Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” is a masterpiece


The release of Taylor Swift’s 10th studio album, “Midnights” on Oct. 21 marks the artist’s return to the pop world. It’s been highly anticipated by fans due to its mysterious themes and styles and, as always, its easter eggs. Swift’s use of easter eggs creates an immersive experience for her fans; connecting the artist and listener in imaginative ways. The album was announced during her acceptance speech for Video of the Year at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards. Starting on October 2nd and leading up the album, Swift released Instagram videos at midnight revealing the track’s song title as well as explaining the thought process behind each track on the album.

Swift soon released the full track list and fans eagerly awaited its unveiling on Oct. 21st at midnight. However, dedicated fans were surprised at 3 a.m. when Swift released additional tracks. Titled “3am Edition,” these tracks were not included in the initial release and have since been added to the CDs, records and merchandise. 

Clearly, Swift’s innovative marketing strategies have paid off as the album has sold more than 1.4 million equivalent album units (CD, vinyl, digital downloads and cassette) in the first five days of its release. “Midnights” broke Spotify’s record for the most streamed album in a day and has had the largest streaming week for an album in 2022. 

In this review, we will each cover our top two songs off the album, but we highly suggest listening to the whole album.

Kayla: “Question…?” 

While I don’t think this is the best song on the album, Swift’s clear diction and lyrics make this song resonate more deeply with the listener than other songs. The song encapsulates the feeling of being an isolated teenager. “Question…?” paints a picture of a couple criticized by their friends for being together. Though not explicitly stated, the listener can infer various social reasons for this criticism such as class, race and gender. The emotions she puts into her music make it easy to envision the story within this song. 

For me, I saw “Question…?” as the classic rom-com trope of the jock-and-bookworm: two people who run in different social circles and are faced with criticism due to their romantic relationship. “Question…?” reminds me of my time in middle school; both the best and worst periods of my life. The song is a collection of the jealousy, excitement and curiosity many held toward the possibility of a relationship. Swift’s marketing strategy and songwriting work create profound connections and stories for the audience. 


“Anti-Hero” is for anyone who has ever felt like they had to be the “rock” of their relationships; for anyone whose own overthinking prevents them from effective communication with others. The song is reflective of Swift’s imaginative way with words. She’s able to express a need to belong but due to her own isolating habits, can never be fully vulnerable with the people closest to her. “I’ll stare directly at the sun but never in the mirror” has to be my favorite line in the song. It demonstrates how recklessness and bravery go hand-in-hand and how Swift perceives her as a facet of likability.. If she never has to be honest with herself, she never has to be vulnerable. As a writer myself, it has challenged me to become more honest with my words and the intentions behind them.  

Claire: “Snow On The Beach” feat. Lana Del Rey

According to Swift, “Snow On The Beach” is a song about falling in love with someone at the same time they’re falling in love with you. She compares the disbelief and rarity of that situation to witnessing snow falling on a beach. The song has a dreamy sound that is a unique mix of the sounds from her previous album “Folklore” and Lana Del Rey’s psychedelic rock genre. Swift expressed her excitement to have Del Rey featured on the song, saying “I’m such a massive fan of Lana Del Rey.” Although fans of Lana Del Rey were disappointed that she did not have a verse of her own, her influence is clearly heard throughout the song and her voice blends beautifully with Swift’s. “Snow On The Beach” is a prime example of Swift’s storytelling abilities, with her lyrics thoughtfully crafted in order to create a captivating scene in the minds of listeners. Phrases like “aurora borealis green” use vivid imagery to describe the scene the song is describing in its title and the simultaneous profound emotions that lie underneath the title. The message resonated with me because the song is a lot different than heartbreak or melancholy songs people are used to hearing from Swift. Although I love all the sad lyrics that Swift writes, the calm and hopeful sound of “Snow on the Beach” is a welcome addition to “Midnights.”

“You’re On Your Own, Kid”

It’s not an exaggeration to say that “You’re On Your Own, Kid” provokes a powerful connection from the bottom of my heart. “You’re On Your Own, Kid” has lyrics that are extremely personal to Swift’s life, but also incredibly relatable for listeners. The bridge of this song is my favorite of Swift’s. The line “from sprinkler splashes to fireplace ashes, I gave my blood, sweat, and tears for this” has so much depth and symbolism that’s applicable to various situations like —–. The song also fits well into the “Midnights” theme, with growing up being a topic that is likely to keep more than just Swift awake at night. While the song might not have the best melody on the album, I love how it builds; the beat starts off simple and gradually grows to become a beautiful alternative-pop euphony. I appreciate that while the song reflects on bad experiences, it has an uplifting message at the end, with “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.” The sentiment of not being afraid to live freely, even if that means losing sometimes, is especially impactful for high school students who are still discovering personal identities. Swift sums it up in her NYU commencement speech on May 18 when she said “How do I give advice to this many people about their life choices? I won’t. Scary news is: You’re on your own now. Cool news is: You’re on your own now.” “You’re On Your Own, Kid” is a mature reflection on the struggles one goes through to find who they are in the world. It describes the pain and melancholia of maturing “perfectly,” while also empowering listeners. Although “You’re On Your Own, Kid” will likely tug on the heartstrings of a wide variety of people, I think it’s an important listen for anyone who is trying to discover how they fit in the world.


I initially thought that most of the songs on “Midnights” sounded too similar to one another. I doubted that Swift would be able to retain her “Pop Princess” title she was known for, but after giving it a week and the TikTok algorithm constantly returning me to the album, I noticed the nuances of each song; differences in percussion, variance in the reverb and so much more. It’s an album that follows its namesake. It’s made to be listened to at night while you reflect on your day, the choices you made and your future. Midnights is the album for anyone who feels tired but chooses to remain hopeful. 


After listening to Midnights a few times, each song has grown on me– even the ones I was unsure of during my first listen. It’s clear that the album is a milestone in Swift’s artistry. The meaningful lyrics elevate her storytelling to another level and the mainstream catchy pop melodies are appealing to die-hard fans and casual listeners alike. Although Midnights isn’t my favorite Taylor Swift album, it’s a great listening experience.