s going the complete opposite. 

Karma

Karma was placed 11th in the tracking list.The song is based off an album that was not released, also called “Karma.” 

When the song title was announced fans believed the song would be a diss track to rapper, Kanye West, only for fans to find out that was not the case. 

The meaning behind the song is “a perspective of feeling really happy, really proud of the way your life is.” 

Swift says, “Feeling like this must be a reward for doing stuff right, and it’s a song I really love because I think we all need some of those moments. We can’t just be beating ourselves up all the time.” 

The song also represents Swift’s long-term determination to have a life-long career, the lyrics “Ask me what I learned from all those years, ask me what I learned from all those tears.” show that determination Swift has.

Sweet Nothings

Sweet Nothings was Swift’s 12th  track on her album. In Midnights Swift did not shy away from getting personal in her lyrics about her life and love life. This song discusses her highs and lows that come with being in the public eye and figuring out her peace and comfort with her partner of six years, Alwyn. The song discusses herself seeking comfort and shelter from the outside world with Alwyn. Going in deeper she feels safe with her partner and is comfortable enough with Alwyn to show her deepest thoughts and insecurities without feeling judgment. Swift feels safe with him and doesn’t have to ask him for compliments to receive them.

Midnights was the first album to be released after her two year hiatus, this album quickly began to be a fan favorite for the relatable topics in many of her songs on the album. 

The album talks a lot about her struggles in life and also her feelings and love towards her six-year long relationship with Joe Alwyn. 

Additionally, to the Midnights Album, Swift also made an extended version with seven more songs giving Midnights 3AM 20 songs. 

These albums can be found on Spotify, Apple music as well as Youtube music.

Correction: The original publishing of this article did not include analysis of the songs Anti-hero or Mastermind. It was corrected on Dec. 2 at 2:55 pm.

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