Midnights: A timeless masterpiece


Photo courtesy of Republic Records

Taylor Swift’s Midnights album cover

It’s been a busy few years for Taylor Swift, to say the least. After dropping two albums just months apart at the height of the pandemic, followed by two albums that marked the beginning of her re-recording process, (after losing the rights to her first six albums to an old label) no one expected any original work from Swift for at least a few years. However, Swift must have been feeling very reflective about her life leading up to where she is now, possibly due to said rerecordings.

This brought the announcement of her tenth studio album, Midnights, in August and its subsequent official release at midnight on Oct. 21. An additional seven tracks were released just three hours later, called Midnights (3am Edition), which Swift described as additional pieces from the creative process that ultimately did not make the final cut for the album.

After Swift’s brief foray into indie with the albums folklore and evermore, Midnights definitively marks Swift’s return to the pop sensation most know her for. Produced by Swift herself and longtime friend and previous collaborator Jack Antonoff, the album is filled with pounding bass lines, soothing synths and vocal distortions that make this one of Swift’s most musically compelling projects yet.

Swift’s lyricism has always been her main prowess in songwriting, and she certainly delivered with Midnights. Described as “the story of 13 sleepless nights” scattered across her life, Swift explores major themes of anxiety, self-image, relationships and insecurity throughout the tracklist.

Swift noted that she sees Midnights as a concept album that takes the listener through different battles of insomnia, and the specific thoughts keeping her awake at night. This theme is evident in songs such as “Question…?” where she asks her love interest anxiety-fueled questions about the nature of their relationship, and the song “Anti-Hero,” in which she openly states “I’m the problem, It’s me / And everybody agrees.”

Some fan favorites from the album include the opener “Lavender Haze,” which speaks to Swift’s relationship with longtime boyfriend, actor Joe Alwyn, and the media’s continued intrusion into their personal lives. “Snow on the Beach,” was promoted as a feature with Lana Del Rey that ended up as background vocals rather than the anticipated full feature that framed the tale of two people falling for each other at the same time as weird and wonderful as snow falling on a beach. “Karma,” is a song in which Swift boasts about her satisfying relationship with karma, and how it treats her well while punishing those who have wronged her over the years.

WHS students weighed in on their thoughts on Midnights. “At first I didn’t really love Midnights, but as I kept listening it really grew on me,” said senior Anabelle Bahadur. “Overall I liked the album. I think she was trying to do something a little different than what she did in folklore and evermore.”

Junior Grace Lisnock said, “I think it holds up as a descendent of [past albums], and I feel she ties in all different aspects and albums which makes it a surprise to listen to each song when you are not sure what you are going to hear.”

Midnights is now streaming on all available music platforms.