Obsessed With The New Album? A Taylor Swift Midnights Ranking
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Lauren Sanchez. Find her on Instagram at @lauren.sanchezz. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Friday when the clock stroke midnight, Taylor Swift lovers everywhere ran fast to Apple Music or Spotify to listen to her new album. If you’re like me and tried to open Spotify to listen to Swift’s new album “Midnights”, you’ll remember that the server actually crashed and Swifties officially broke the streaming platform. And if that doesn’t tell you anything about the power of Swift and her fans, I don’t know what will.
Despite it only being less than three days since the album was released, Taylor Swift’s tenth album, “Midnights” is an absolute treasure. Mixing the vibes of previous albums like “Lover”, “Reputation” and “1989”, “Midnights” encompasses the pop genre so incredibly well and her songwriting is, like always, unmatched. Swift manages to capture the anxiety and sleep deprivation that comes from thinking about love, our self-image, and our fears so beautifully that it makes ranking these songs so challenging. Nonetheless, everyone has their favorites and I am no exception. So without further ado, let’s dive into my ranking of “Midnights”. Warning, some of it will be controversial!
“Question…?” definitely left me feeling questioning after listening to it for the first time. However, this was one of the only songs that didn’t stick with me after listening to the entire album. In Swift asking all these questions, she takes listeners down this spiral of unanswered questions and it makes you physically feel that spiral with the constant repetition. The female rage that Taylor experiences in asking all these questions to the person who refuses to answer was the highlight of the song. And when Taylor Swift curses at you? Oh, you’re definitely in trouble! But unfortunately, one song has to take the last place spot and it’s going to have to be “Question…?”
12. “You’re On Your Own, Kid”
This song made me feel SO sad after listening to it for the first time. Sure, in the end, it can be interpreted as the kid finally learning to move on from feeling like they’ve been on their own for so long, but the song just hit me in an entirely different way than it should’ve. Trust me– I related to Swift so much with this song and coming to terms with the idea of loneliness, but this song is not one to listen to on the daily basis for me.
11. “Vigilante Shit”
For my lovers of “Reputation”, this song was made for us. When I first saw the track title released, I was so hyped to listen to the song because I knew that Taylor would send me back to my “Reputation” era. However, I was genuinely surprised by how low-beat and “low-punching” this song sounded. It almost sounded like a spoken word poem and I was not expecting that. Nevertheless, I love the song lyrics and the edginess of it all. If it’s a conciliation to anyone for me ranking this song near the bottom, I will be getting “Don’t be sad, get even” tattooed on my body in honor of the resurgence of Swift’s “Reputation” era.
10. “Sweet Nothing”
“Evermore” STANS RISE. I adore this song and it’s very telling of a relationship where someone doesn’t expect too much out of you in the best way possible. It’s a song about embracing a love that doesn’t rely so heavily on expectations and just allows the naturalness of a relationship to flower. It’s all about simplicity and just existing for one another. While I do love the meaning of the song, it didn’t make me feel speechless or make me say “Wow I need this song on every playlist I curated,” and maybe that was its intention. I mean, it’s all about the simple things and Swift’s intentions was certainly there.
9. “Midnight Rain”
Not going to lie, the beginning of the song gave me such a scare. The vocal editing in this song is impressive and shows more of Swift’s creative side. “Midnight Rain”, in my opinion, reminded me so much of “Daylight” from Swift’s “Lover” album and I couldn’t stop thinking about how they are practically sister songs, especially with the sound. A song about the differences in goals and expectations between two lovers is something that Swift is no stranger to. Writing about her focusing on her ambition and how she wasn’t going to let her partner derail her plans felt empowering. While I loved the lyrics and the change in editing when it came to the vocals, it wasn’t my favorite thing to hear.
In any song where Taylor mentions New York, I’m immediately in love. “Maroon” is practically a blend of “Red” from “Red (Taylor’s Version)” and “Clean” from “1989”. The song captures such a maturity in love that’s incredibly refreshing to listen to. This song felt like an older sister version of “Red” and the way she utilizes different colors from burgundy to scarlet to maroon in the song to show the different “shades” of the relationship is so well done– the chorus alone had me screaming. A terrific song that I will undoubtedly be listening to as I stroll the streets of New York City.
