Things that keeps you up at Midnights

A short review (and recommendation by Pruenella from batch 20 <3)

According to Taylor Swift, the five things that keep her up at midnight are self-loathing, fantasising revenge, wondering what might’ve been, falling in love, and finally, falling apart. These things helped her inspire her newest album, Midnights that was released on October 21, 2022. 

The day I wrote this article had been 12 years since I became a swifties, a name for Taylor Swift fans, and you can absolutely tell that I am more than excited to hear the songs from her newest album. Taylor herself said that this album was very different from her old ones, and that excites me since she also announced that this album will be a visual album.

Midnights is released with 13 tracks, also had additional 7 digital tracks in Midnight (3am Ver), and 1 target exclusive track entitled Hits Different only on special edition vinyl. Swifties are really expected to swallow all of this information on the day this album is released, and I could tell that my brain is collapsing. I know you might have encountered dozens of theories or album reviews on social media platforms, but today I will serve you my personal reviews, and also recommendations that are given by my Swifties friend, Pruenella from batch 20 (who magically wrote pages of reviews for this album, big shout out!) 

Lavender Haze

My first thought about this was, “Oh my, what a majestic way to start an album.”. The first track of the album, it is said that this song is about Taylor’s relationship with her former boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. They had been dating for six years, and unlike her past relationship, her relationship with Joe is considered as private, as Taylor and Joe never really show it publicly, and that is making the media thirsty for what is happening between them. Thus, Taylor refers to herself being madly in love and wanting to “stay in that lavender haze”, focusing on her own relationship, not fulfilling people's expectations. Lavender Haze itself is a slang term used in the 1950s, referring to two people being in love. 

✦ You’ll like this song if:

1. You're in love with your long-term partner and have many people wanting you to break up, but you want to stay in the lavender haze anyway.


“Is this a break up song?” is the thought creeped on my brain when this song came on. Maroon, a brownish crimson colour that is still categorised as a shade of red. Taylor herself has used the colour red to express the feeling of “love”. In this song she describes a love affair, which might be an unhealthy one, as she describes it as ‘so scarlet it was maroon’. She also uses other variations of colour to express the road of the love story, the burgundy on her t-shirt stained by wine, blood rushing to her cheeks as well. For me, this song is about facing a tough relationship, decoded by red colour codes. I love these interesting concepts though, the fanfiction writers must all be excited with this kind of angsty plot. 

✦ You’ll like this song if:

1. You have an unhealthy relationship. Get in a fight almost every day until you two don’t communicate for days.

2. You HAD been in an unhealthy relationship. Sometimes you don't have a reason to cry and you decide to look back to your past relationship.


Third track, title track, song of the year. This one is my utmost favourite from the album. As English literature students, we must be familiar with the term anti-hero; a central character in a story that lacks conventional heroic attributes. Taylor said that this is based on the feeling of insecurity. This had a major Afterglow concept that the problem is on “me”; the anti-hero. No matter how people stood there cheering, the intrusive thoughts and anxiousness circled through minds. people like saying things and the anti-hero will turn it into their way, they’re still the problem, they’re a mess, well it must be exhausting rooting for the anti-hero.

✦ You’ll like this song if:

1. You always feel insecure until it becomes the cause of your overthinking session, and you end up ruining everything.

Snow On the Beach (feat. Lana Del Rey)

The running joke on Twitter is that Lana got the ‘wrong address to the beach’. This is my second favourite from the album, as this song was highly anticipated because of the collaboration of the queens. Taylor explains that this song is about the feeling of falling in love with someone at the same time as they’re falling in love with you. It is very weird, as if you see snow at the beach. The “Is that real? It's certainly impossible,” denial feelings but you just know that it is real and happening (oh to be in love with someone that had mutual feelings…). This song is very magical, has the holiday feeling and I think is suitable for this month's weather!

✦ You’ll like this song if:

1. You're finally in a relationship with your long-term crush or a guy you want the most, but only if the relationship is fine and healthy.

You’re On Your Own, Kid

It still tickles me that this song’s abbreviation is YOYOK. No offense, but it feels so funny to me. Anyway, this is about “giving it all to people until you don't recognize yourself anymore”, about Taylor who struggles with herself. As horrendous as it sounds, I think a traumatised first-born daughter could feel this song on an advanced level. The lyrics are showing that no matter how hard you try to please people, at the end we’re standing on our feet. Everything you lose is a step you take. 

✦ You'll like this song if:

1. You always try to be the best for other people, whether your boyfriend or girlfriend, your crush, your friends, or even your family, but never succeed.

Midnight Rain

Another song to fulfil angst tropes, he was sunshine, I was midnight rain. It is about Taylor precipitation on relationships, in a different way. This one is about two lovers that could not be together as they had different goals in the relationship. They are indeed together, but one could not follow the other one’s will. In this case, the man wants to take the woman as his bride. 

✦ You'll like this song if:

1. You HAD been in a relationship with different desires and finally broke up because you couldn't follow their will.


Series of questions being asked, maybe we can’t even ask this in any situation, but no harm, this is just a question. I kinda feel like this is a situation after you broke up with your lover and you met them again, shot them one or two questions to spice things up or simply just clear the matter between you two. In another scenario, Prue said that maybe this is about a love affair that happened one night, maybe they knew each other from the start but this guy had a girlfriend. Well to be honest, if people ask genuine questions, it could be quite intimidating. 

