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‘The Tortured Poets Department’ is so much more than I imagined

With the release of her 11th studio album, Taylor Swift has created another masterpiece
Taylor Swift
‘The Tortured Poets Department’ is out and there is so much to unpack

Swift’s 11th studio album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” was released at midnight EST on April 19, just as she announced at this year’s Grammy award ceremony. I had no idea what to expect at the time. But needless to say, I am very impressed after listening. 

With an eerie undertone, the album overall is emotionally charged. I knew this would be a different side of Taylor nobody had seen before. I find myself indirectly relating to a lot of the songs which keeps me listening. 

So what is “The Tortured Poets Department”? It’s about her. The point of her songs is to outline herself and her emotions. She talks about her exes but it’s how she healed from them and not what they did. 

While replaying her album over and over again, I can see that Swift was not happy at any point in this album. The genuine happiness we all thought we saw on stage and on social media was fake. Many of the songs even point out that she is faking it like “I can do it with a broken heart.” 

Getting deeper into the songs, I found my favorites already. I am a big fan of Swift’s fast-paced emotional songs, which is why I am a “Reputation” fan through and through. I will say there was no song on this new album that I did not like, but I have chosen to replay some songs over others.

The album starts off with “Fortnight,” a song featuring Post Malone. This was a song I was very excited about. I was looking forward to the partnership; however, I was slightly disappointed. The song itself was really compassionate, and I think it was a great display of Swift’s creativity and song writing abilities. I just found Post Malone was not really a feature in the song. I think his verse was very well-crafted, but I wish we got more of it. 

This was a similar issue with Swift’s song on her album “Midnights,” “Snow On The Beach featuring Lana Del Rey. It feels like the duet style song isn’t really there. Swift ended up releasing a new version of “Snow On The Beach” with “more Lana,” and that is what I am wishing for in the future: an extended version of Post Malone’s verse. 

One motif that I found kept popping up in this album is Florida. It is mentioned in “Fortnight,” and there is a song called “Florida!!!” There is definitely an interesting meaning behind the Sunshine State. After research, fans are speculating that this is significant to her split with British Actor, Joe Alwyn, which happened when Swift was touring in Florida last year. 

It is apparent that Swift has experienced some difficult heartbreaks in this past year. She had a short lived relationship with British singer Matty Healy. He is also the assumed subject of many of these songs. Now in her widely publicized relationship with American football star Travis Kelce, fans speculated on which songs are about which love interest as they unlocked the secrets of Swift’s life in the last year. 

I love the way that her songs kept me wondering. Although there were some rumors that were answered in this album, I am left questioning: who was this album about? I think it was not about one specific person or event. This was a ‘dump’ of emotions for Taylor and she was cryptically throwing people under the bus. This is an album that can only be written by someone like Swift. She has had her name raked through the mud and finally, she gets to call everyone out. Put it this way: I am SO here for it. 

Swift made an even more shocking announcement at 2 a.m. EST on April 19. She released 15 more songs on the continuation album called The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology”. I liked this album more than the first one. The songs are cutthroat. She takes digs at people without actually calling them out. I found she was being more unapologetically herself than ever before. 

At the top of my list is “imgonnagetyouback” from the second album. I found it catchy and fun to listen to. It also shows a side of how love makes you somewhat crazy and indecisive—the idea of not fully ending a relationship because of where it might go when you know it should be over. 

On the first album, my all-time favorite isSo Long London.” The song hints at her ended relationship with Alwyn. She says goodbye to London with the relationship. The emotion in the words and her voice as she sings showcase the heartbreak that was behind this song. This was a song I was looking forward to for a very long time and it  lived up to my expectations.

I have one critique for this album. Many have discussed the lack of versatility in the tracks. I would have to agree with this. I wish there were changes in the beats and different vibes to the songs. They all feel the same when I listen to it. I love the emotional roller coaster I experience when listening to Swift’s music. I find with this album it is all sad, which I think is intentional. It’s just missing the whirlwind of different kinds of emotions.   

I think the biggest thing up for debate is what does this new era entail for Swift? Everyone knows that “Lover” is about being in love. “1989” is about new beginnings. So what is “The Tortured Poets Department”? It’s about her. The point of her songs is to outline herself and her emotions. She talks about her exes but it’s how she healed from them and not what they did. 

This album was a work of art to say the least. Critics may disagree, but this new era of Taylor Swift is going to be great, and I am excited to see where it goes. One can only hope for “Reputation (Taylor’s Version)” next. 

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