At exactly 9:00 p.m. on October 21, 2022, the world changed forever. Or, at the very least, it did according to approximately forty-four percent of the American population. Abruptly, charts on Spotify, iTunes, and Billboards were dominated by a litany of titles, all sharing a picture of a blonde girl set against an ivory background, whose eyes — shaded almost entirely by deep blue-purple shadows and mascara — whetted the interest of viewers with a mischievous look cast towards an ignited lighter. So absolute was this invasion that Spotify itself would crash due to the volume of traffic it experienced that fateful eve, and the own artist’s ticket platform (when tickets for her upcoming tour became available) would only narrowly avoid the same fate. 

By now, almost everyone reading this article will be aware that we’re (naturally, they might add) referring to Midnights, Taylor Swift’s tenth studio album and her fourth in three years. Along the way, she’s further expanded an already cult-like following, with estimates of her fanbase varying from 200 million to 1.2 billion (take the latter with a grain of salt), and her recent success is a testament to the zealous commitment of her followers. In fact, before the album’s arrival, an unintentionally-released eight-second piece of static entitled “Track 3” immediately claimed #1 on Canadian billboards because so many fans had rushed to purchase it.

Nevertheless, with this, one is compelled to wonder how much of Midnights’ success is on account of its quality and how much is from the dedication of her fanbase. Thus, we — two non-Swifties — endeavored to truly test if Midnights is mid. 


Lavender Haze

The strong start to an ultimate demise, Lavender Haze is one of the jewels of Midnights. As I began listening to the album, I was pleasantly surprised by my love of the synthetic beat and its calm lavender-like tone, as the track title suggests. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the song, it can get tedious as the lyrics are very repetitive. “Lavender Haze” provided a backdrop for the rest of the album, and though it delivered, did the rest of the album live up to its legacy?


Putting the “mid” in “Midnights,” “Maroon” has to be one of the dullest songs of the album. Though I was entranced by Taylor’s echoey voice, it felt as if the track was lulling me to sleep. I can’t really comment much, because there isn’t much to comment on, so instead of reviewing thin air, I leave it up to the reader to decide if “Maroon” really is as bad as I’m making it. 

We. Were. Robbed. To be specific, we, the Lana del Rey fans.


The music industry’s newest “pick-me” has entered the court. With the infamous line “sometimes I feel like everyone’s a sexy baby,” “Anti-Hero” has accumulated a reputation (and has been accredited) as a “cash grab” of the album. In comparison to the rest of the album, “Anti-Hero” lacked substance, as the beat of the song drowned out the message behind Taylor’s lyrics. Though I believe “Anti-Hero” is not one of Taylor’s most genuine songs, I am certainly not trying to invalidate her personal life experiences. But with its predictable storyline and copy-and-pasted beat, “Anti-Hero” is another key example of the “pop culture formula.”

Snow on The Beach ft. Lana del Rey

We. Were. Robbed. To be specific, we, the Lana del Rey fans. When I saw her name in the track title, I was overjoyed to see the duo collaborate on a song that I would without a doubt thoroughly enjoy — but what was it I heard? Nothing. Ok, not nothing, but mostly Lana breathing in the background. This song had the opportunity to become more, but aside from a complete lack of Lana, I absolutely adore it. The shimmering noise at 2:56, that hopeless romanticism — it created an experience that I have never found in a song. I will forever keep this in my heart. 

Vigilante Sh*t:

 The first line of the song, “Draw the cat eye, sharp enough to kill a man,” immediately stimulated flashbacks to Swift’s Reputation era, and I silently applauded her masterful lyrical and wordplay abilities. Moreover, the line further embodies what I view as one of Swift’s most admirable qualities; her unique ability to be so utterly and casually vindictive, and yet still draw you to her side. Unfortunately, “Vigilante Sh*t”’s only claim to fame would ultimately be joining synonyms for “anticlimactic.” The song, while engrossing at the beginning, would painfully continue to layer monotonous vocals over a heavy yet redundant baseline for an incredible 2:44 minutes. It was almost sleep-inducing. I will admit, the bridge did provide me a momentary iota of hope as it was at least something new (though odd), but underlying it the whole time was this irritating, rapid snare drum, and the song would revert to dullness after just twelve seconds. Overall, I was expecting something like “Before He Cheats,” and was instead simply cheated. 


True to the title of Swift’s recently announced “The Eras Tour,” Midnights seemed to draw from various aspects and albums of the artist’s past, and “Bejeweled” was no exception. From the bar chime in the very first seconds of the song to the upbeat rhythm and chords, this song was beautifully whimsical and refreshing in a fashion similar to songs from Swift’s Lover (by all means, the true epitome of her career). This track felt constantly infused with vivacious energy, with each verse of the song adding novel elements like ascending and descending chords or even the occasional child yelling “Nice!” The head-bopping tune ultimately culminates in a medley of the bridge, pre-chorus, and chorus before an (if not trite) fade-out on the word “shimmer,” adding an appropriate sense of resolution and cementing this as yet another catchy and feel-good product from Ms. Swift.