Sleepless nights: ‘Midnights’ review side B

Taylor Swift connects with fans in one of her most vulnerable albums “Midnights.” Graphic By: Maddie Bataille | Photo Editor

Can I ask you a question? Have you been listening to this album nonstop too? On Oct. 22, Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” broke the record for the most streamed album in a day, according to Spotify.

In its first week, “Midnights” has made music history. According to Billboard, “Midnights” is already the top-selling album of the year. 

Breaking records and taking names, Swift’s music is powerful and influential. From TikTok trends to radio stations, she has once again taken over the charts. 

Track 7: “Question…?”

From its poetically structured beginning, “Question…?” follows the theme of this album: that theme being the question, “what keeps you up at night?” Swift captures the feeling of lying awake anxiously wondering what would have been if things were different, trying to gauge what the other person’s feelings are about something. “Question…?” falls under the “what could have been” category. 

I think what this song gets at is always feeling like the second option, but at the same time, having to give your all. Whether that means in a relationship or friendship, or whatever it is that everyone can relate to, Swift aims at that feeling of constantly messing up and never knowing where you fall with someone. 

Track 8: “Vigilante Shit” 

An immediate banger and just in time for Scorpio season, “Vigilante Shit” is hot, sexy and cool. The bridge and the harmonies that Swift plays with give me chills. No doubt that this song falls under the “fantasizing about revenge” category. 

“Vigilante Shit” perfectly ties up loose strings from her 2017 album “Reputation,” all while laughing in the face of Scooter Braun after releasing two successful “(Taylor’s Version)” albums. As we know, nothing by Swift is an accident. She does such a great job at planning, and I know already that her outfits entering this era have had so much symbolism behind them, playing especially to the lyric “Lately I’ve been dressing for revenge.” I’m excited to see what else she brings to the table with her fashion. 

Track 9: “Bejeweled”

You best believe this song is going to be on bops anthems playlists. I have heard people talk about how “Bejeweled” is the confident sister of “mirrorball.” I really love this connection between some of her past songs to her new songs. It makes everything feel like it comes full circle. 

“Bejeweled” sounds like it was one of Swift’s songs that she wrote with a glitter gel pen, in the best way. The song itself sounds like glitter. In the chorus, when Swift sings, “I can still make the whole place shimmer, I polish up real nice,  I polish up real… nice,” it scratches an itch in my brain that was longing for a pop bop I didn’t know I needed.  

This song is about being comfortable in your own skin, dressing for yourself, feeling free and being who you are. I love these themes, and they are always fun to dance to. 

The music video for “Bejeweled” is a whole other masterpiece to dive into. On the “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” Swift explained that the music video is filled with so many easter eggs that they had to keep a PDF file to keep track of all of them. An exciting but scary thing to hear. 

Track 10: “Labyrinth”

“Labyrinth” falls under the category of “falling in love,” but also I feel like it fits into “falling apart.” Swift captured the feeling of falling and being scared to lose yourself when entering a new relationship. 

“Labyrinth” took me a bit to get into. I feel as though it could be the “This Love” of the “Midnights” album — an unappreciated masterpiece. I really appreciate this song for what it is.

This song is another one of Swift’s more vulnerable ones. It almost feels as though we are listening to her inner thoughts through anxiety. 

 I love that Swift hinted at these lyrics in her New York University 2022 commencement speech, where she said, “Breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep, breathe out.” I think this is a lovely message to take with you through life in everything you do.

Track 11: “Karma”

Sandwiched between two emotional songs, it wouldn’t be a Swift album if the order of the songs didn’t do a complete 180 degrees from the last to the next.

Another song written in sparkly glitter gel pen, “Karma” is the song that is going to keep me going. This song sounds like summer and confidence. Swift’s humor on the situations that have brought her down shows through here. The campiness of the lyrics “Karma is a cat, purring in my lap because it loves me” embodies who Swift is. This song sounds so authentic to her, and it spreads good energy. 

Track 12: “Sweet Nothing” 

This song is so sweet. It feels like a warm glow, and I love that William Bowery has a writer credit. For anyone who doesn’t know, Bowery is the pen name of Swift’s partner Joe Alwyn. 

“Sweet Nothing” feels like harmony after inner turmoil. Swift explains the peace that she has found with Alwyn after being so scrutinized by the public. 

I think that this song gives people the perspective that when it comes to a successful relationship, it is never one-sided, or that “Joe is so lucky to have Taylor,” but also “Taylor is so lucky to have Joe.” That’s a big lesson to learn – all relationships should work equally. 

Track 13: “Mastermind”

“Mastermind,” in my opinion, may be one of Swift’s most iconic songs. It perfectly ties in her love for “easter eggs”  with her songwriting over the years. “Mastermind” goes on the list of the best bridges Swift has ever built so that you can get over it. 

In this song, the listener can hear how Swift has definitely been looking back over her life recently, and in which she talks about how her life has been a series of events to see where she can do better. Constantly trying to escape the labyrinth of her own mind, telling herself it wasn’t enough and making up for the times she felt unwanted. 

Swift has manipulated us all into superstardom, as well as her past and present partner(s) into loving her forever. She’s just that good.

I think the feeling of never being enough is really hard to get over, and Swift is bravely putting it out there. Even someone with her influence can feel that way. Inside, we are all just little kids who feel left out on the playground. 

The complete 13 tracks of the “Midnights” album in of itself feels complete in its message to answer the question “what keeps you up at night?” However, Swift continues to build on the concept through her deluxe version of the album, which almost acts as an EP. As we know, Swift loves to leave easter eggs in which makes all her work living and breathing. 

Come back next week to read my “Midnights (3am edition)” review.