The night of Oct. 20, Swifties hovered over their phones awaiting the “Midnights” album release. At midnight, Swifties went nuts for Taylor Swift’s enticing lyrics and themes in her new album. While some expected an album similar to “folklore” and “evermore” with their calm and fall-like feel, “Midnights” showed its true colors when the clock struck 12 a.m. The album consists of songs that feel like Swift’s upbeat “1989” album and revengeful “reputation” mixed together, giving “Midnights” its own unique pop-y yet vindictive feel. The album starts and ends with techno background music, which Swift used throughout to alter her voice and add in different beats, giving her songs that nuanced pop feel. Along with the background music, Swift is still able to capture her audience with her advanced lyrics. Many of the songs on this album share themes of love, as well as hints of revenge and internal struggles.
The album begins with “Lavender Haze”, which Swift described earlier on her Instagram as being the state of mind people are in when they are in love; when they are entranced by their significant other and everything else fades away. And this song expresses exactly that through its upbeat vibe and lyrics like “Staring at the ceiling with you/ Oh, you don’t ever say too much/ And you don’t really read into/ My melancholia”.
Another song that continues this notion of love on the album is “Snow on the Beach”. Similar to “Lavender Haze,” Swift had already described this song on her Instagram before its release as two people falling in love at the same time and thinking how could this be real? In this song, Lana Del Ray is singing in the background, with her soft and eerie voice shifting in and out with Swift’s during the chorus.
In this post-“reputation” world, Swift had to include a song or two about revenge. One of her tracks off of “Midnights” truly illustrates Swift’s dark side: “Vigilante Shit.” “Vigilante Shit” exemplifies Swift’s need for revenge and gives the album an edgier feel. With lyrics like, “Lately I’ve been dressin’ for revenge”, listeners can’t help but feel empowered. “Bejeweled” also gives Swift’s new album the same edgy vibe, painting a picture of a girl “shimmering” when she walks in the room.
Some of the songs off Swift’s new record deal with more personal topics for Swift. In another one of her explanation videos on Instagram, Swift discusses how her song “Anti-Hero” explains how Swift struggles with not feeling like a person, describing herself as the anti-hero. This song really dives into the struggles that come with fame and the unordinary life people like Swift live. Throughout this song, Swift is raw with her fans, singing lyrics like, “It’s me/ Hi/ I’m the problem, it’s me” and “I’ll stare directly at the sun, but never in the mirror”.
“Midnights (3am Edition)”
In addition to her “Midnights” album, Swift released an extended version at 3 a.m. the same night titled “Midnights (3am Edition)”, in which she added seven new songs. These “3am” songs continue the same feel of the album, however one song stands out from the others. While “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” seems like an ordinary on-brand “Midnights” song, to Swifties, it is much more than that. In this song, Swift sings about someone she dated at nineteen, and who was she dating when she was nineteen? John Mayer, one of the most hated ex-boyfriends by her fandom. With lyrics like “At nineteen, and the god’s honest truth is that the pain was heaven”, and “I regret you all the time,” this song is an absolute tear-jerker perfect to scream to after a breakup.
Overall, this album starts a new era for Swift, one with a more whimsical and colorful feel, straying away from her more serious “All Too Well” era. Does this mean sad girl fall is canceled? Can Swifties stay in the “Lavender Haze” while the seasons change?
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