Song of the Day #5,263: ‘Labyrinth’ – Taylor Swift

Continuing my ranking of the songs on Taylor Swift’s new album, Midnights

#4. ‘Mastermind

I love the momentum of this track in both the music and the melody. I also love the bridge, which dives into the insecurities Swift explores in several songs on this album. Lyrically, this is a novel approach to a love song, pushing fate and luck aside and centering Swift as the author of her own romantic destiny. An excellent closing track.

#3. ‘Labyrinth’

This deep cut has climbed higher and higher on my list with each listen. Ask me again in a week and it might be in the top spot. It’s a beautiful marriage of one of Swift’s finest vocal performances and Jack Antonoff’s most inspired production. The pitch-shifted vocals I hate so much on ‘Midnight Rain’ somehow work for me here, held back until the outro and blended with the original chorus. Lyrically, the song finds Swift tentatively approaching a new romance, fearful of the pain her past experiences have caused.

[Verse 1]
“It only hurts this much right now”
Was what I was thinkin’ the whole time
Breathe in, breathe through, breathe deep, breathe out
I’ll be gettin’ over you my whole life

[Pre-Chorus]
You know how scared I am of elevators
Never trust it if it rises fast
It can’t last

[Chorus]
Uh-oh, I’m fallin’ in love
Oh no, I’m fallin’ in love again
Oh, I’m fallin’ in love
I thought the plane was goin’ down
How’d you turn it right around?

[Verse 2]
It only feels this raw right now
Lost in the labyrinth of my mind
Break up, break free, break through, break down
You would break your back to make me break a smile

[Pre-Chorus]
You know how much I hate
That everybody just expects me to bounce back
Just like that

[Chorus]
Uh-oh, I’m fallin’ in love
Oh no, I’m fallin’ in love again
Oh, I’m fallin’ in love
I thought the plane was goin’ down
How’d you turn it right around?
Uh-oh, I’m fallin’ in love
Oh no, I’m fallin’ in love again
Oh, I’m fallin’ in love
I thought the plane was goin’ down
How’d you turn it right around?
Uh-oh, I’m fallin’ in love
Oh no, I’m fallin’ in love again
Oh, I’m fallin’ in love
I thought the plane was goin’ down
How’d you turn it right around?
Uh-oh, I’m fallin’ in love
Oh no, I’m fallin’ in love again
Oh, I’m fallin’ in love
I thought the plane was goin’ down
How’d you turn it right around?

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,263: ‘Labyrinth’ – Taylor Swift

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I’m glad that repeat listening has raised your opinion on the production quality of the album and of the album generally.

  2. Amy says:

    Two great tracks, and I agree that Labyrinth features Taylor’s voice in fine form. I was wondering how this cut could be so high on your list when it, too, features the pitch-shifted vocals you’d slammed earlier this week. I would like an additional verse rather than the repetitive final chorus, so this one would be in my mid-tier for that reason alone. The two verses I just adore.

  3. Maddie says:

    Agreed with Amy’s comment here! I think the Mastermind placement and commentary is dead on. I would personally place Labyrinth in a lower tier because I’d like an additional verse, though I agree her voice and the production work beautifully together on this one (but I feel that way about the whole album, so it’s easier to bump this one lower for me).

  4. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    I wasn’t sure what to think about “Mastermind” at first. Admittedly, this is one of the tracks that I’d heard tidbits of from TikTok before listening to the whole thing. The way the sound bite was utilized didn’t do justice to the context of the whole song as is often the case with TikTok sounds. Upon listening to the whole through and now having heard it quite a few times, definitely a great record with an, of course, phenomenal bridge.

    I likely would not place “Labyrinth” this high on my list. There’s something about Taylor’s higher falsetto melodies that never does it for me. It’s a very similar approach on “epiphany” which I simply dislike. Here it’s much better and this is a good song lyrically.

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