MARIA MAGDELEINA

writer, podcaster, artist, child of God

Midnights Album Track by Track Review

It’s Taylor Swift’s birthday today. Needless to say, if I can use any excuse to write about her, I will. Since her recently released album Midnights came out last October, I have been listening to the latter non-stop. I love it so much I decided to write a review, just like I used to do it in the good ol’ days! Overall, I give Midnights 9/10. Scroll down to know why!

1- Lavender Haze: The best introduction to the album (just the way she sings “Meet me at midnight” at the beginning is everything). It sets the latter’s tone. It’s light but also upbeat, and Taylor chooses a specific aspect of love to talk about in the song: it’s romantic, but the singer doesn’t hold back from expressing her frustrations with people’s opinions about her love life. She does it with such grace though. This duality found in the subject of love in the first song on the album emphasizes again how great of an introduction Lavender Haze is. It already gives you hints on the various subjects, contrasting elements, and diverse sounds found on the rest of the album.

Best lyrics: I feel a lavender haze creeping up on me/ So real/ I’m damned if I do give a damn what people say

2- Maroon: It’s unfortunately my least favourite song off the record. I am quite surprised that it’s the second one on the album. I feel like there is something missing musically. I tend to skip it, but I sometimes go through it and listen to it because of its beautiful lyrics, which are pure Taylor Swift storytelling.

Best lyrics: And I wake with your memory over me/ That’s a real lasting legacy

3- Anti-Hero: The third song, but the first single. One of Taylor’s rawest songs in which she boldly states all of her insecurities and fears. The beat, her voice, and the lyrics are perfect. No wonder why she chose it as the lead single for Midnights. Moreover, Swift directed her own music video for the song and it is clever! She’s not only a great songwriter, but also an amazing director.

Best lyrics: I’ll stare directly at the sun but never in the mirror

4- Snow On The Beach ft. Lana Del Rey: The most elegant and beautiful ballad she ever wrote. Probably my fave song on the album. It’s about the very beginnings of a relationship, afraid of falling for someone you like, although they make you happy and you dearly want something to happen. I’m a little sad that Lana didn’t sing a bigger part (and I truly hope these two collaborate again in the future), but her voice complements Taylor’s so well (the way Del Rey articulates “beach” is so precise and nice to hear). The lyrics are so swifitian, yet so Lana at the same time, mirroring how their voices mix so well together.

Best lyrics: Life is emotionally abusive/ And time can’t stop me quite like you did

5- You’re On Your Own Kid: The track with a heartbreaking bridge, one that hit me close to home. Taylor Swift recalling her early days in music, writing songs in her room, trying to fit in, then the following years of making her dreams come true during which she found herself lonely, with a starved body, misunderstood and hurt. Her voice is almost high-pitched, almost like a child, narrating her teenage years.

Best lyrics: ‘Cause there were pages turned with the bridges burned/ Everything you lose is a step you take/ So make the friendship bracelets/ Take the moment and taste it/ You’ve got no reason to be afraid/ You’re on your own, kid/ Yeah, you can face this/ You’re on your own, kid/ You always have been

6- Midnight Rain: The song is about Taylor choosing fame over a nice boy and the radical change that comes with being famous, as well as being haunted by the what ifs. The lyrics portray very well the contrast between the life the singer chose and the one she gave away, while using the weather as an analogy: the sunshine/midnight rain, comfortable/pain, etc. Basically light versus darkness. Cool effects on the chorus.

Best lyrics: He stayed the same/ All of me changed like midnight

7- Question…?: Good song music-wise. The story is a little ambiguous maybe because Taylor herself is a little confused and is trying to understand a situation, wanting to know what actually happened. The song itself doesn’t really mean anything to me, but I do love to sing along to it.

Best lyrics: ‘Cause I don’t remember who I was/ Before you painted all my nights/ A colour I’ve searched for since

8- Vigilante 💩: The one in which Taylor sings about a crime again. Taylor Swift is the vigilante person who will bring justice back not only to herself, but also to the other women who have been hurt by cruel men. It’s a mix of “no body, no crime” and “mad woman“, but with a pop twist. The writing style imitates the one in “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince” where the subject of the song is analogy for something that truly happened in her life. In an interview, Taylor explained that “Miss Americana” was a political song, where she expressed her views in a more poetic way. And I believe she does the same here with “Vigilante 💩”, which might allude to her ugly fight with Scooter Braun. This interesting track is one of the darkest off the record, showing Taylor’s tough side, choosing to fight back instead of staying sad.

Best lyrics: Don’t get sad, get even

9- Bejeweled: A fun and upbeat song. In this one, Taylor knows her worth and wants some guy to know it too, but sadness still lingers behind her sparkling. The music video, which she also directed, is as good as the song.

