The moment Taylor Swift announced that she was releasing a new album at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, I may have done a happy dance and then spent the entire next few weeks waiting in eager and impatient anticipation for Midnights. As stated on several occasions in several blogs, I am a major Taylor Swift fan. I am a Swiftie. I’m not ashamed of that at all. I’ve listened to her since her first debut album came out in 2006. I was twelve at the time. Now I am 28, and I am still listening to Taylor Swift. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
So the second Midnights dropped on Friday, I had it on my Spotify to play on the way to work. I listened to the entire album, all thirteen songs, in the 45 minutes it took me to get to work. Then I went back and played the 3 am edition. My mom (my aunt, but I call her mom) saw that it dropped, and she’s like, ‘Well, I know what Keely is listening to for the next month.’ (She’s right. I’ve listened to the album since Friday on repeat.)
Now, most of you probably know that Red (Taylor’s Version) is my favorite album. Red has always been my favorite album of hers. Even before she re-released her version. Then she re-released her version and I loved Red even more. Not to say I don’t love all her albums, because I do. Hello, “cardigan” was my top song for 2020 and 2021. Red just clicked with me for some reason. A lot.
Move over Red because Midnights has taken over.
Even the songs that I perhaps don’t like as much as others, I still listen to them because of the lyrics, the music, and the whole vibe. This album is like she took all of the beautiful, breathtaking lyrics from folklore and evermore then combined them with the sound of like 1989 and Lover with some Reputation in there. Midnights, just wowza. I love this album. I may never listen to another album again. (Kidding, I will.)
Midnights is thirteen nights in Taylor Swift’s life. So they’re throughout her life. I find that absolutely fascinating, and I have so many questions.
Now, rather than go through all these songs, I’m going to talk about my favorite ones. These are the ones that hit me the most, and I’ve been playing on repeat for a while now. Seriously, I end my day with Taylor Swift, and I begin my day with Taylor Swift.
We’ll start with her newest single, “Anti-Hero.”
“Anti-Hero” is the third track from Midnights. While it’s not my favorite song, I do like it. It’s got an upbeat sound to it, which is funny because it’s a song about self-sabotage. It’s about how sometimes the person who is blocking your way. . . is, well. You.
"I should not be left to my own devices They come with prices and vices I end up in crisis."
Who doesn’t feel like that? Who keeps climbing that ladder over and over again and keeps falling, toppling down everyone in your path?
Who can’t relate to this song?
And it’s about acknowledging your own flaws and seeing them and kind of hating them. Wondering if you could just fix them, maybe you wouldn’t be in your own way. But then, the song is also about accepting those flaws and realizing that, hey, you’re human.
Also, the video, as always is a gem. I love her videos. Taylor needs to make a movie. Oh, wait, she sort of did with “All Too Well.”
Pretty sure every millennial is like, “Damn, dude,” when it comes to this song.
Do I think it should’ve been the first single? No, not really. But I do get why. It’s catchy and pop. It’s got a nice beat to it. I personally wouldn’t have chosen “Anti-Hero” as the first new single, but I do like the song. It’s, like, maybe six or seven on my top five of Midnights.
As for the song that I’d chosen for the single, I’ll have to think about that.
My top five from Midnights keep changing, so we’ll go by track.
The next one that’s on my top five favorite songs from Midnights is “Snow on the Beach.”
Not going to lie, this song is like the theme of a new fanfiction I want to write for Law & Order: SVU. (Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. I’m a giant nerd.)
This song is about falling in love with someone while they’re falling in love with you. It’s one of those songs that you’d see in a TV show or a movie where the two main characters are circling around each other, making dinner together, going to the movies, all the little dates, and the feeling of just pure happiness.
It’s like snow. The first snow that falls, and it’s beautiful and perfect. But this isn’t just any snow. It’s snow on the beach. It’d unexpected, but it’s remarkable. It’s something you didn’t know would happen, but it did.
The combination of Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey makes this song so heavenly and so sweet, with lovely yet simple lyrics. “Snow on the Beach” is a song that would be a romantic comedy, and I mean that as a compliment. I want to make a music video for this song (okay, so I want to make videos for like a lot of Taylor Swift’s songs). It’s just so lovely.
"I've never seen someone lit from within Blurring out my periphery My smile is like I won a contest And to hide that would be so dishonest."
The next song I listened to on repeat for like three hours on Sunday.
“Midnight Rain,” is a masterpiece. It’s my mom’s second favorite song on this album. (We’ll get to her favorite later.) This song is so damn good. So good.
