Just Because: Music Review

Chosen Album: Midnights by Taylor Swift

By Amelia Chen and Bailey Thorp

At midnight on Oct. 21, country-turned-pop-sensation (and America’s Sweetheart) Taylor Swift released her new album Midnights which incorporates 13 songs she wrote about sleepless nights scattered throughout her life. Amelia and Bailey ranked each song out of 10 based on the lyrics, the singing, and the hype. Amelia’s reviews are in blue while Bailey’s reviews are in green.

Track #1 – Lavender Haze
This one isn’t a favorite, but I enjoy it because of how hype it is. It is upbeat and has a way of making me feel happy as soon as I hear it. The lyrics are written so beautifully about being in love, referencing a saying from the show Mad Men. The way she expresses her love in her lyrics and wrote so metaphorically was incredibly eye-catching. As many might be aware, she is not entirely known for being an extremely talented vocalist, but I feel as though in Lavender Haze she sang in the exact range meant for her. 
Rating: 8.5/10

Track #2 – Maroon
I believe that this song is supposed to be a parallel to the song Red, which is on an earlier album. Reddescribes love through colors, and Maroon does this as well, although its lyrics depict darker images. This is fitting, as maroon is a darker shade of red. Overall, I feel this is song is catchy and entertaining. 
Rating: 8/10

Track #3 – Anti-Hero 
Although this song has been huge on social media and streaming services, it most definitely is not my favorite. I don’t hate it, but it doesn’t give the same vibes as the other songs on the album. I don’t like how the singing goes from a high key to a low key, but I do love the lyrics. I think it’s incredible how she portrays self-blame so beautifully and really paints a picture of her character. This song isn’t anything special and doesn’t stand out. It’s boring throughout many parts and doesn’t have a great bridge. 
Rating: 6.5/10

Track #4 – Snow on the Beach
This is one of my least favorite songs on the album and it also happens to be one of the least popular songs. While it has a nice flow, the song is pretty repetitive, and you can hardly hear the featured artist, Lana Del Rey. This song could have benefitted from being a little bolder. 
Rating: 5/10

Track #5 – You’re On Your Own, Kid
I absolutely adore the lyrics in the song and feel the emotion when I listen to it. Although this song is a bit slow and emotional, it is a hype song, and it gets even better every time I listen to it. The chorus is my favorite part of the song along with the bridge. I also think throughout the song the singing was done well and listeners can feel the emotion through her voice. 
Rating: 9/10

Track #6 – Midnight Rain
This song is one of my favorites and is so catchy and fun. The song is about meeting the right person, but ultimately wanting different things. The lyrics are beautiful while still upbeat and lively. 
Rating: 9/10    

Track #7 – Question…? 
This one is not as good as the others. I feel like the lyrics were well-written, but I don’t love the singing as much or feel like I could scream-sing in a car to it. In some parts of the song, the singing sounds slightly breathy. There just isn’t enough in the song to make me as excited to listen as I was for others on the album. 
Rating: 7.5/10

Track #8 – Vigilante S**t 
The song has some darker lyrics and imagery, and is very heavy on the bass, which could make this song popular with listeners. In my opinion, this song is cringy in both the lyrics and music composition. It feels like Taylor is trying too hard to be hardcore and almost gangster. I don’t think this song really fits the rest of the album. 
Rating: 4/10

Track #9 – Bejeweled
I had extremely high expectations for this song but unfortunately, those expectations were not met. The lyrics are, again, very good but not as well done as others from the album. I also feel like it was bland in some places, and don’t love the entire song. She actually did a pretty good job singing because it could easily get breathy in some parts, but she never did. This song is also not as good as I would’ve hoped just because the only hype part is the chorus and the bridge. 
Rating: 8/10

Track #10 – Labyrinth
This song is incredible lyrically. It describes the never-ending cycle of falling in love and going through heartbreak only to, once again, get involved in another relationship and restart the cycle. The song lyrics do repeat quite often, but in this song, it is represented of getting trapped in that labyrinth. I love the laidback tone of the song, and think it is an amazing addition to the album. 
Rating: 9/10    

Track #11 – Karma 
This is much better than I thought it was going to be. I’m always blown away by her incredible writing skills and was certainly not disappointed. I absolutely adore the extended metaphor she put in the song and how she makes it relatable. I also love the bridge and how it builds up. The only critique I would make is I wish the singing was a little better in some parts. 
Rating: 8.5/10

Track #12 – Sweet Nothing
This song has a really unique sound to it, and it stands out from the rest of the album because of this. The lyrics are also very beautiful and heartfelt. The lyrics describe a love in which the complexities of the world can be escaped by simply being in the presence of the one you love. I really love how the lyrics and the music combine to create and upbeat, yet relaxing song. 
Rating: 8/10

Track #13 – Mastermind
I love the symbolism of the song and the rippling beat. The singing was the best in this song, and this was the most hype song out of the whole album. What makes the song so special is the build-up in the chorus, making it so catchy along with its bridge. It has me scream-singing every time I hear it and an exciting feeling wash over me. 
Rating: 10/10

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