Clock Strikes Midnight On Taylor Swift’s New Album


©The Talon News | Alex Moeller

With Taylor Swift’s latest album, “Midnights,” continues to break records and climb charts. The album was the third most streamed album in a single week just six days after release according to Billboard charts.

Annalise Bodine

Singer-songwriter and 11-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift shocked her fans on August 28 when she announced the release of her tenth studio album, Midnights. During her “Video Of the Year” acceptance speech for her All Too Well (10 Minute Version) short film, she revealed the album would drop at midnight on October 21 and include 13 tracks. After the release of the original 13, Swift came to Instagram to announce the additional 7 tracks that would be added to the “3 am Edition” of Midnights, hoping to share more of her creative process behind the album like she has done in the past with “From the Vault” tracks. 

The album opens with “Lavender Haze”, a synth-pop song with great contrast to Swift’s previous alternative albums, Folklore, and Evermore. This is similar to her 2019 album, Lover, more specifically with track six titled “I Think He Knows” with a breathless and whimsical beat. The song highlights the dynamic of Swift’s six-year relationship with actor Joe Alwyn, explaining his love for her through difficult public matters. The lyrics “I been under scrutiny…You handle it beautifully” compliment lyrics from her 2017 album “Reputation”’s track titled “Delicate” beautifully: “My reputation’s never been worse so, you must like me for me”. The meaning behind the title itself comes from the 2007 film Mad Men, in which a “Lavender Haze” is described as a feeling of an all-encompassing love glow, Swift explained. In the song, the lyrics “I just wanna stay in this lavender haze” express the desire to stay in the ecstasy of a fulfilling love. 

Prior to her album release, Swift announced through an Instagram reel that track four titled “Snow On The Beach” was planned to feature singer-songwriter and six-time Grammy nominee Lana Del Rey. The song itself dives into the surreal and amusing tenderness of love, like something from a movie, as shown in the lyrics “This scene feels like what I once saw on a screen…I’ve never seen someone lit from within”. The imagery of this track truly grabs its listener’s attention, painting a beautiful image of a snow-covered paradise. However, many fans were thoroughly disappointed in the lack of Del Rey’s participation in the track itself, with her assisting solely in background vocals and songwriting. 

On her additional seven tracks titled the “3 am Edition” of Midnights is the emotional and raw “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve”. With its somber and sated tone, the 19th track goes deep into Swift’s past experiences and her regrets that lie within them. Many fans were quick to connect the lyrics to her 2008 relationship with artist John Mayer, who she dated at 19 (while Mayer was 32).  Directing referencing her 2010 song “Dear John”, lyrics such as “And if I was a child, did it matter…If you got to wash your hands?” and “I damn sure never would’ve danced with the devil… at nineteen…” directly contrast with the lyrics `Don’t you think nineteen’s too young to be played by your dark, twisted games…”. Throughout the track, the mood shifts, and the temper grows as pure emotion shines through. As she mourns her past decisions and her innocent rage shows itself, her sound becomes more confident and less regretful as she shifts the blame from herself to her groomer. Swift ends this powerful track with a lyric relating to both her previous manipulative relationships and her relentless exposure to the public, “Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first.”

In conclusion, Midnights by Taylor Swift is a beautiful mosaic of emotions that range from rage, grief, lust, love, and contentment. Each track is crafted through Swift’s own personal experiences and resonates deeply with millions who share her experience of sleepless nights. No matter who you may be, Midnights is the perfect anthem for a wide range of occasions.