The beginning of this song got me from the start. It starts with a lower voice which is actually Taylor’s voice, with some synth vibes. I don’t normally like synth, but this song, it works.
This song is about putting a career before a relationship. It’s about how the other person wanted a real relationship. Marriage, the white picket fence, the whole kit kaboodle. But she didn’t. She was working on her career and making a name for herself. Then, you have this relationship, and it’s like it never happened. Neither of them think about the other.
"My boy was a montage A slow-motion, love potion Jumping off things in the ocean I broke his heart 'cause he was nice He was sunshine, I was midnight rain."
Excuse me while I play it on repeat for the next few hours.
I need a video for “Midnight Rain,” like stat. I’ll make it myself if I have to. Like with “Snow on the Beach.” But the song I want a video for the most is this next one.
“Vigilante Shit” gives me such Cruella vibes. Emma Stone’s Cruella de Vil. Like damn. Tell me that this song doesn’t give you all the villain vibes. The femme fatale vibes. It reminds me of Cruella, Maleficent, Yennefer, all those powerful women who were wronged (by men mostly but also by other women) who said, ‘You know what? Fuck you.’
Also, I feel like this song is like a cousin to songs from Reputation. Songs like “Don’t Blame Me” and “I Did a Bad Thing.” It has that kind of revenge and woman power vibe but not up in your face.
Also, the first line of this song, y’all.
"Draw the cat eye sharp enough to kill a man."
Damn, Taylor. Yes. Just yes, girl. Yes. Women are told to dress pretty. It’s always about appearances. That their make-up must look pretty. Be pretty. Be quiet. Be obedient. All that shit. This song is like, reclaiming it. It’s saying, ‘I’m not dressing for you, baby. I’m not dressing for you or anyone. I’m dressing for me.’
"Ladies always rise above Ladies know what people want Someone sweet and kind and fun The lady simply had enough."
This song might be my theme song from now on. Just saying.
The next song is “The Great War,” which is one of the seven bonus tracks on the Midnights (3 am Edition). “The Great War” reminds me of folklore. Like if “The Great War” was on folklore, I wouldn’t even bat an eye. It would make sense. It’d make sense for “The Great War” to come after “exile.”
Look, I love all of Taylor’s songs. Obviously, but “The Great War” might be my favorite song. (At the moment, at least.) It has the most beautiful, raw lyrics. It flows so well, the lyrics, the music, everything. She’s painting a picture, and it’s gorgeous. You can see it in your head. The way this couple is.
This song is about being in a relationship and comparing it to all your other failed relationships. It’s about fighting and realizing that this isn’t the same as all the others. That he’s not the same. Something about this song touches me. All her songs touch me, but this one hits differently. Just like the next song hits differently. It’s like, she’s speaking what I can’t put into words. I write poetry, but I can’t write songs like she does.
She loves him, she does, but she has a past, and she thinks that’s all he sees. All she sees are her previous relationships. “The Great War” is about pushing past that doubt, the insecurities before she ruins a good thing.
"You drew up some good faith treaties
I drew curtains closed, drank my poison all alone
You said I have to trust more freely
But diesel is desire, you were playing with fire
And maybe it's the past that's talking
Screaming from the crypt
Telling me to punish you for things you never did
So I justified it."
Just. . . .*chef’s kiss* I can’t stop listening to this song.
The last song is my mom’s favorite song.
“Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” hit me like a train wreck. This son is about a relationship. Specifically, the relationship that Taylor had with John Mayer. she was only 19 at the time, and he was 32. There was a lot of heat for that age difference. “Dear John,” one of my favorite songs off of Speak Now, is also about him.
She’s saying that she regrets this relationship the most. That if they hadn’t dated that maybe she wouldn’t have had the experience she did in her next relationships. That this youthful, rebellious relationship with him scarred her. That was the beginning of her issues when it came to relationships. It’s raw and powerful, and the lyrics are incredible. This song. . .jeez.
Who hasn’t had a relationship that they regret? That they wish never happened? I know I have.
"If clarity's in death, then why won't this die? Years of tearing down our banners, you and I Living for the thrill of hitting you where it hurts Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first."
That last line hits me the hardest.
As for which should’ve been the single, I think it should’ve been “Vigilante Shit” or “Midnight Rain.”
Thus concludes my semi-review on Midnights. If you haven’t listened to the album, do so! There’s not a song on it that’s not good. That someone won’t relate too.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to play Midnights on repeat. Again.
Oh, and check out the video for “Bejeweled.” It’s shiny. (See what I did there?)