The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

Swift Shines in the Sky with Midnights

With pop anthems reminiscent of 1989 & Lover, wise lyrics similar to those of folklore and the same dark themes of reputation, Midnights is one of Swift’s best albums.
Swift Shines in the Sky with Midnights

As the clock struck 12:00 on Friday, October 21, Taylor Swift released her 10th studio album, Midnights. The album, produced by Swift and long-time collaborator Jack Antonoff of Bleachers, features 13 tracks. According to Swift, it’s a “collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams..,  [that] tells the stories of 13 sleepless nights throughout [her life]…” Swift subsequently released Midnights 3am Edition three hours later. Its additional seven tracks include production by Aaron Dessner, who collaborated with Swift on her folklore and evermore albums which featured an indie-folk sound.  


Lavendar Haze: Swift opens her 10th studio album with Lavender Haze, a pop hit thematically similar to Call It What You Want and audibly similar to I Think He Knows (from her reputation and Lover albums, respectively). Lavender Haze addresses the speculation by the public on her long-time relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn. 

Favorite Lyric: “Talk your talk and go viral / I just need this love spiral.”


Maroon: Following Lavender Haze is Maroon, a more mature take on her 2012 title track from Red. Previously, Swift viewed her love as a clear shade of red, but now she sees the complications and views it as a darker maroon. With allusions to Holy Ground from Red and vocal similarities to Dress from reputation, Maroon cements its spot as a staple in Swift’s discography.

Favorite lyric: “Carnations you had thought were roses, that’s us.” 


Anti-Hero: The lead single for Midnights is a deep dive into Swift’s insecurities that allows listeners to relate. While the subject matter explores her deepest anxieties, the tune is contrastingly catchy and upbeat. 

Favorite Lyric: “I’ll stare directly at the sun, but never in the mirror / It must be exhausting always rooting for the Anti-Hero.”


Snow on the Beach:  On the album’s fourth track, Swift collaborates with indie-alternative artist Lana Del Ray, who provides backup vocals for the song. It describes the awe of falling in love with someone at the same time they’re falling in love with you, something as rare as snow on the beach. The strength of this song is in its imagery and the harmonies between the two artists. 

Favorite Lyric: “Flying in a dream / Stars by the pocketful / You wanting me, tonight feels impossible,”


You’re On Your Own, Kid takes up the sacred Track 5 spot in which Swift shares her most personal and emotional experiences with her audience. This time, Swift looks back on times throughout her life where she’s felt abandoned. With a bridge exploring each era of her career, she leads up to her current self who gives advice to her listeners to embrace their youth.

Favorite Lyric: “So make the friendship bracelets, take the moment and taste it / You’ve got no reason to be afraid.” 


Midnight Rain: Swift continues the theme of portraying herself as an anti-hero in Midnight Rain, where she describes leaving behind her friends and relationships in favor of propelling her career. Midnight Rain’s hook is sonically different from the rest of Swift’s discography, with a heavily filtered effect on her voice. The unique production of Midnight Rain makes it stand out and leaves a mark on the listener.

Favorite Lyric: “He wanted a bride / I was making my own name.”


Question…?: Sampling “Out of the Woods,” from 1989, Question…? details the beginnings and downfall of a past relationship. Swift reminisces on how she felt and asks her former lover if his new experiences match theirs as she ponders what caused their downfall.

Favorite Lyric: “Does it feel like everything’s just like / Second best after that meteor strike?”


Vigilante Sh*t: Straight out of the reputation vault, Vigilante Sh*t details Swift’s takedown of Scooter Braun, who controversially bought the master copyrights to Swift’s first six studio albums against her wishes (Swift is in the process of re-recording the “stolen” albums in order to own their Masters). 

Favorite Lyric: “While he was doing lines / And crossing all of mine / Someone told his white collar crimes to the FBI,” 


In Bejeweled, Swift shows she is still on top of the pop world even after switching genres with her last two albums Folklore and Evermore. The song makes it clear she knows her worth and continues to shine brightly after all these years. 

Favorite Lyrics: Best believe I’m still bejeweled / When I walk in the room / I can still make the whole place shimmer.”


Labyrinth has a haunting air to it while describing feelings of falling in deep love again after heartbreak. Similar to Folklore’s Mirrorball, it also describes the unrealistic expectations put on people by society.

Favorite Lyrics: “You know how much I hate that everybody just expects me to bounce back / Just like that.”


In Karma, Swift knows the universe is on her side. An electric feel to the beat and lyrics that detail how karma always comes back around is especially ironic as its release coincided with the downfall of her long-time public rival Kanye West.

