‘Midnights’ Review: Product of Everything Before It

After two years without a new album, Taylor Swift’s 20 track album “Midnights” pulls the audience into a whirlwind of stories extracted from important midnights in her life. Befitting the name, the original 13 tracks were released precisely at midnight with an additional seven tracks released three hours later. Utilizing imagery and a range of genres, Swift entices the audience into stories of grief, betrayal, love and empowerment. Intertwining references from previous songs and writing credits attributed to various famous artists, fans are left with a sense of familiarity while listening.

One of the main tracks, accompanied by a music video, is “Anti-Hero.” The track talks about Swift’s experiences with self-doubt and how oftentimes people’s own faults are what hold them back. This references her previous song “This is me trying,” pointing out how self-loathing and depression often cripple a person’s confidence and prevent them from moving on. 

While every track tells a fraction of a story, many of them focus on the parts after the climax. This is seen in the tracks “Question…?” and “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” where Swift recalls a situation she wished she had been able to get closure on. “Question…?” follows a girl who wishes she were able to speak to her former lover again to understand the abrupt end to their relationship. While “Question…?” is reflecting on a past relationship, “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” expresses regrets over the former relationship. Instead of wanting closure from a person, this track focuses on wanting a resolution to the pain caused by a relationship. The lyrics and music pacing remind fans of Swift’s “1989” album, bringing back her synth-pop style.

For fans of Swift’s electro-pop music, songs such as “Karma” perfectly match her past album “Reputation.” The song encourages empowerment with cryptic lyrics and drop beats while keeping the audience guessing at the back story. “Karma” focuses on the benefit of sitting back and allowing karma to handle itself. The straightforward lyrics paired with suspenseful music have the listener captivated with the story.

While all these songs contain many strong emotions, sometimes listeners may want a simple love song. Swift masterfully included “Sweet Nothing” and “Paris,” with both tracks heavily reflecting her previous album “Lover.” With heartfelt lyrics about holding love close and not letting it be harmed by outside influences, “Paris” follows a couple avoiding negative influences and allowing their love to flourish quietly. “Sweet Nothing” reflects on the singer realizing that her lover doesn’t wish her to be anything but herself. The two songs allow the listener to imagine a cozy home and romantic experiences.

“Midnights” offers a little bit of everything, perfectly combining older albums such as “1989” and others that encompass her newer albums such as “Reputation” and “Folklore.” Whether a love song or a sad song that perfectly captures their feelings, the album will have it. With genres and stories that are attuned to all tastes, teenagers and adults alike can enjoy “Midnights.”