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Review | “Midnights (3 A.M. Edition)” By Taylor Swift

To celebrate Taylor Swift making music history, breaking streaming records and never-before-seen sales, we are dissecting her “special very chaotic surprise,” the seven bonus tracks of Midnights (3 A.M. Edition). Check out our review of Taylor Swift’s original 13 tracks here!

She took to Instagram to talk about the reissue:

Surprise! I think of Midnights as a complete concept album, with those 13 songs forming a full picture of the intensities of that mystifying, mad hour. However! There were other songs we wrote on our journey to find that magic 13. I’m calling them 3am tracks. Lately I’ve been loving the feeling of sharing more of our creative process with you, like we do with From The Vault tracks. So it’s 3am and I’m giving them to you now. 🌌

Taylor Swift is making music history, breaking streaming records and never-before-seen sales, and, to celebrate, we are going to dissect her "special very chaotic surprise," the seven bonus tracks of Midnights (3 A.M. Edition).

Track By Track Review of Taylor Swift’s Midnights (3 A.M. Edition)

The Great War

The first bonus track treks a devastating conflict within a romantic relationship. Despite the conflict and possibility of losing, “The Great War” delivers a hopeful memento of their relationship’s resilience as a testament to love.

The track’s straight-toned vocals and atmospheric instrumentals give it a West Coast storyteller feel. It is an inviting listen compared to the endless synths because of its producorial shift. Because of its playful yet real sentiment, the track has a similar vibe to XYLØ‘s 2019 single, “ride or die”

It is definitely a top hit in her discography and a great introduction to Midnights (3 A.M. Edition).

Bigger Than The Whole Sky

“Bigger Than The Whole Sky” is a love letter to a loved one taken too soon despite the short time spent together and the endless rabbit holes of “what-ifs.” Swift does not clarify the type of loss, but Swifties think it likely signifies a miscarriage via the lyrics: “Did some bird flap its wings ovеr in Asia? / Did some force take you bеcause I didn’t pray?” However, this parallel was not confirmed by the artist or her team.

The mild and soft-spoken “Bigger Than The Whole Sky” loses its weight in a highly produced album. Its subtleness is sweet yet very forgettable to other pop sounds.

Paris

Probably the worst song in Swift history. Tired, repetitive 1989 synth beats mixed with cheesy, millennial-esque lyrics don’t make the track any less tacky. Something about its delivery makes it seem that Swift has never been to Paris– it misses all the nuances.  This song should’ve stayed in the From The Vault collection.

High Infidelity

Do you know what happened on April 29th? No. Do we ever find out? No. Another shallow song about cheating and turmoil feelings masked by a really interesting poppy production. The theme has the potency of folklore but with watered-down writing.

This is the first time the bonus tracks felt like the “leftovers.” This release feels like a demo, rushed and unfinished. It is disappointing because the production is a bubbly techno-pop dream.

Glitch

“Glitch” reflects on a true romance never meant to be, so unlikely that it must have been a glitch. Maybe it is about her current relationship with Joe Alwyn, documented through “Cornelia Street” and “Cruel Summer,” which started out as flirtation and friends with benefits before ending up being everyone’s relationship goals.

The slow-burner track is a reintroduction to perfect pop lyricism with lowkey, bluesy production. How can you resist Swift’s hitched voice in the second chorus? It is the perfect freestyle moment, putting the icing on the cake for this track!

Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve

“Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” uses religious overtones to express regret for an early relationship that left her deeply scarred. It draws on themes such as those in previous song  “Dear John” (from Speak Now), where the singer’s ingenuity was disregarded.

The track points to her past relationship with John Mayer— she was nineteen, and he was thirty-two. During the romance, their age gap was heavily scrutinized. Now, with time under her belt, Swift regrets jumping into things quickly without taking a breath. However, the lyrics reveal that she never had that power.

This song is her vent session. (There is a striking thematic parallel of power imbalances between her and pop diva Demi Lovato‘s “29”.)

Dear Reader

Midnights, an album gleaming with self-doubt, mistrust and pain, sees the narrator succumb to an isolated, desperate life, which provides a full-circle finale.

The closing is a contemplating, tick-toking track where Swift attempts to give life advice to “readers.” But it is not exactly groundbreaking; it feels tainted, not exactly right. The narrator warns not to trust all advice, especially from a person who’s life is falling apart…

You can’t help but feel sorry for the singer as her voice echoes and never breaks the song’s surface. She is trapped.

 

What is your favorite bonus track from Taylor Swift’s Midnights (3 A.M. Edition)? Let us know in the comments!

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