“Midnights” album review: TS10 is T-Swizzle’s best album yet

Courtesy+of+Complex

Courtesy of Complex

Maleigh Crespo, Equity & Inclusion Officer

In late August, Taylor Swift made her appearance at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards adorned in a bejeweled Oscar De La Renta gown, strikingly reminiscent of the diamond-filled bathtub scene in the 2017, “Look What You Made Me Do” music video. Swift’s look only further fueled rumors that the re-record of her 2017 album, “reputation” would be coming soon, as it would be 5 years since its release in November – the time needed to re-record music. 

However, in true Swiftie fashion, she announced that she would be releasing a new album entirely on Oct. 21 after she accepted the Video of the Year award for her self-directed long-form music video for “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version) (10 Minute Version).”

Swift revealed at midnight (of course) that her 10th studio album about 13 sleepless nights in her life would be fittingly titled “Midnights” and would also be released at midnight.

After the announcement, Swift then took fans through “Midnights Mayhem,” in which she revealed a track title, at random, at midnight every other day of the week up until Oct. 7, when she dropped all of the track titles in the middle of the night.

13 days later, (of course) the album was released, and Swifties all over the world were left gasping and picking up their jaws from the floor. I was one of them, and I have listened to the album on repeat for several days now, so here’s my honest review of the 13 songs inspired by Swift’s sleepless nights.

  • Lavender Haze – 9/10
      • Swift always comes with a banger of a first track, and this song is no different. Co-written by Zoe Kravitz and Jack Antonoff,  Swift said that this song was inspired from a scene from Mad Men and dodging “weird rumors” in her 6-year relationship with Joe Alwyn to stay their own “lavender haze.” This is one of the strongest tracks on the album with its lyricism and funky, dance-pop beat. 
  • Maroon – 8/10
      • This is the song you listen to while drinking your “roommate’s cheap ass, screw-top rosé” and ask how you got here.   
  • Anti-Hero – 9/10
      • Calling all those who are staring directly at the sun but never in the mirror, and all those whose midnights have become afternoons – this song’s for you. While the album didn’t have a lead single, this song has blown up on TikTok and was the first to have an accompanying music video be released. It’s an anthem for anyone who struggles with intrusive thoughts or has ever felt that they were an anti-hero.
  • Snow On The Beach (featuring Lana Del Rey) – 8/10
      • While this song has been criticized for the Lana Del Rey feature, or lack thereof, this song is regarded highly in my book. The meaning behind the song tugs at the heart strings, and it’s the perfect song to fall in love to.
  • You’re On Your Own, Kid – 5/10
      • Miss Americana may be known for her melancholy “Track 5s,” but this one fell short. 
  • Midnight Rain – 7/10
      • “Midnight Rain” brings the pain and the deep, auto-tuned vocals. It’s one of the more diverse songs in Swift’s discography, and it works so well because this song is a hit. 
  • Question…? – 6.5/10
      • This track samples “Out of the Woods” from Swift’s 5th studio album, and with the similar blue hues from that album, it makes sense that Swift would incorporate “1989” in this album. And it works.
  • Vigilante Shit – 9.5/10
      • This song is giving serious “reputation” vibes and is making me want to start dressing for revenge. Fans have speculated that the song is about Scooter Braun or Kanye West – both of whom are recent divorcees. Either way, Swift ate with this song, and it is hands down one of the greatest tracks of all time. 
  • Bejeweled – 9/10
      • This sparkly hit is empowering and fun. It’s an edgy anthem for the girls, the gays, and the theys. It’s also the second song on the album to have an accompanying music video – in which Swift basically confirms that “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” is coming next. Buckle up, Swifties. 
  • Labyrinth 4/10
      • A labyrinth is usually a walking maze created to invoke zen and calmness, and this song captures that feeling in 4 minutes. While it is the weakest link on the album, it is the soft ballad that we expect from Swift with an interesting twist. 
  • Karma – 9/10
      • “Karma” is one of my favorites on the album. It’s a song that I could listen to on repeat and never get tired of. There’s also the theory that “Karma” was going to be Swift’s next album after “1989,” but instead we got “reputation,” but with her laughter in the track title reveal video, this song has to be a nod to her “almost” album. 
  • Sweet Nothing – 9.5/10
      • This is the love song that we needed on the album. Maybe that’s a bold statement, but I am a Lover girl, and I will always be a stan of Swift’s passionate, heart-rending love songs and ballads. Co-written by Swift’s long-time love, under the pseudonym William Bowery, this song gives all the feels and is a necessary asset to the album.
  • Mastermind – 8.5/10
      • This song is absolutely gold. It’s a game of chess in a three minute song, and it’s the perfect choice to end the album – before the 3 a.m. edition, of course. 

Swift told fans that there would be a chaotic surprise at 3 a.m. the morning of the album release, and little did they know, the surprise would be seven bonus tracks. Swift calls the album “Midnights (3AM Edition).”

  • The Great War – 7/10
      • This may be an unpopular opinion, but I think this is one of the strongest songs on the 3 a.m. edition. It’s giving “evermore” energy, and I’m here for it.
  • Bigger Than the Whole Sky – 10/10
      • This song is quite possibly Swift’s most heartbreaking, yet underrated song she’s released. Fans on TikTok have speculated that the tear-jerking lyrics are about a miscarriage, but this hasn’t been confirmed by Swift or her team. 
  • Paris – 7.5/10
      • When I first heard this song, I immediately fell in love with it. It’s the perfect upbeat love song that truly makes you want to fall in love in Paris. 
  • High Infidelity – 6/10
      • While this is a good song, it pales in comparison to the rest of the album. It’s a typical pop song that we’ve seen from Swift before, and it doesn’t fit the vibe of the rest of the album. 
  • Glitch – 8/10
      • “Glitch” is one of those songs, like “Labyrinth,” that feels like its title. The techno-electro pop beat makes for a catchy hit that makes you feel as if you’re in a glitch. It’s the shortest song on the album and is unlike any of Swift’s body of work. 
  • Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve – 5/10
      •  This is probably another unpopular opinion, but I’ve tried and tried, and this song just doesn’t do it for me. Sorry, Swifties. [Edit to say: I was wrong. 8/10]
  • Dear Reader – 8/10
      • The 20th track on the 3 a.m. edition concludes the album on high note as a powerhouse ballad that brings the pain but also strong vocals and a good beat.

 

Swift also released a song on the special edition CD available at Target (and TikTok snippets) only.

  • Hits Different – 7/10
      • I’ve only heard this song from snippets on TikTok, but it’s definitely a bop, and I can only hope that it’s a matter of time before Team Swift releases it on streaming platforms to be accessible to Swifties everywhere.

All things considered, this album is unlike any other T-Swizzle album, and while it isn’t unusual for blondie to reinvent herself time and time again, the album went in a direction that was completely unexpected by fans. Nonetheless, Midnights occupies nine of the top 10 spots in the Billboard Top 100 chart, and the album made Spotify history by becoming the most streamed album in a single day while Swift single-handedly became the most-streamed artist in a single day. So, I’d say the mayhem was worth it. 

Illustration by Ariel Landry