The harmonies in this song are so incredibly angelic that they will make you tear up. A song that is all about falling in love too quickly again and being scared of that feeling, only to have someone to pick you up through it all. This song shows the vulnerability of being too scared of love and with the vocal editing surrounding the lyrics of “I’m falling in love again”, it almost makes you feel like you are drowning in your fears and it’s so beautifully tragic. While this may not be a song I casually listen to on a daily, the harmonies alone make this song a favorite of mine across Taylor’s discography.
Unpopular opinion (maybe), but this song is SO good. It’s giving “1989”, pop-esque vibes and I love the confidence that comes from this song. “Best believe I’m still bejeweled, When I walk in the room, I can still make the whole place shimmer,”– Swift establishes that when she enters the room, she’s the star of the show and I wish to have that level of power that she has. The beats mimic the way glitter shimmers and diamonds sparkle, and the way the production is handled in this song easily makes this song a part of my top six.
5. “Snow on the Beach” featuring Lana Del Rey
When I heard that Lana Del Rey was going to be featured on Swift’s new album, I threw my phone across the room and proceeded to text all my friends who are fans of Lana and Taylor that WE WON. This was a genuine gift from the heavens and I was so incredibly excited to hear this song that I predicted that this song was going to be my number one before the album came out. And unfortunately, it didn’t make the top three for one major reason… you can’t hear Lana AT ALL. Don’t get me wrong, the lyrics in this song are breathtaking and I love this song to pieces. However, it breaks my heart that you can’t even tell if Lana had a part in the song or not, and I felt so played! A beautiful song nonetheless, and if I could actually hear Lana in the song, this song would have taken the number spot for sure.
This song had me SCREAMING in my dorm room at one in the morning. The production of this song is flawless. “Mastermind” is the exact opposite of the song “Invisible String” from “Folklore”– whereas in “Invisible String” Swift toys with the idea of fate and how this string was always made to connect with her soulmate and the two just didn’t know, “Mastermind” goes to prove that there are no accidents in the game of love and someone is always pulling the strings behind it all. The twist at the end of the song where the listener learns that her lover was aware of her being the “mastermind” of it all the time had me jumping for joy and devouring this friends-to-lovers trope in the song.
Have you ever listened to a song through its entirety, had to pause the next track, and take a breather because you didn’t realize how hard it hit you? Because that’s what this song did for me the first time I listened to it. I love it when artists get so incredibly personal in their songs because it allows the listeners to realize that despite their status and everything they do, they are still humans with raw feelings. And this song is no exception. Within this song, Swift writes that this song is a “guided tour” of all the things she hates about herself and I think being able to acknowledge the things you dislike about yourself to the world takes a great amount of bravery. This lyric alone, “When my depression works the graveyard shift, all of the people I’ve ghosted stand there in the room,” literally gave me the chills because I’ve had that same feeling. While the music video may be cringy and at times humorous, the song deserves to be in the top three spots.
I don’t have words to describe how perfect this song is. “Karma” is THAT song. It’s playful, upbeat, and silly, yet has the vibes of “Reputation”. And while Taylor has been in public scandals with other celebrities, karma is something that’s not foreign to her and I love how she’s able to make a song addressing how karma is such an important lesson to learn. Also, there is something so captivating about hearing her sing “Sweet like honey” in the chorus, and it makes my ears tingle with joy. Especially with being such a firm believer in karma and the saying “What goes around, comes around”, “Karma” is a song made for the people who believe in the power of it and love nothing more than to sit back, relax and let karma take its toll on the people who have done you wrong.
