Writer, Alyssa Borton
On October 21st, 2022, Taylor Swift released her highly anticipated tenth studio album Midnights. This album immediately broke records. Scoring the highest number of single-day album streams on Spotify and topping the charts in twenty-five countries, globally. Swift also released a variation of the album 3 hours after the initial release, Midnights (3am Edition), containing seven additional tracks. With its catchy synth-pop melodies and Swift’s signature lyrical depth, there is no Question…? as to why Midnights is such a hit.
I, like many, have had Midnights on repeat since its release—constantly on repeat. Doing homework? Midnights. Walking the dog? Midnights. Sleeping? Nope, listening to Midnights. As a result of this spiralling obsession, here is my humble (correct) ranking of Midnight’s top 10 tracks.
10) Midnight Rain
With the memorable line, “‘Cause he was sunshine/I was midnight rain”, ”Midnight Rain” tells the story of an unsuccessful relationship. Its deep electric beats seem reminiscent of albums such as Lorde’s Melodrama. “Midnight Rain” is a catchy rejection of society’s norms and expectations—Taylor isn’t letting a relationship keep her from achieving her goals.
9) Snow On The Beach (feat. Lana Del Ray)
The appearance of Lana Del Ray in Midnights was highly anticipated. Many fans were disappointed by Del Ray singing only background vocals. However, the artists’ collaboration is clear when listening to the song—the lyrics and sound are familiar to fans of Del Ray’s discography. There’s something otherworldly, almost cinematic about “Snow On The Beach” and Lana’s stylistic contribution only elevates it—both Taylor and Lana are amazing artists. I think this song proves it.
“Karma’s” reveal as an unexpected but not unwelcome pop banger shook fans. The iconic line, “Karma is a cat/purring in my lap ‘cause it loves me,” truly represents the absolute campiness of this track—and I love her for it. With Taylor’s ever-rising success, especially following the release of Midnights, it seems like karma really is on her side.
7) Vigilante Sh**
“Vigilante Sh**” takes the essence of Swift’s 2017 album Reputation and multiplies it by ten. The unapologetic lyrics and heavy bass work together to create something mesmerizing and unlike any of Midnights” other tracks. “Vigilante Sh**” is cutthroat, audacious and a testimony to reclaiming power.
6) High Infidelity
A sharp contrast from #7, “High Infidelity” shares a new perspective from Taylor. With similarities to songs like “champagne problems,” and “cowboy like me”, it can be compared to Swift’s 2020 (and arguably best) album, evermore.
5) Lavender Haze
Starting the album off strong, “Lavender Haze” might be one of Swift’s best opening songs—it successfully sets the tone for the whole album with the iconic line, “Meet me at midnight”. Bursting with expectations and possibilities, ”Lavender Haze” smoothly transitions her discography into a new era of late night pop hits.
Midnights, as a whole, pays its homage to Swift’s pop roots, but “Paris” specifically just has something so quintessentially pop about it. Sharing resemblance with many of the tracks from 1989, this song is refreshingly nostalgic. It’s camp, it’s fun, and it kind of makes me want to fly to France.
3) The Great War
As someone who used to be an avid fan of fantasy series, I feel like it would be blasphemous for “The Great War” to not be in my top three; it’s rich with war imagery and a slightly gut-wrenching storyline, perfect for the sadder tone of the 3am Edition. Whatever you do, don’t imagine this song in The Hunger Games or Percy Jackson.
“Red” walked so that “Maroon” could RUN. Taylor claims another colour in this addictive ballad; her lyrical talent really shines bright alongside the satisfying auditory production. “Maroon” is a breakup song that doesn’t feel like a breakup song—if you want to reminisce over an old love you never had, take a listen.
1) Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve
“Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” is a deeply personal look at the intricacies of Swift’s past—it is, at forefront, an ode to her younger self. Included are scathing lyrics such as, but not limited to, “I regret you all the time,” and “Give me back my girlhood/It was mine first”. There are numerous allusions to Swift’s past relationship with artist John Mayer—she released it at age 32, the same age Mayer was when the two dated, and it is the 19th track on the album, Taylor’s age at that time.
Many have named “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” the new “All Too Well”—and they aren’t wrong. John Mayer had better watch out, because the lyrical genius of “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” is far from “cheap songwriting,” as he describes Swift’s work. With its heartbreaking honestly and scream-worthy lyrics, I believe that this song is absolutely deserving of the #1 spot.