OPINION: “Midnights” top 10 tracks


Staff photo

Sophomores Avery Reagan (left) and Elliott Seng hold up their “Midnights” vinyl albums.

Elliott Seng, Staff Writer

Not many albums can dominate the top 10 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, crush the record for most-streamed album in a single day, and sell out the most copies of an album ever recorded in only a short amount of time. But Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” has continued to beat record after record, leaving Swifties all around the world to debate a very important question… what are the best songs on the album?

In this ranking, I’ve listed my top 10 songs from “Midnights,” taking into consideration individuality, lyrics, and overall catchiness. Take a look, and see if you agree!

1. Anti-Hero

The undeniable 1st place track, “Anti-Hero” explores Swift’s insecurities and is essentially a diss track about herself. Paired with creative and catchy lyrics, the track was always destined to be an instant hit, with “it’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me” standing out as the most well-known lyric in the whole album. Make sure to check out the entertaining (yet somewhat controversial) music video!

2. Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve

This might be a bit of a hot take considering “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” is a bonus track, but this song has the power to dominate the charts along with the original “Midnights” songs. Swift reflects on her toxic relationship with John Mayer (he was 32, she was 19) with tearful lyrics leading up to the climatic line, “Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first.” With a bit of country mixed in, this track definitely wouldn’t be out of place on Swift’s previous album “Red”

3. Maroon

If you’re a Swiftie, you’ll know that her album “Red” came out 10 years ago. And you might also know that the title song “Red” was Track 2. It’s no coincidence, then, that Track 2 on “Midnights” is “Maroon”, with the lyrics, “the burgundy on my t-shirt when you splashed your wine into me… so scarlet it was maroon.” Describing how her love over the ages has transformed from fresh red to an aged maroon shade, Swift cleverly hints back at her previous songs. 

4. Lavender Haze

With a “Reputation”-esque rhythmic bass leading up to the iconic “meet me at midnight,” Swift opens her album with an instant hit that draws upon her struggles dealing with paparazzi always questioning her relationship with long-time boyfriend Joe Alwyn. The phrase “lavender haze,” which means to be lost in love, poetically depicts her affection for Alwyn and how all she wants to do is stay in her “lavender haze” with him. A sweet song mixed with a catchy beat, “Lavender Haze” deserves a spot alongside the top tracks. 

5. You’re On Your Own, Kid

With “You’re On Your Own Kid”, Swift manages to accurately portray my entire life in a song, leaving me wondering how she brought me back to my childhood and made me cry at the same time. With the emotional lines, “I gave my blood, sweat, and tears for this / I hosted parties and starved my body,” she captures the struggles that all teenagers go through and the feeling that you’re never quite good enough. By opening up and showing her insecurities, Swift creates a powerful track that’s relatable and empowering to her audience. 

6. Midnight Rain

Referencing the album name, “Midnight Rain” dives into Swift’s past, as she reminisces on a sweet but future-less relationship, using layers of metaphors upon metaphors. My favorite lyric, “He wanted a bride, I was making my own name,” shows how Swift felt confined by her relationship and wanted to achieve more with her life. It shows the sacrifices she made and the risks she took to leave “sunshine” and become “midnight rain.” 

7. Bejeweled

If you’re a “1989” lover like me, you’ll definitely notice the similarities between “Bejeweled”’s “I can still make the whole place shimmer,” and “Style”’s, “we never go out of style.” Except this time, there’s no handsome prince with daydream eyes. Instead, we have Swift strutting into a party, claiming she “doesn’t remember” if she has a man. An upbeat anthem with a creative Cinderella-themed music video, “Bejeweled” definitely makes the top 10.

8. Vigilante Sh*t

With wickedly smooth lyrics and a deep bass, “Vigilante Sh*t” is the perfect blend between nonchalant and rebellious. Swift makes a sly reference to Scooter Braun (notorious for not giving Swift ownership over her own albums) and his ex-wife, commenting, “she looks so pretty, driving in your benz, lately she’s been dressing for revenge.” If you’re a Reputation era Swiftie, this track is basically made for you. 

9. Question…? 

A unique and mysterious track, “Question” draws listeners in with the namesake line, “can I ask you a question?” and continues to build a vivid scenario throughout the song where Swift asks question after question, also referencing tracks like “Maroon” and “Red” with the line, “you painted all my nights a color I’ve searched for since.” The short, metaphorical lyrics paired with clean rhymes makes “Question” one of the catchiest songs of the album.

10. Paris

A bonus track that could have easily slipped into the main album, the catchiness and pop energy  of “Paris” combines the album’s dreaminess with the synth of previous album “1989”. I could easily imagine this song alongside tracks like its American counterpart, “Welcome to New York”. However, what really pulls this track together is the bridge, where Swift sings, “I want to brainwash you into loving me forever.” Tracks like “Paris” are why I’m so glad Swift released her 3am Edition. 


DISCLAIMER: It’s with deepest regret that I had to leave some of the fan-favorites such as “Mastermind,” “Karma,” and “Snow on the Beach” out of the rankings. Don’t get me wrong- I love these songs (and all of the songs on the album, actually). Swift has created yet another album with pretty much no skips, and that made these rankings so hard to decide. Whether you agreed with these rankings or not, I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit more about this spectacular album.