Current Events
  • May 22Pop Concerts
  • May 24InDesign Fashion Show
  • May 25Senior Prom
  • May 27Memorial Day
  • Jun 6Last Day of School
The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

the Epic

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

the Epic

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

the Epic

Support student journalism and subscribe to the Epic's print publication here.

Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

Taylor Swift’s album cover

In a memorable moment at the Grammys, Taylor Swift announced her 11th album on Feb. 4, just after winning the Best Pop Vocal Album award for her 10th album “Midnights,” sparking excitement in her loyal and dedicated fans known as “Swifties.” Named “The Tortured Poets Department”, the album takes listeners through songs in which Swift explores love, heartbreak and fame. Though some aspects of the album set back its potential, it effectively engages listeners and tells Swift’s story through compelling tracks.

Released at midnight on April 19, “The Tortured Poets Department” was originally set to have 16 tracks, but the extended version, “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology” surprised fans with 15 extra songs for an impressive total of 31 tracks. This was released at 2 a.m., just two hours after the original album was released, causing widespread enthusiasm among fans. The album features two guest musicians: Post Malone on “Fortnight” and Florence & The Machine on “Florida!!!”

Produced by Swift, Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, the album reached 799 million streams within the first week of its release, breaking a record previously held by Drake. “The Tortured Poets Department” broke both the record for the most number of listens in the first week of release and the first day of release.

From “Fortnight,” the first track, to “The Manuscript,” the last, listeners can hear the striking similarities between many songs. Throughout the album, tracks mesh the smooth synth sounds of Swift’s previous album “Midnights” with the raw acoustic vibes of “Folklore.” “The Tortured Poets Department,” the second song on the album, which shares the same title as the album, gives listeners a lighthearted glance into Taylor’s relationships, while others such as “So Long, London” provide listeners with what is suspected to be a bittersweet perspective on her breakup with Joe Alwyn. “Florida!!!,” one of the strongest tracks on the album, features a unique sound, with ethereal verses and a jarring yet moving chorus. Combined with the smooth poetry of Swift and Florence Welch’s introspective songwriting, the track exceeds expectations.

Still, “The Tortured Poets Department” has its weaknesses despite the high-quality production of many tracks. For example, the instrumental to the chorus of “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart” is unmoving and boring. Lyrics such as, “I’m so depressed I act like it’s my birthday, every day; I’m so obsessed with him but he avoids me, like the plague,” sound immature and are hard to listen to while taking Swift seriously as a respected and praised artist.

In multiple instances, Swift’s lyrics have garnered the attention of listeners in ways that caused backlash. For instance, in a lyric from “I Hate It Here,” Swift says she’d want to live in “the 1830s, but without all the racists.” This proved to be problematic, bringing up discussions about her link to white feminism and ignorance which has been debated and condemned throughout her career.

While “The Tortured Poets Department” broke many records, the quality of the tracklist falls short of high expectations. Throughout the 31 songs, many sound too similar to distinguish themselves, and many questionable or immature lyrics made the album less enjoyable. “The Tortured Poets Department” stands as an emotional, personal record of Swift’s life, but its repetitive nature hinders it from being the masterpiece it was expected to be.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Charlotte Bolay
Charlotte Bolay, Staffer
(she/her) Charlotte is a sophomore and first year staffer for the Epic. In addition to writing and photography, she also enjoys baking, art, reading, listening to music, and being in nature.

Comments (0)

All the Epic Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *