Midnights by Taylor Swift: A Kaleidoscope of Thoughts


Isabelle Chow, Staff Writer

On Oct. 21, Taylor Swift released her 10th studio album, breaking several records. The singer surpassed Drake for biggest debut album, also claiming the title of most streamed artist after a single day in Spotify history and most streams for a pop-album on Apple Music. In less than 3 days, Midnights sold 1 million units. The album to previously break this record was her other album, Reputation, that came out in 2017.

Swift has been re-recording her old albums after Big Machine Records sold them to Scooter Braun without her permission. According to her documentary Miss Americana, she felt like she didn’t have freedom to make decisions about her own music. She had to convince her label to allow her to work with the well-known producers Max Martin and Shellback. Together, they wrote some of her most famous songs such as We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Shake It Off, and Blank Space

Since parting ways from the toxic work-environment, she has been experimenting with new singing techniques & music styles. Midnights is a great example. While there are still some similarities between the new record and her old albums, it is evident that she is moving on from the country pop-star era. The lyrics are more sophisticated like folklore and evermore. The production hits at the right beats and offbeats contrasting with abstract voice effects. Some songs sound like they could be adapted from previous albums. Songs like Lavender Haze & Paris have a reverie style of pop from Lover. Other tracks like Karma are reminiscent of Reputation.

“Lavender Haze” is a great start to the album with free-spirited rhythm. First words that listeners hear is “meet me at midnight.” In the song, she refers to her long-time boyfriend Joe Alwyn. On Instagram, Taylor Swift said that the song was inspired by a line from Mad Men, a show based on the 60s. The song expresses the feelings of wanting to stay in the honeymoon phase and focus on the relationship no matter what others say. Swift also collaborates with Joe Alwyn (alias William Bowery) on the 12th track Sweet Nothing. They previously worked together on songs from folklore and evermore.

“Anti-Hero” is the most personal song she has ever written, expressing her deepest insecurities and fears through song-writing and a music video she directed. Shortly after the music video was released, Swift received backlash for being “fatphobic.” In the video, she is seen stepping on a scale as the words “FAT” appear and her döppelganger shaking her head. In her Netflix documentary, Miss Americana, she experienced an eating disorder. She felt self-conscious because the media would take photos of her and post articles speculating on whether she was pregnant. In response to the criticism, Swift edited the scene out. However, fans are disappointed because she discarded her valid feelings to appease others. 

“Snow On The Beach” was the highly anticipated collaboration between Taylor Swift and Lana Del Ray that set high expectations for this song. Unfortunately, many fans are upset because Lana Del Ray is only featured as background vocals instead of a duet between the two singers like in exile ft. Bon Iver

The track features Dylan O’Brien playing the drums, who was in the All Too Well Short Film. On the Jimmy Fallon Show, Swift said that it was a happy accident involving wine. She was recording for the song with Jack Antanoff and O’Brien was playing around with the drumset. They decided to keep it in the final recording and the rest is history. 

“Bejeweled” is the sparkling 1989-themed track. The music video features her friends HAIM, as Swift’s evil step sisters and Oscar-winning actress Laura Dern as her evil stepmother. The singer placed multiple easter-eggs in the video. Swift even joked that they had a special file for easter-eggs on the Jimmy Fallon Show

According to a particular scene in an elevator, the elevator buttons are colored to represent Taylor Swift’s albums. For example, Fearless is gold and Reputation is black. Since the buttons go in order of when the albums were released and Red (Taylor’s Version) and Midnights were last, does this mean that Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) is coming?

“Bigger Than The Whole Sky” is a hauntingly beautiful song about losing someone you love. Swift wrote, “I’m never gonna meet what could’ve been, would’ve been, what should’ve been you.” It’s a possibility that Swift wrote this song as a tribute to Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month (Oct.)

Shortly after Midnights was released, a survey was sent to students at Baruch College Campus High School to ask their opinions about the new album. Based on the survey, 87.6% of students either liked the album or loved it. 12.5% of students thought the album was okay. 0% of students hated the album. Some favorite songs are Anti-Hero, Lavender Haze, Karma, and Mastermind. Majority didn’t like Vigilante S*** or Dear Reader. One underrated track that not a lot of people chose as their favorite was Paris. Any person who likes Lover will probably enjoy this cute love song.

Throughout the years, Taylor Swift never fails to put out a great album. Perhaps the most productive worker during the pandemic, she has made 5 albums in the past 3 years including folklore, evermore, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Red (Taylor’s Version) and Midnights. Swift is proof that even the most heartbreaking moments or darkest nights can turn into something amazing like a kaleidoscope of thoughts.