Swifty Rates Taylor Swift’s Midnights Album (+3 AM Tracks)

“Midnights become my afternoons.” – Taylor Swift


Sophia Jiang

I’ve been a Taylor Swift fan for years and enjoy listening to all of the songs from her many albums, so you can imagine my excitement when her 10th album, Midnights, dropped. Here are my rankings of all thirteen Midnights songs and the seven 3 AM bonus tracks, all rated out of 10.

Lavender Haze: 7

Lavender Haze differentiates itself from the openings of Taylor’s other albums with its indie rock ambience, the perfect balance between tranquility and excitement. This song also recounts Taylor’s negative experiences with the media, and its toxic impact on her relationships. I especially love the lines, “Talk your talk and go viral, I just need this love spiral”, a small jab at the media and other celebrities who criticized her in public; however, Taylor is focused on her forging strong private relationships.

Maroon: 7

A dense yet calming ballade, Maroon deeply details the story of 2 lovers and their beautiful yet precarious relationship. I absolutely adore many references to the color red, specifically the dark shade. The two beats at the beginning hooked me in, and Taylor’s deep, calming voice complemented the background beat. Finally, the bridge was passionate and an unexpected yet pleasurable surprise. 

Anti-Hero: 10

In this song, Taylor includes painfully honest lyrics regarding her negative experiences with fame and insecurities. It’s extremely candid and the most direct song about Taylor’s internal struggles. I also enjoyed watching the music video that greatly exceeded my standards. Because the lyrics are so relatable, the tune is so catchy, and the music video is so unique, I rate this song a 10/10! Read more about this song here.

Snow on the Beach: 5

Snow on the beach is ethereal and magical. Taylor Swift’s voice blends flawlessly with Lana Del Ray’s and the entire song screams “enchanting”. I will definitely be listening to this song during the holiday season, especially after hearing the opening violins that reminded me of holiday music. 

You’re On Your Own, Kid: 8

This song is a beautiful narrative and conspicuously shows the development of a character. I wasn’t a fan of this song at first, but the more I listened to it, the more I recognized the deeper meaning of the lyrics and how they tell the story of a character, possibly Taylor herself, who rises to fame yet still feels lonely. Because of its fantastic storytelling and encouraging ending, I rate it an 8!

Midnight Rain: 7

At the very beginning, Taylor synthesizes her voice to foreshadow the future chorus. The opening is unique because Taylor’s synthesized voice first arrives alone, and is only followed by the instrumentals after the first line. Midnight Rain tells the story of a character who splits with their significant other because they were too busy focusing on their career and “chasing fame”. I love the melody and the creative use of computer-warped instruments.

Question…?: 6

Like You’re On Your Own, Kid, I wasn’t impressed with this one on the first listen. However, the tune became catchier the more I heard it play. In this song, Taylor asks a former lover if they regret leaving her, and prompts a response on whether or not their current romantic relationships are better than their relationship with Taylor. 

Vigilante: 7

I immediately fell in love with the song as soon as Taylor sang the first line. Because of its dark, rebellious energy, Vigilante reminded me so much of Taylor’s Reputation era. My favorite lines are “I only dress for revenge” and “Don’t get sad, get even”. The soft, low hum of the electro fits perfectly with Taylor’s deep, monotone voice.

Bejeweled: 8

This song became 3 times better after I saw the music video. It was refreshing to hear a sparkly and joyful song that made me feel as if I myself was encrusted in diamonds. Bejeweled had me smiling from ear to ear throughout the entire song, and my jaw dropped with awe when I saw Taylor’s shimmering outfits and fabulous choreography. I was also impressed by Taylor’s creative twist on the story of Cinderella.

Labyrinth: 5

I admired Taylor’s angelic voice and the tranquil background of this song. Although the lyrics were sad, the music itself was somewhat reassuring and comforting. I was struck by the lyrics, “I thought the plane was going down, how’d you turn it right around.” This song displays the benefits of having someone who is always there to support and encourage you to keep moving forward, even if you are at a low point in your life. Although I love this song, I felt as though the chorus became a bit repetitive, so I didn’t rate it higher than a 5.

