Midnights Mayhem

I am here as STA’s biggest Swiftie to give an honest review of Taylor Swift’s newest album, “Midnights.”


by Annie McShane, Design and Copy Editor

Over the past two months, world-renowned and highly awarded singer, songwriter, director, actor and honorary doctor of the Fine Arts Taylor Swift has been dropping hints about her newest album, “Midnights.” Since the album announcement on August 28, Swift has been posting clips on Instagram reels and TikTok, revealing the titles of each track on the album. Due to this fun and interesting way of revealing information about the album, as well as fan theories and conspiracies about what possible easter eggs could mean, this has been one of Swift’s most anticipated album releases. As the self-proclaimed biggest Taylor Swift fan, or Swiftie, at STA, I am here to provide an honest and trustworthy review of the album. 

After only one listen of each of the original 13 tracks, I was blown away. Based on the sound of Swift’s previous two releases, “Folklore” and “Evermore,” I was anticipating another alternative and heavily lyrical album, but I was pleasantly surprised by the album’s upbeat sound. Upon first listen to songs like “Bejeweled,” “Karma” and “Mastermind,” I was compelled to get up and dance. I felt that many of the songs on this new album were reminiscent of Swift’s debut pop album “1989.” Delving back into this genre after two alternative albums showcases Swift’s impressive ability to switch back and forth between genres to best tell the story of her music.  

I could write 1,000,000 words analyzing each song in depth, but for the sake of your attention span, I’m only going to focus on three songs from the album, starting with “Karma.” Before the release of “Folklore” and “Evermore,” there were many fan theories about a possible album called “Karma.” Immediately after this track title was announced during Swift’s, “Midnights Mayhem with Me,” fans started coming up with new theories about when this song was written, what it would be about and what it would sound like. While I hadn’t necessarily come up with any in depth theories about this track, I assumed that it would be an angry song full of resentment that sounded similar to the tracks on Swift’s sixth album, “Reputation,” but the song was nothing like I thought it would be. Instead of placing blame and wishing misfortune on her enemies, Swift talks about how she is “keeping her side of the street clean,” and living her life not worrying about the haters. This positive spin shows that Swift knows her worth, and she is done letting other people’s opinions define her, providing a refreshing perspective on dealing with those who have wronged you. 

The second song that I am going to talk about is “Snow on the Beach (featuring Lana Del Rey).” After the announcement that Del Rey would be on this track, many fans (myself included) were elated. I knew that having her on this track would make it one of my top songs from the album and I was right. While many Swifties were disappointed that Del Rey did not have her own verse on the song, like Phoebe Bridgers did on Swift’s “Red: Taylor’s Version” vault track, “Nothing New,” I actually preferred having Del Rey in the background. Don’t get me wrong— I would have been happy with Del Rey having her own verse on the song, but being able to hear subtle hints of her voice in the harmonies made the mystical love song feel even more intimate and special. 

The third and final song that I am going to review is “Anti-Hero.” Prior to the release of the album, Swift shared that this track was, “one of her favorite songs she had ever written” and that she, “didn’t think she had delved this far into her insecurities in this detail before.” After hearing this, I assumed “Anti-Hero” would be a very emotional and raw song, much like Swift’s songs “The Archer” and “This is Me Trying.” But, like many other songs on this album, I was taken by surprise. The music and vibe of the song and its corresponding music video feel very upbeat and almost playful, which was unexpected. However, after paying closer attention to the lyrics, I discovered that “Anti-Hero” is more of a sad song than I thought. Some of the lyrics in the song, like, “Sometimes I feel like everybody is a sexy baby / and I’m a monster on the hill,” originally threw me off. But, after doing some research into the meaning I discovered that Swift is alluding to a line from the sitcom “30 Rock” that references the fact that women are oversexualized when they act younger and immature. The second part of the lyric is referring to the saying, “over the hill,” which means that someone is old and no longer capable or attractive. Through this lyric, Swift is expressing her fear that as she gets older, people will stop supporting her as an artist while all of the youthful artists continue to thrive. This is one of many lyrics on this album that may seem insignificant, but have a much deeper meaning if you do a little digging. 

Overall, I was highly impressed with this album. In her return to pop, Swift has proved once again how versatile she is as an artist. The songs are fun and catchy while still having meaningful lyrics, which makes the album feel almost like a combination of Swift’s previous pop and alternative albums. I would rate this album a 10/10, and I am confident that there is at least one song that everyone will enjoy, so go give “Midnights” a listen!