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Taylor Swift Album Review

On April 19, Taylor Swift released her highly anticipated eleventh album, “The Tortured Poets Department” (TTPD). She announced at two a.m. the same day that the album was a double-release, and announced “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology.” 

Swift’s personal life has been under scrutiny since she began releasing music in 2006. She is known for being an autobiographical writer through her songwriting. Since the album’s announcement at the 2024 Grammy Awards, TTPDhas been rumored to be about Swift’s former partner, British actor Joe Alwyn. Rumors have also hinted at the album being about The 1975 frontman, Matty Healy as well as  Kansas City Chiefs tight end, Travis Kelce. 

With that said, neither release of TTPD is truly about any man alone. Sure, there are songs referencing her romantic relationships, but it is about Swift herself. The songs take on themes of female ambition, rage, joy, and pain. Swift is what happens when Emily Dickinson can play guitar and piano. TTPDsomehow manages to top Swift’s prior work with sharp humor, bravery and unique vulnerability found through maturity. It is strange synth-pop with lyrics ripped straight from Swift’s brain without any filtration, and the world is greater for it. The “tortured poet” expected to be Alwyn is Swift. “The Tortured Poets Department” are lyrics ripped from Swift’s diary entries with special guests Post Malone and Florence Welch. 

The funny thing about Taylor Swift is that she constantly manages to outdo herself. She doesn’t have a “magnum opus” because she manages to top whatever she’s done before. TTPD keeps the lyricism of Swift’s prior work including “folklore,” the Jack Antonoff branded-pop sounds of “Midnights” and “1989,” and the self-awareness of “Lover.” TTPD is the best parts of Swift’s prior albums mixed into one uniquely human storyline, something only Swift can do. 

In 2014, journalist Barbara Walters called Swift “the music industry.” A decade later, this statement still reigns arguably true. TTPDis a victory lap for a woman at the top, showing zero signs of slowing down. Whatever she does next is just another victory lap for a woman who’s completely changed music.  

By Kat Whetstone, Staff Writer

Graphic by Shae-Lynn Henderson, EIC


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