Karma: 7

A somewhat snarky poke at those who treated her poorly in the past, Taylor uses the notion of karma to get back at her enemies. The iconic lyrics, “Karma is my boyfriend, karma is a god, is the breeze in my hair on the weekend, karma’s a relaxing thought, aren’t you envious that for you it’s not” shows Taylor’s growing confidence in herself and the thought that life will eventually take its course in her favor.

Sweet Nothing: 5

The name of this song is exactly what it sounds like: sweet. It’s no surprise that the lyric video shows floating feathers, because that’s exactly what I imagine when I hear the light, fluffy hums of the background vocals. Sweet Nothing is similar to Labyrinth in the sense that both portray the advantages of having someone giving endless support and love. I love the theme and melody of this song, but it doesn’t energize me as much as the other songs in the album, so I will have to give it a 5.

Mastermind: 8

Taylor touched upon a topic that not many other artists have written songs about. Mastermind tells the story of how Taylor carefully planned how she got someone to love her. Although this may seem nefarious, the song represents the complete opposite: instead of portraying herself as villainous, Taylor makes a point that the love was so strong that she had no choice but to “scheme”. Mastermind is an innocent, wholesome, and unique song that I absolutely adore. 

The Great War: 9

The Great War is yet another example of Taylor’s excellent songwriting skills. Just like how she compared her experiences with the media to a gossiping high school environment in another song, Miss Americana & The Heartbreaker Prince, which is from her Lover album, Taylor compares her rocky romantic relationship to a war that eventually resulted in a peace. Lyrics such as, “Flashes of the battle come back to me in a blur”, “tears on the letter”, “you drew up some good faith treaties” demonstrate this overarching metaphor. Taylor also cleverly incorporates marching band drum rolls similar to those that were played in wars that took place in the 1800s and 1900s. This song also has one of the most beautiful and emotional bridges that I have ever heard from all of Taylor’s songs.

Bigger Than the Whole Sky: 7

This song has a mood akin to Labyrinth, since it also utilizes a calming, computer synthesized background that pairs well with Taylor’s angelic voice. I was particularly moved by the lyric, “Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye” because it sounded so ethereal. 

Paris: 7

I was not expecting such an upbeat, pop song after hearing the echo-y intro. Like her 1989 opener, Welcome to New York, Paris tells the excitement of the big-city experience. In this song, Taylor shows that she can enjoy her more private relationships without caring about how the public perceives her. 

High Infidelity: 7

Unlike her other Midnights songs, Taylor explores the struggles with an unstable relationship and the pain of infidelity that tore apart the romantic relationship. One of the lines states, “Do I really have to tell you how he brought me back to life?”, which displays her love for another person and her desire to form a new relationship. I love the chorus and the refrain, so I rate this song a 7/10!

Glitch: 4

I liked the idea of Glitch and its technology metaphor, but I found it to be slightly repetitive, and it didn’t seem to have as much melodic substance as the other songs did.

Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve: 10

This was the first of the 3 AM tracks that I listened to, and I was in shock by how well written and soul-tearing it was. In this song, Taylor recounts the trauma she experienced as a young girl in a romantic relationship with an older man, and the manipulation and pain she went through during and after the relationship. The lyrics are just so raw and emotional, and the chorus and bridge make me want to simply rip my hair out – great job Taylor, you did it again. It’s a 100%. A+. 

Dear Reader: 6

Dear Reader is unique in the sense that Taylor addresses the listener as if they are reading her diary, and proceeds to give advice such as, “Never take advice from someone who’s falling apart”, “Bend when you can, snap when you have to”, “You don’t have to answer, just because they asked you”, and “The greatest of luxuries is your secrets”. These are lessons that Taylor herself learned throughout the years as a country and pop singer who was constantly criticized and judged by the public.

Those are a Swifty’s ranking, but what about a Non-Swifty’s rankings? 

Want to check out some Midnights quotes? Read here!

Listen to Midnights here.