Favorite Lyric: “Sweet like honey, karma is a cat / Purring in my lap ’cause it loves me.”


Sweet Nothing is the first love song written together by Swift and Alwyn. The track acts as Alwyn’s response to peace, a song Swift wrote for folklore about her anxiety of not being enough for him. Sweet Nothing is lyrically sweet with quiet piano instrumentals in the background.

Favorite Lyric: “On the way home / I wrote a poem / You say, “What a mind” / This happens all the time.” 


Mastermind: The final track of Midnights’ standard edition is Mastermind, a dynamic song that reveals the way Swift left nothing up to fate in her quest to pursue Alwyn as her boyfriend. Mastermind also serves as a nod to Swift’s crafty ways, as she is notorious for planning extremely far in advance and leaving easter-eggs for her fans. 

Favorite Lyric: “And I swear / I’m only cryptic and Machiavellian ’cause I care.”


Hits Different is the only song on Midnights that is not currently available for streaming as it is a Target exclusive. As a pop hit that is very reminiscent of How You Get the Girl and New Romantics, Hits Different details the heartache someone experiences after a breakup and the attachment they still feel. 

Favorite Lyric: “Is that your key in the door? / Is it okay? Is it you? / Or have they come to take me away?”


The Great War: The first of the Midnights 3am edition tracks and the first song on the album produced by Aaron Dessner is The Great War, which again displays Swift as an anti-hero. With lyrics similar to Afterglow, it compares a time in her and Alwyn’s relationship to The Great War (a nod to World War I), where neither side can justify their acts.

Favorite Lyric: “There’s no morning glory, it was war, it wasn’t fair.”


Bigger Than The Whole Sky: By far the most solemn song on Midnights, Bigger Than The Whole Sky is a tribute to time lost with people that have passed, literally or figuratively. The track also tackles survivor’s guilt and trying to carry on with living after the death of a loved one. 

Favorite Lyric: “Did some bird flap its wings over Asia? / Did some force take you because I didn’t pray?” 


Paris is a song that showcases Swift’s infectious joy about her love for Alwyn. While the introduction is lighthearted, she dives deeper into what makes their romance special all while keeping a catchy beat that keeps you listening on repeat.

Favorite Lyric: “Romance is not dead / If you keep it just yours.” 


High Infidelity: In a song reminiscent of ivy from folklore, with similar topics of unfaithfulness towards a romantic partner, High Infidelity takes it one step further and represents Swift’s “relationship” with her record labels. She “cheats” on Big Machine Records (who sold her master copyrights to Scooter Braun) by switching to Republic Records. The name of the song is a play on words, as high fidelity is a music term that means to recreate a song (a nod to her re-recordings)

Favorite Lyric: “You know there’s many different ways that you can kill the one you love / The slowest way is never loving them enough.” 


Glitch is a song about falling in love so unexpectedly that it must have been some sort of mistake, or a glitch. Swift’s songs about yearning are some of her best, and Glitch is thematically similar to Gorgeous and Delicate from Reputation, and Cornelia Street from Lover

Favorite Lyric: “A brief interruption, a slight malfunction / I’d go back to wanting dudes who give nothing.”


Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve: All of Swift’s albums have one song that sticks out from the rest, and Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve is the shining star of Midnights. Looking back on her romance with John Mayer (with the infamous age gap of Mayer being 32 when he dated a 19-year-old Swift), Swift, who is now 32 herself, reflects on the girl she used to be that slowly was chipped away by Mayer. You can feel the pain Swift feels as she mourns her loss of innocence.

Favorite Lyric: “Living for the thrill of hitting you where it hurts / Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first.”


With Dear Reader, the final track of Midnights, Swift draws inspiration from the infamous Jane Eyre line. At first glance, Dear Reader seems to be a simple song sharing advice to Swift’s listeners. However, upon further review, it proves to be much more intricate. Dear Reader tells listeners to “never take advice from someone who’s falling apart,” yet immediately afterward gives words of advice with a vocal making Swift’s voice break up. The most revealing song on the album, Dear Reader questions listeners why they chooseeffect  Swift as an idol, circling back to her own insecurities. By sharing this vulnerability with listeners, it is a very fitting end to Midnights.

Favorite Lyric: “You wouldn’t take my word for it / If you knew who was talking.” 

 

Featured Image by Taylor Swift. Theogony does not benefit financially from this image, which is shared purely for entertainment purposes.

Donate to Theogony

Your donation will support the student journalists of Alexandria City High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Theogony