Taylor Swift’s new album, Midnights, was released on October 21st. It nearly broke down Spotify because so many fans were trying to listen to the widely-anticipated album. She later released, at 3 am on the same day, the 3 am Version of the album with seven extra tracks. Midnights is a return to some of Swift’s older styles of music, closer to the personal stories of her own life than the mystical tales of folklore and evermore. It’s been a very polarizing album, with some people loving it and other people hating it—but whatever your opinion is, I’m certain we’ll have plenty to debate about in terms of the song rankings in Midnights: so here’s my ranking of every song on Midnights.
Maroon feels like a more mature version of Swift’s iconic Red. Similarly, it is a very detail-oriented song, with lyrics like: “the burgundy of my t-shirt when you splashed your wine into me” and “carnations you had thought were roses, that’s us”. It’s those careful details that bring Maroon to life as she reminisces about the end of a relationship.
As the first track of her album, Lavender Haze is one of Swift’s greatest openers. It clearly shows the general theme of the entire album with a catchy, breathy tune. One of the lines has been stuck in my head for days: “I’m damned if I do give a damn what people say”.
I love the opening to Vigilante Shit: “Draw a cat-eye sharp enough to kill a man”. Overall, the meaning of the song is a throwback to Swift’s Reputation album and is absolutely fantastic to listen to. It’s a quieter song, not quite the type you’d scream at the top of your lungs, but the lyrics of revenge and payback certainly make up for the more subdued beats.
I absolutely loved Swift’s altered voice in Midnight Rain. When I listened to it for the first time, I almost thought it was someone else singing. The lower-pitched, masculine-sounding voice does make the song stand out. As much as I love the lines like “he wanted it comfortable, I wanted that pain, he wanted a bride, I was making my own way”, the rest of Midnight Rain is almost entirely overpowered by those few lyrics.
I adore Mastermind, largely because of the theme of the song. It’s about Swift confessing that she’s a mastermind—which, of course, we know already—who manipulated the fates so she could be with her partner. I think it’s great that she’s acknowledging her more devious signs—and I particularly love when the song ends with “saw a wide smirk on your face, you knew the entire time”.
Sweet Nothing, which Swift co-wrote with her current boyfriend Joe Alwyn, is a very sweet song—as the name implies. It’s quiet, soft, almost like a lullaby. It’s not a very stand-out song, but in a way, the more subtle tones symbolize the growth of Swift’s music style throughout the years.
Snow On The Beach (ft. Lana Del Rey)
Swift has always been good with metaphors—Snow On The Beach is one of her best. It’s a quieter song, not a loud bop like some of her others, but the whispery tones are fantastic. People have criticized the barely-there presence of Lana del Rey in the background vocals, but the song is good, overall.
Although Anti-Hero is certainly a catchy song that many people have claimed as the best in the album, with its self-deprecating and startlingly raw lyrics, the song never managed to stick with me. It’s true that the repeated “Hi, it’s me, I’m the problem, it’s me” is a very memorable tune, but it grows repetitive after a few listens, so it’s not my personal favorite.
Labyrinth wasn’t a song I paid much attention to the first time I listened to the album, but it’s slowly grown on me. In high, breathy tones, the song is quiet but somehow still very memorable. The line, “I thought the plane was going down, how’d you turn in right around”, is one of my favorites on the entire album. A more underrated song on the album, Labyrinth is still one of Swift’s best.
You’re On Your Own, Kid
You’re Own Your Own, Kid describes growing older, from a romantic child to someone more jaded by the world. It reaches a very satisfying crescendo that’s one of the best on the entire album, although the tune itself was not particularly memorable for me.
Question…? definitely isn’t a bad song—none of the songs on Midnights are. But the tune never managed to stick with me for long. It’s a song I would listen to, but not one I’d play on repeat.
Karma feels like a more mature version of Swift’s Mean. As much as I like the tune, Karma’s lyrics never rang with me. I don’t think I can ever get used to the “Karma is a cat, purring in my lap 'cause it loves me” lyric. Overall, it’s a good, catchy, song, but not one I love.
To be honest, as catchy as Bejeweled sounds, it never caught on to me. It’s the kind of catchiness that feels too repetitive after a few listens. With the cheerful, bouncing beat in the background, I never find myself able to focus on much else. It’s still a good song, but it’s not my favorite out of the other gems on the album.
Honorable Mention: Great War
I absolutely love this song. I wasn’t planning on including it, because it’s not in the original thirteen tracks, but I love it too much to leave it out. It’s one of my favorites, maybe even my favorite, of the entire album, even though it’s only on the 3 am Version. It’s catchy, but also not so much so that it’s repetitive. It’s hauntingly beautiful, but at the same time, optimistic for the future. “My hand was the one you reached for all throughout the Great War” is one of my favorite lyrics on the entire album.
There it is! My ranking of the songs on Taylor Swift’s new album, Midnights. Do you agree with the rankings?