The Davidsonian

Taylor Swift’s Midnights: An Album for Overthinkers Everywhere

By Maya Vermeer ’26 (She/Her)

Released at midnight on the 21st, the very aptly named Midnights is Taylor Swift’s 10th studio album, excluding her rerecordings. Seeing as Swift’s latest releases have been all over the board in terms of genre, many fans didn’t know quite what to expect from the 13-track Midnights, predicting anything from another “indie”-esque record the likes of folklore and evermore to a long-awaited rock album. However, October 21st dawned with a reminder that Swift is first and foremost a pop artist, and that she is damn good at being one. 

With this in mind, here are my thoughts on the individual tracks. 

Track One : “Lavender Haze”

Lyricism: 7/10               Musicality: 7/10               Production: 7/10               Originality: 7/10               Overall: 7/10

Returning to a synth-pop sound reminiscent of Lover, “Lavender Haze” lets us know that Swift is done with letting engagement rumors bother her. 

Favorite Lyric: “All they keep asking me is if I’m gonna be your bride/The only kinda girl they see is a one night or a wife.” 

For fans of: “I Think He Knows”, “King of my Heart” 

Track Two: “Maroon”

Lyricism: 9/10               Musicality: 9/10               Production: 7/10               Originality: 8/10               Overall: 8.25/10

An almost reclamation of Swift’s previous work, Red, “Maroon” takes a more mature approach to the most well-known color of her discography. Doing what she does best, Swift returns to storytelling in this track, bringing us a vivid plot line of an ill-advised but ever passionate love affair. 

Favorite Lyric: “You were standing hollow-eyed in the hallway/Carnations you had thought were roses, that’s us.” 

For fans of: “Dancing With Our Hands Tied”, “Red” 

Track Three: “Anti-Hero” 8/10

Lyricism: 9/10               Musicality: 7/10               Production: 7/10               Originality: 9/10               Overall: 8/10

In track 3, Swift dives deep into her quirks and anxieties, spiraling into a hole of self-loathing that is incredibly evocative, and might have you reflecting on your own toxicity. 

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

For fans of: “Only the Young”, “Afterglow”

Track Four: “Snow on the Beach (feat. Lana del Ray)

Lyricism: 8/10               Musicality: 6/10               Production: 7/10               Originality: 7/10               Overall: 7/10

“Snow on the Beach” is an almost hauntingly comforting tune, painting a beautiful image of what it feels like to fall in love when you’re least expecting it. A fair warning – don’t go into this one expecting more of del Ray than just some vague background vocals and harmonies or you will be disappointed. 

Favorite Lyric: “I’ve never seen someone/Lit from within/Blurring out my periphery” 

For fans of: “exile”, “gold rush” 

Track Five: “You’re On Your Own, Kid”

Lyricism: 9/10               Musicality: 8/10               Production: 7/10               Originality: 8/10               Overall: 8/10

A mix of heart-breaking and hopeful, this track is a reflection on maturing and everything we do to grow, just to be left alone in the end, for better or for worse. 

Favorite Lyric: “I looked around in a blood-soaked gown/And I saw something they can’t take away.” 

For fans of: “All You Had To Do Was Stay”, “Nothing New”

Track Six: “Midnight Rain”

Lyricism: 8/10               Musicality: 8/10               Production: 7/10               Originality: 7/10               Overall: 7.5/10

With heavier production than Swift’s typical sound Midnight Rain tells us why some relationships just will never work out and shares some insights into Swift’s own goals in life. 

Favorite Lyric: “I guess sometimes we all get some kind of haunted/Some kind of haunted/And I never think of him/Except on midnights like this.” 

For fans of: “So it Goes…”, “my tears ricochet” 

Track Seven: “Question…?”

Lyricism: 7/10               Musicality: 7/10               Production: 6/10               Originality: 7/10               Overall: 6.75/10

With more heavy production and some choppy vocals, “Question…?” is a message to an ex, but from a more reflective and almost humorous point of view, rather than the sad one we may be used to. 

Favorite Lyric: “Did you ever have someone kiss you in a crowded room/And every single one of your friends was making fun of you/But 15 seconds later they were clapping too?” 

For fans of: “Out of the Woods”, “Call It What You Want”

Track Eight: “Vigilante Shit”

Lyricism: 7/10               Musicality: 6/10               Production: 8/10               Originality: 7/10               Overall: 7/10

Swift isn’t letting us forget about her vengeful alter-ego with this track. With a darker vibe, this is an entertaining listen that seems to be a warning to not mess with Swift unless you want your life ruined by one of the most powerful women on the planet. 

Favorite Lyric: “I don’t start shit but I can tell you how it ends” 

For fans of: “Don’t Blame Me”, “no body, no crime”

Track Nine: “Bejeweled”

Lyricism: 6/10               Musicality: 6/10               Production: 6/10               Originality: 7/10               Overall: 6.25/10

A boppy track that seems to be the antithesis to “Anti-Hero”’s self hatred. At its core, “Bejeweled” is nothing less but nothing more than the perfect getting ready for a night out song. 

Favorite Lyric: ”Familiarity breeds contempt/Don’t put me in the basement, when I want the penthouse of your heart.” 

For fans of: “Gorgeous”, “I Forgot That You Existed” 

Track Ten: “Labyrinth”

Lyricism: 9/10               Musicality: 8/10               Production: 8/10               Originality: 8/10               Overall: 8.25/10

Somehow perfectly capturing the nervousness that accompanies the start of a new relationship post-bad-breakup, “Labyrinth” is a gorgeous, light tune that reminds you to be optimistic about new love even when you’ve been burned before. 

Favorite Lyric: “Uh oh, I’m falling in love/Oh no, I’m falling in love again/Oh, I’m falling in love/Thought the plane was going down, how’d you turn it right around?” 

For fans of: “hoax”, “The Archer”

Track Eleven: “Karma”

Lyricism: 6/10               Musicality: 7/10               Production: 6/10               Originality: 6/10               Overall: 6.25/10

“Karma” pays respect to one of Swift’s favorite themes in a post-Reputation world – what goes around, comes around. A track that Swift definitely had fun making, and that you will have fun listening to. 

Favorite Lyric: “You’re terrified to look down/’Cause if you dare, you’ll see the glare/Of everyone you burned just to get there.” 

For fans of: “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”, “Bad Blood” 

Track Twelve: “Sweet Nothing”

Lyricism: 7/10               Musicality: 7/10               Production: 6/10               Originality: 8/10               Overall: 7/10

It wouldn’t be a true Taylor Swift album without one song to remind you of how very lonely you are. A love letter to a wonderful partner, “Sweet Nothing” is vulnerable and adorable. 

Favorite Lyrics: “On the way home, I wrote a poem/You say ‘what a mind’, this happens all the time.” 

For fans of: “It’s Nice To Have A Friend”, “invisible string” 

Track Thirteen: “Mastermind”

Lyricism: 9/10               Musicality: 8/10               Production: 8/10               Originality: 9/10               Overall: 8.5/10

To close out the collection, “Mastermind” seems to reveal the storyline of Swift’s relationship with her current boyfriend: a confession of overplanning and situation manipulation that leaves Swift overexposed in a way only she can be. 

Favorite Lyric: “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.” 

For fans of: “mirrorball”, “Clean”

Overall, Midnights is a great addition to Swift’s discography. Swift’s strengths lie in her ability to make every person feel seen and in her poignant lyrics, both of which pull through extremely well on the majority of the tracks. If you are a strictly folklore/evermore Swiftie, I may stray away from some of this collection, but if you are a fan of Swift’s pop, get ready to rearrange your ever-changing album ranking!

Maya Vermeer ‘26 (she/her) is a Chemistry major from Durham, North Carolina. She can be reached for comment at mavermeer@davidson.edu.

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