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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

REVIEW: “Midnights” resonates with Swifties

Photo by Izzy Bonebrake
Swifties gathered at the “Midnights” listening party for karaoke, dancing and all things Taylor Swift.

It’s hard to believe that Taylor Swift started out her career as a country singer, only to transition into the pop sensation she is today. With her 11 Grammy wins and countless nominations, she has truly built a name for herself, unlike any other artist. Swift released “Midnights” Oct. 21, pushing her into the double digits for her number of album releases.

As she entered into this new era of songwriting, she also took over the Billboard Hot 100 song chart, by taking over the top ten spots with “Anti-Hero” leading at number one. Swift is now the female artist with the most top 10s in history with a current total of 40, surely soon to increase. In addition to this, she has made history by creating the first album to dominate all top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 song chart.

In true Swift fashion, everything about the album is made with intention, including its hidden messages or ‘Easter eggs, which leaves fans speculating about what goes beyond the surface level. With 13 being Swift’s lucky number, it only seemed right for her to release Midnights with 13 songs about 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout her life, whether good or bad. Swift’s songs vary from being in love to dealing with the hardships of growing up.

Her first song, “Lavender Haze,” hits on the relationship between her and long-time boyfriend Joe Alwyn. It is a lyrical masterpiece in every way, with the chorus referencing the struggle of staying in love while tabloids give their opinions about her relationship with the world, “I feel the lavender haze creeping up on me/ Surreal, I’m damned if I do give a damn what people say/ No deal, the 1950s sh*t they want from me/ I just want to stay in the lavender haze.” She desires to stay in her “all-encompassing love glow” while also juggling what to share with social media and what to keep private.

Swift continues to follow her pattern of keeping her fifth track as one of the deepest and most meaningful songs on the album. She discusses her struggle with fame and how it affected her mental health in her song “You’re on Your Own, Kid.” She starts this song with a slow and quiet voice, but as the lyrics continue fans can hear the power and strength behind Swift’s vocals. As she references her eating disorder with the lyrics, “I gave my blood, sweat, and tears for this/ I hosted parties and starved my body/ Like I’d be saved by a perfect kiss,” fans can hear the emotion in her voice.

Not only does this song hold a deep, personal meaning to Swift, but fans have also spent time deciphering every lyric for hidden meanings. Just as Swift referenced Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds’ third child, Betty, on her Folklore album, there is speculation that she also revealed the name of their fourth. With her verse, “I see the great escape/ So long, Daisy Mae/ I picked the petals, he loves me not,” fans are curious to see if the song is a tribute to her, but only time will tell.

In addition to her 13 tracks on the album, Swift also released seven additional songs with the appropriate name of “Midnights (3am Edition).” She references the hurt and pain she went through as a 19-year-old in a rumored relationship with John Mayer, a man in his thirties, with the song “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve.” The various verses all represent different parts of her toxic relationship and the long-term effects it has had on her.

Swifties can hear the pain in her voice perfectly accented with the instrumental power in the background. Arguably the most meaningful verse due to its message and music choice is during the closing of the song, “Give me back my girlhood/ It was mine first.” The verse hit listeners with the hard truth of what she experienced in her relationship and alludes to her own regrets about it.

It’s no shock that “Midnights” has already made headlines and won the hearts of so many although it has not even been out for two weeks. The album differs from the most recent releases of Folklore or Evermore, but Swift’s stunning voice and lyrical genius have the ability to make anything a success, especially her 13 stories of sleepless nights.

This story was written by Lauren Puthoff. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Lauren Puthoff
Lauren Puthoff, Arts & Entertainment Reporter
Lauren is an Arts & Entertainment Reporter at the Wire. She is a sophomore from Bettendorf, IA studying construction engineering. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her dog, listening to music, and trying new foods. This year Lauren is looking forward to meeting new people and reporting on events around campus.

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