Best lyrics: Didn’t notice you walking all over my peace of mind/ In the shoes I gave you as a present/ Putting someone first only works when you’re in their top five

10- Labyrinth: A soft song, echoing “Snow On The Beach”, continuing on the theme of fear, precisely the fear of falling in love and getting hurt. The lyrics are incredible and the chorus is my favourite part of the song.

Best lyrics: You would break your back to make me break a smile

11- Karma: Another fun song like “Bejeweled”, but in this one, Taylor shares that cool side of hers. In interviews, I love it when she cracks jokes, she does have a nice sense of humour, and “Karma” is full of that. You can tell Taylor is happy, grateful, and winning (she always gets the last word hehe). She can let karma work, she doesn’t need that vigilante crap after all. PS. I love how she ends with “Karma’s a relaxing thought” because it’s the one lyric that summarizes the whole song. It is what it is.

Best lyrics: Ask me what I learned from all those years/ Ask me what I earned from all those tears/ Ask me why so many fade, but I’m still here/ ‘Cause karma is the thunder/ Rattling your ground/ Karma’s on your scent like a bounty hunter/ Karma’s gonna track you down/ Step by step from town to town/ Sweet like justice, karma is a queen/ Karma takes all my friends to the summit/ Karma is the guy on the screen/ Coming straight home to me

12- Sweet Nothing: Another favourite, sweet, beautiful track. So soft, peaceful, and comforting. The most romantic song on the album, no fears present. Plus, she wrote it with her boyfriend. Isn’t that cute? 🥰

Best lyrics: They said the end is coming/ Everyone’s up to something/
I find myself running home to your/ Sweet nothings/ Outside they’re push and shoving/ You’re in the kitchen humming/ All that you ever wanted from me was/ Sweet nothing

13- Mastermind: It’s probably the song that shocked me the most. It reminds me of when I had heard “Gorgeous” for the first time and was surprised to hear this almost brutally honest side of Taylor. In this song though, she confesses to her lover that she planned to be with him and worked hard to have him in her life, and the ending of the track is a brilliant and unexpected plot twist.

Best lyrics: No one wanted to play with me as a little kid/ So I’ve been scheming like a criminal ever since/ To make them love me and make it seem effortless/ This this the first time I’ve felt the need to confess/ And I swear/ I’m only cryptic and Machiavellian ’cause I care

It is only normal that “Mastermind” is the last song on the record: it’s poignant and it’s Taylor’s conclusion and message to all people listening to her. In fact, she is a mastermind and has always been one. She’s honest about it and that’s why she succeeds every time she puts out an album. Taylor Swift is at the top of the music industry and she for sure knows it, but she deserves it. Midnights might be her tenth album, but the singer is only starting to be the most authentic singer-songwriter the world will ever know. She’s the new legend, the queen of (perfect) songwriting.

Tracks on the 3am edition

They’re all very good, but also quite heartbreaking and raw. Some fans argue that they are better than some of the songs on the original version. They’re definitely worth a listen each. Here are my favourites:

Bigger Than The Whole Sky: That one made me cry. I believe it’s about loss and the lyric Did some force take you because I didn’t pray? hits so close to home because this is how I felt when my grandmother passed away.

Best lyrics: No words appear before me in the aftermath/ Salt streams out my eyes and into my ears/ Every single thing I touch becomes sick with sadness/ ‘Cause it’s all over now, all out to sea

Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve: That song wrecked me and broke my heart. It has the hardest lyrics to listen to and Taylor’s voice is filled with despair and a slight hope that she’ll move on from this remorse. Begging God to rest her soul. Maybe writing this song was cathartic for her.

Best lyrics: And now that I’m grown, I’m scared of ghosts/ Memories feel like weapons/ And now that I know, I wish you’d left me wondering

//

Oh, God rest my soul, I miss who I used to be/ The tomb won’t close, stained glass windows in my mind/ I regret you all the time/ I can’t let this go, I fight with you in my sleep/ The wound won’t close, I keep on waiting for a sign/ I regret you all the time

Dear Reader: The last song on the 3am version in which Taylor offers her own piece of advice. It’s slow, yet powerful.

Best lyrics: Dear reader/ Bend when you can, snap when you have to/ Dear reader/ You don’t have to answer, just ’cause they asked you (You should find another)/ Dear reader/ The greatest of luxuries is your secrets/ Dear reader/ When you aim at the devil make sure you don’t miss/ Never take advice from someone who’s falling apart

Hits Different: This song is only available on the Target edition and that honestly pisses me off because it is so good, it should have been on the original version of the album.


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