1. “Lavender Haze”
Now, this might be a controversial choice to put at the top but this song is my JAM. I am a hopeless romantic by heart and I will defend this song to the grave. This song was made for the fans of “Lover” and those who love the intimacy that a relationship can bring. Especially with the speculations and rumors surrounding her and Joe Alwyn’s relationship, this song makes it a point to all that their relationship is none of our business. “Lavender Haze” is all about seeing the relationship through a lens that only matters to the people involved and how nothing will ever get in the way of that, and I absolutely love it. I’ve already streamed this song 50 times in the last 72 hours and it will be endless repeats till I get sick of hearing it (which will be NEVER!)
“Midnights: 3 AM” Edition
Now in true Taylor Swift fashion, she always has a trick up her sleeve and the stunt she pulled at three in the morning early Friday morning left fans everywhere restless. On top of the new album, she released a “Midnights: 3 AM” edition that had an additional SEVEN songs. When I tell you I sprung out of my bed because of this announcement, I’m not joking. Pillows and blankets– all over the floor. While these songs did not come with the original 13 that Swift released, I do think a ranking is in order of these special seven and deserves a moment in the spotlight.
7. “The Great War”
Unfortunately, I think this song was probably my least favorite out of the 20 songs released. Don’t get me wrong, the songwriting is absolutely beautiful and the story-telling is top-notch, but the song alone is not something I would listen to all the time, and dare I say I would *skip* this song if I played the album on shuffle. Apologies Taylor, but this song just did not cut it for me!
6. “Bigger Than The Whole Sky”
This song is so painstakingly sad that I legit can’t help but tear up when hearing this song. In a song about loss and goodbyes, Swift reminisces on the possibilities of what could’ve happened if that person hadn’t gone away. It’s chilling, eerie yet peaceful at the same time and it’s a beautiful song overall. Maybe it’s because I’m not entirely a huge fan of slow songs, but this is also another song that I would have to be in the “right mood” to listen to and I don’t think I could listen to this often without feeling so sad.
5. “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve”
A breakup bop above all, this song is meant for the heartbroken and those dealing with a breakup. I think one thing I admire Swift on is the fact that she goes against this “get over it” mentality that a lot of us are forced to take on, and really allows things to still hurt even though they’ve gone past the expiration date. And she makes it okay to feel hurt over something that happened a long time ago. Hearing “I regret you all the time” and “Living for the thrill of hitting you where it hurts, Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first” broke my heart, and my god does Taylor know where to hit where it hurts!
The friends to accidental lovers trope– YES I AM HERE FOR IT! It’s lighthearted and catchy and talks all about the accidental “falling in love” idea between two people. While it may not shine above others, I think I just love the simplicity of it and how cute the journey the two people are enduring actually is.
3. “High Infidelity”
I have no idea who this song is about, but all I know is that the person should be terrified! And while many fans have their theories on who the culprit is, one thing for certain is that this song does an incredibly great job at story-telling. This song is all about infidelity and how cheating is awful. The lyric, “You know there’s many different ways that you can kill the one you love, the slowest way is never loving them enough,” literally had my jaw dropped. This song easily made the top three of the new songs the minute I heard it and will definitely remain in its place.
2. “Dear Reader”
A classic Taylor Swift heartbreak song that has the most beautiful harmonies. I swear the way she sings these words make my ears so happy and I can’t even describe it. Essentially, this song is about Taylor advising the listeners/readers about not compromising themselves for someone who loves to keep secrets and keeps us in the dark about everything. The message is great and of course, the songwriting slaps, but I think the harmonies in the song are what sell it for me.
“Paris” deserves the number one spot out of the seven and I will take NO criticism. This song is so reminiscent of “1989” and “Lover” and in true Taylor Swift fashion, tells the story of a classic love story where you are so in love with someone at the moment that nothing else truly matters. It’s the most upbeat out of the seven songs that were added and it makes me so happy– catering to the hopeless romantics in the best way possible, Taylor outdid herself with this one.
Overall, “Midnights” is officially THAT album. From the songwriting and storytelling to the new vocal productions and harmonies, this album easily makes it a favorite for me. Already breaking records like the Spotify record for the most-streamed album in a single day, Swift has proven once again that she is a powerful force in the industry and deserves all the credit she gets.
Do you agree with our Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” ranking? What songs are in your top three? Let us know in the comments below!