Meet Me at Midnight- Taylor Swift’s New Album


Midnights is a beautifully written and perfectly executed album by Taylor Swift. Swift has had 9 number one hits prior to the release of Midnights and her last album, Evermore, came out back in late 2020.  Announced at the 2022 MTV Music Video Awards and released on October 21, 2022, this album has 20 tracks and on Swift’s release of Midnights: 3am edition a clean version of all songs are available. It may be noted that one of these new songs, “Snow on the Beach”, hosts a feature from the 2010s “sad girl” pioneer, Lana Del Rey.

“Lavender Haze” is the first track on Midnights. It’s about Taylor’s love life and how no matter what she does, the public scrutinizes her and her relationship status. The phrase ‘Lavender Haze’ represents the glow around love and being in love. This song is rumored to be about her long term relationship with actor Joe Alwyn. Swift’s lines are known to resonate heavily with her listeners, and this semisweet song about her love life is no exception. 

While it does have a bright pop in sound and is reminiscent of her Lover album the lyrics are consistent in themes of feminism. With lines like “All they keep asking me (all they keep asking me)/Is if I’m gonna be your bride/The only kind of girl they see (the only kind of girl they see)/Is a one night or a wife” and “So real, I’m damned if I do give a damn what people say/No deal, the 1950s sh*t they want for me” Swift communicates the public’s view on women and the types of relationships they are expected to have.

“Anti Hero ” is about all of the things Taylor hates about herself and some people may find themselves and their own personal insecurities in this song. Slightly upbeat with bittersweet tones, this song drops another iconic chorus where Swift sings, “It’s me/Hi!/I’m the problem, it’s me/At teatime/Everybody agrees/I’ll stare directly at the sun but never in the mirror/It must be exhausting always rooting for the anti-hero.” These lines come off relatively cheery, but when looking into the subtext of Swift’s words, you can see it’s a confession of a reluctance to reflect on oneself and a bitter and carefree declaration of being “the problem.” 

This song was accompanied with a music video which immediately received criticism from the masses for its potentially fatphobic reference when Taylor is seen on a scale looking disappointed when the scale reads “fat,” but Swift has came out to talk about the fact that the video is just a reflection of her own personal experiences, and that she’s struggled with eating disorders in the past and she has since removed the negatively connotated text from the music video.

“Mastermind” is the 13th song on Midnights. This song is about Taylor tirelessly scheming and planning out her whole career and may be interpreted to others as people trying to plan out and manipulate their surroundings for their own personal happiness. This song hits especially hard with audiences who may find themselves stressing over smaller details in their day to day lives to please others and make everybody like them. This may be clearly expressed through the lines “No one wanted to play with me as a little kid/So I’ve been scheming like a criminal ever since/To make them love me and make it seem effortless/Is this the first time I feel the need to confess?/And I swear, I’m only cryptic and Machiavellian ’cause I care” These lines are a perfect representation and exploration of people setting their lives up in a way that pleases others more than themselves due to an early theme of rejection in their lives that make them desperately crave that feeling of acceptance and love from those around them. 

The words cryptic and Machiavellian that Swift uses to describe herself in this song have a notably secretive and possibly negative connotation to them which are very real descriptors for people who have tendencies to scheme things to the degree Swift details in this song. However, as Swift says, these people only come off so secretive and cryptic and things of that nature because they care so deeply about how they are perceived and accepted by those around them which ultimately causes them to push away those around them in fear that those who get too close can see the complexity of their schemes. 

In the bridge of this song, Swift reveals to the subject of the song that she is a “Mastermind” and her voice lifts as the brisk, fast-paced intensity of the song is released in a beautiful realization that the person who she was scheming to try and get close to knew about her flaws and scheming the entire time but didn’t care and decided to let her get close regardless of her nature. She did not need to scheme to get near them, and they watched her realize this with a simple smile on their face.

Midnights currently has a 4.6 audience rating summary. Most complaints are about the relatively monotone and at times saddening sound of Midnights in comparison to Swift’s past albums, but Midnights is not meant to be a particularly hard-hitting album. The songs are a slow, soft confession of imperfection and deep night reflection.