It’s the summer before 8th grade, and I’m on a train through New York. “Welcome to New York” by Taylor Swift is playing. 1989 was the soundtrack of my middle school years and instantly became a pop sensation. Years later as a college student, Swift released her 10th studio album, Midnights. After one listen of this, I knew this would become the soundtrack for my 20s. Through the process of rerecording her old albums, Swift surprised us all by releasing a brand-new album. Listening to this with my roommate created my first memories of this impactful album. It dethroned Red (TV) as my number one album by Swift. It’s no surprise I ran to Target to get my hands on the special edition.
Without hesitation, I can say that “Maroon” is my favorite track on the album. In a way, it reminds me of an older version of “Red”, but with the beats of “King of My Heart” and “Dress”. It hits different with the lyrics and the beats that Jack Antonoff helped provide. The lyrics “And I, lost you. The one, I was dancing with in New York. No shoes” visually took us back to a time when a relationship was fun. The whole song reminisces about an old wound from a relationship. The lyrics “And I wake with your memory, over me. That’s a real f****ing legacy, legacy” hit deep when you’re having a karaoke session in the shower. Swift’s vocals in this song are just pure heaven and I felt my soul rise when I first heard it. I will never get sick of this song and will constantly have it on repeat.
“Rain. He wanted it comfortable, I wanted that pain” fill my ears as I listen to “Midnight Rain”. When I tell you, my soul felt lifted, I’m not lying. That intro with Antonoff’s talented synth use had my jaw dropped on the wooden floor of my apartment. That intro literally scratches an itch in my brain. The chorus “He wanted a bride, I was making my own name. Chasing that fame. He stayed the same. All of me changed like midnight rain”, reminds me of being independent for so long, that you don’t want someone who’s going to stop you from accomplishing the dreams you have for yourself. I feel like that speaks a lot to me because I’m independent and driven in a way. I don’t want someone who places traditional expectations on me and holds me back from what I want to accomplish in my life. Long story short, “Midnight Rain” is a very special song with a catchy melody that sounds like one of my favorites, “My Tears Ricochet”.
Just like many Swifties, I thought “Anti-Hero” would have a sadder beat. Like “All You Had to was Stay”, this song is still sad, but has a very upbeat melody. Hands down, “Anti-Hero” is one of the best tracks on this album. It’s the most relatable song because it talks about what Swift dislikes about herself, and we all have traits that we don’t like about ourselves. A lot of listeners thought of this song as a parallel to “The Archer”, which in all honesty, makes sense. The lyrics “when my depression works the graveyard shift” and “I’ll stare directly at the sun, but never in the mirror. It must be exhausting always rooting for the anti-hero” are some of the strongest lines in the song. This song has been constantly played because it’s so catchy. It’s a song that everyone can see themselves in and Swift manages to always do a fantastic job with songs like these.
Honorable mentions that deserve attention are “Lavender Haze”, “Paris”, “Vigilante S**t”, “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve”, and “Snow on the Beach (ft. Lana Del Rey)”. These songs are phenomenal and are impactful in different ways. They also have been on repeat for the past couple of days.
Midnights is another pop masterpiece by Taylor Swift, and it is incredible. I’m going to try my hardest to get it on my Spotify Wrapped, but we’ll see. If you haven’t listened to it, you absolutely must!
Photo credits from: https://genius.com/albums/Taylor-swift/Midnights