✦ You'll like this song if:

1. You're the side chick. A mistress. Nothing else.

Vigilante Shit

As badass as it sounds, it is about taking revenge, dressing for revenge, yes you go girl.

✦ You'll like this song if:

1. You got cheated on and ended up being friends with the side chick. Such a rare moment in Indonesia, though. 


Note this if you haven’t heard this song yet: this sounds exactly like how the word ‘bejeweled’ would sound like. Very sparkly. About someone that loses her value in a relationship because the partner doesn’t appreciate her enough, but then she arises and stays sparkling in her own shine. 

✦ You'll like this song if:

1. Your partner doesn't value you, but you know your value and realize that many people value you. Break-up is the only option.


My first thought on Labyrinth was that it sounds much like gospel songs. The echoing voice and stuff, however the lyrics, in my opinion, are talking about realising that you had a feeling for someone but it's too fast paced, the “uh, oh I’m falling in love” I GET IT. Yeah that’s what is happening—you kinda go dumb when you fell in love and got lost in your labyrinth while wondering the truth like an idiot, while everyone expect you to bounce out just like that because it doesn’t make sense at all. AT ALL. “You know how scared I am of elevators, never trust it if it rises fast, it can’t last,” have you heard the faster you get something the faster it’ll be gone? According to Taylor, this song is about her own anxiety when she fall in love, assuming the worst because of her past but it actually turned back around.

✦ You'll like this song if:

1. You're happily in a relationship with someone, but your trauma—that makes you scared to love—haunts you.



Karma is the background music of your main character's act, about how everything has their own price and so is karma. Highlighting the good karma part rather than highlighting that karma is a complicated price to pay for everything we did to people or such. 

✦ You'll like this song if:

1. You two did terrible things, but your ex did the worst, and he/she finally got her karma.

2. It’s the same as point one, but it’s on friendship or family


Sweet Nothing

This song has the vibes that is taking me to a scenery where you just hop into the piano and play a beautiful tune to your dearest, it was snowing outside and the room was full with the smell of chocolate. Thick nursery rhyme vibes that you are willing to tell your loved ones. This song is about her relationship with Joe Alwyn, portraying that when everyone demands something from her, but all he ever demands from her is sweet nothing. 

✦ You'll like this song if:

1. You've been through a lot and have a very supportive partner.



The last track of the regular album, about Taylor’s reputation that she makes fun of as if she was the mastermind of all the things that happened in her lifetime. portraying a mastermind which could also be a storyteller or a puppet itself (I'm so up for this concept) where they had to put that way, the wisest women had to do it cause they were born to be the pawn in every lover’s game—if the plan fails then you plan to fail the strategy sets the scene for a tale. the song where the heroine is not believed to be the heroine, but she could twist everyone’s plan and make it look like it’s accidental and meant to be that way—to win, to get him, the dominoes cascaded in a line by her design.

✦ You'll like this song if:

1. You feel related to mirror ball. But this one is the pop version of it. It’s like if you feel like you always try and plan to be everyone’s favourite.


The Great War

Portraying a darkest time in a relationship as a “great war”.  Again, it is about Taylor who has anxiety in a relationship and she is afraid to mess things up and be in the war again. 

✦ You'll like this song if:

1. You often can't get your shit together, affecting your relationship. You didn’t want to be like that. You realize that with you being like this, there’s a possibility that your loved ones will leave you because of the fatigue.


Bigger Than the Whole Sky

Another sad lullaby about saying goodbye to someone. Referring this someone as a person that is “bigger than the whole sky” and letting them go. This could be a loss of relationship, or loss in life in general. 

✦ You'll like this song if:

1. You just broke up with your ex.

2. You had the same relationship issue while still dating your ex, and you want to mourn the sadness.



A love song, about a person who falls in love and every moment that they spend together feels like they’re somewhere else. Out from the world they currently live in. It's that situation when you are madly in love, you were blinded completely, you just see the best version of this person. 

✦ You’ll like this song if:

1. You’re crazy in love with your lover until you don’t care about the world’s opinion of your lover.


High Infidelity

The story is about carelessly cheating from a woman's perspective. Might be from Taylor’s past relationship.

✦ You’ll like this song if:

1. You cheated on your careless trash ex-lover and found the right one that brought you to life.



This song is about Taylor’s relationship, maybe it started as friends, but then they started dancing and the romance happened. She thought there was a glitch. 

✦ You’ll like this song if:

1. You’re in a long-term relationship, and you’ve been in love ever since, especially if your life trope is friends to lovers.


Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve

This song is very emotional as it is about 19-year-old Taylor and her ex-love. About her trauma of the relationships as she was relatively young at that time. 

✦ You’ll like this song if:

1. You have a trauma caused by your trash ex-boyfriend, and you’re not the same person. He changed you. The trauma changed you.


Dear Reader

Finally arriving at the last track, Dear Reader is more like a pile of advice that Taylor would like to give to people who have been “reading” her stories all this time. One of them is, “Never take advice from someone who’s falling apart.”

✦ You’ll like this song if:

1. You’ve been through a lot of pain.


So, tell me, what is your favourite song on Midnights?


Taylor Swift twitter community.


Thanks to Prue who is willing to share her brainrots with me, it was fun!

Writer: Ghinaa Atsiil Rachmania

Editor: Ias Aprilia