“Midnights”: the past and future Taylor Swift


Graphic courtesy of Ella Leroux and Canva

Shining star and 32-year-old singer, Taylor Swift, has been in the limelight for the past 18 years. Every single year, she has been able to capture the attention of teenagers and young adults through her intricate storytelling in each song that she produces. Beginning her career at the young age of 14, producing country classics and personal songs, she gradually adapted herself to dominate the pop culture scene. Her albums mostly range on the topic of first love that leads into the eventual heartbreak that most people endure, which reels in her audience to relate to these emotions of betrayal. 

Swift continues to intrigue her audience through every album she has produced, whether it be “Fearless” or “Lover;” it might even be the soothing tones of “Folklore.” Regardless, she invokes happy feelings in every listener. In recent years, she has been able to troubleshoot past conflicts with her albums and has created the widely known “Taylor’s Version” of previous albums, but this time produced solely by herself. In the midst of August 2022, she announced her newest album, “Midnights.” An assemblement of thirteen songs that are said to pose attention on specific days and nights of her intricate life. In order to keep her audience lured in, she has created a series of Tik Toks that came out every night, starting from the thirteenth day before her album dropped. Each Tik Tok drops the name of a new song that is set to be on the tracklist, with a key description of the song’s meaning. Swift kept them waiting, and they received what they wanted since her last drop, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” in November of 2021. 

The anticipation is over: Taylor Swift released her 44-minute album, “Midnights,” at midnight on Friday, Oct. 21, 2022. Swift has been able to paint an image of her late-night thoughts and experiences, with one of them being “Lavender Haze,” which is one of the calmer songs that indulges the love she carries with her current partner, Joe Alwyn.

“…[Lavender Haze] honestly [has] just a nostalgic feeling and reminds me of “Lover,” FHS student Ishika Sharma said. 

Swift carries on with “Maroon,” which delights fans regarding her past relationships, and how Swift herself has felt trapped. Although she starts off the album with memories of those who have been involved in her life, she focuses her third track, “Anti-Hero,” on herself and her struggle in the cruel public eye. Celebrity features, such as Lana Del Rey, were involved in creating “Snow on the Beach,” a soft song based on the fate of two people meeting and understanding the mutual feelings they have for each other. Staying on the theme of hometowns, Swift moves into the hardships of being in love with someone who is opposite to her in a way that they do not work together, in the sixth track, “Midnight Rain.” 

There is a switch from the start of the album having much more of a “Folklore” and “Evermore” vibe to becoming more of a call back to the “Reputation” days. Starting this section off with “Question…?,” the seventh track refers back to a time when Swift had someone who decorated her life, in reference to a past relationship. The next track, “Vigilante S***,” follows a similar theme from a man’s point of view. Though, this one goes deep into some societal norms and expectations for ways of dress. It follows as though she needs to be perfect and express herself as a hyperfeminine, thus demonstrated in, “Bejeweled.” Swift uses many metaphors with jewels, “sapphire tears on my face” and “diamonds in my eyes” being two reiterated phrases throughout the song. In, “Labyrinth,” this is put on full display as she starts the song with, “breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep, breathe out” something she said during her speech at NYU. Swift ultimately surrenders into her acceptance of how karma has affected her life in track eleven, “Karma.” Joe Alwyn and Taylor Swift wrote “Sweet Nothing” together about their relationship. It displays a love that seems as though it will last forever. “Mastermind,” is a song revealing this to the more general audience of her fans, “I laid the groundwork and then just like clockwork / the dominoes cascaded in a line” was a lyric from the ads being displayed around the world leading up to the release of the album but proficiently demonstrates how she is controlling the movements of everything around her.

Overall the reaction to the album was positive, but was not what many were expecting. 

“I personally think most of the songs were good but some of them could’ve been better,” FHS student Kaneez Amina said. 

Swift also released a 3 a.m. edition of her album, including another seven songs that had not originally made the album. She has also dropped a music video for “Anti-Hero,” and will be dropping a second music video on Oct. 25. However, the song to be featured has yet to be unveiled.