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Taylor Swift’s 11th studio album may just be her best one yet

Photo from Swifts Instagram photoshoot (Found on @taylorswift on Instagram).
Photo from Swift’s Instagram photoshoot (Found on @taylorswift on Instagram).

Editor’s Note: In honor of Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department” breaking all types of records, we had not one, but two writers write a review. You can read the other review here.

The 34-year-old American singer-songwriter and recently renowned billionaire announced her 11th studio album on February 4, 2024 at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards. When Swift went up to receive her 13th (which as many fans know is her lucky number) Grammy award of her career, she dropped the bomb on her newest album entitled “The Tortured Poets Department (TTPD).” There was a lot of tension among Swift’s fans leading up to this speech as many people suspected Swift to announce “Reputation (Taylor’s Version).” To practically everyone’s shock, Swift was in the works of a brand new album that hit all streaming platforms on April 19, 2024. “TTPD” shattered multiple streaming records on every platform and within only three days of it’s arrival, “TTPD” hit 1 billion views, which has previously never been achieved within the first week of an album release. While these achievements are nothing short of remarkable, not many were shocked by this. The beloved “poet” has broken a variety of records in her career.

As many of us know, Swift lives to drop “Easter eggs” prior to announcing something big. Not long before the actual release of the album, Swift, partnered steaming platforms, and some colleagues of hers were seen holding up two fingers quite often. “Swifties” were left to speculate whether she was double dropping with “Reputation (Taylor’s Version)” or if she was dropping a double album. At 2 a.m. on April 19, the latter proved to be true when Swift released“The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology.” “The Anthology” included 14 songs that were not on the original tracklist. With a grand total of 31 tracks, Swift has really outdone herself with this album, once again.

“TTPD” is now the longest title of any of Swift’s albums in her discography, but that’s not the only new thing about this album. “TTPD” is a totally new feel from any of her other albums, with a few quite obvious reflections of some of her previous works. Swift made it clear that these new songs were her “tortured” poetry that shex has kept over the years. The overall songwriting of the album is obviously very poetry-like. The tracklist of “TTPD” ranges from confident, heartbreaking, spiteful and romantic. The one thing that was consistent throughout every song was the raw realism of her lyrics. Nothing is sugarcoated, and she didn’t spare a single person’s feelings.

Back in 2022, Swift sorted her music into three pen-related categories based on their song writing style: Fountain (modern poetry), Quill (old-timey) and Glitter Gel (youthful and unserious). “TTPD” is composed of a mix of all three types of songs. The lyricism of “TTPD” is absolutely genius. Swift uses a wide range of vocabulary and metaphors to enhance her feelings and reflect them clearly in her music. “TTPD” has the songwriting of her previous albums “folklore” and “evermore” with the vibe of “Midnights.”

Fountain Pen Songs:

There is a lot that has happened since Swift’s last album release, “Midnights,” that she had not yet addressed with her fans yet. Swift’s seven-year-long relationship with actor Joe Alwyn ended shortly after the commencement of her international tour: “The Eras Tour” on April 8, 2023. There were moments where Swift was seen tearing up on stage during certain songs throughout her tour and fans didn’t know how she was feeling. Nonetheless, Swift pushed through the heartbreak and broke records with her tour, but Swift is still a human and was feeling a lot throughout those moments.

We were finally able to understand more of what she went through through her lyrics. “I Can Do It With A Broken Heart,” the 13th track on the album, helped people empathize and understand her feelings during her show. The lyricism of this album varies from solemn and honestly kind of depressing to up beat, cocky and, at some points, vengeful. Swift did not hold back anything from her listeners with this album. The lyricism pof “TTPD” was raw, honest and relatable.

There are some Fountain pen songs where Swift sounds absolutely delusional such as in “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can) but there are also other fountain pen songs like “So Long, London” which are the opposite end of the spectrum of grief: accepting.

Swift addresses so many aspects of her life and history in this new album and offers a new perspective on many events of her life. One of my favorite tracks is “The Bolter,” a very exposed and personal track that leads the listeners through the story of a girl who leaves relationships the second she senses any sign of trouble. Swift’s open approach is very vulnerable and something that many artists never do. Other artists tend to stick to superficial and shallow aspects in their songwriting, but Swift’s poetry-like lyrics have really achieved something new.

In one of “TTPD: The Anthology” tracks, “thanK you aIMee,” Swift allegedly addresses the feud between Kim Kardashian and Swift involving Kanye West, who was married to Kardashian at the time. The capital letters in the song title clearly spell out “KIM” and Swifties have assumed that to refer to Kim Kardashian. In the song, Swift reminisces on the feud and her feelings towards Kardashian following the events. As the saying goes on, she shifts from sounding vengeful to actually thanking Kardashian for where Swift is now in her career (“That there wouldn’t be this if there hadn’t been you”). “thanK you aIMee” is not the only song Swift comes back at specific people fighting.

Quill Pen Songs:

One of the track’s on “TTPD: The Anthology,” “The Albatross” reminds me a lot of certain tracks of of “folklore” and “evermore” such as “this is me trying” and “mad woman” in the sense that all songs alike are very old fashioned and genuinely define the idea of a “quill pen song.” “The Albatross” relates the idea and purpose of albatrosses (one of the largest birds) to her own life. Well-known figures all over the world openly “warn” men not to date Swift as she has a reputation of dating “a lot” of men and writing songs about them. In the song, Swift says “She’s the albatross, she is here to destroy you” in which she is referring to herself. Later in the song she shifts to a “realization” that she is not some “cursed” lover with the lyric “The devil that you know
Looks now more like an angel.”

Track 14: “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived” is a direct dig at one of her exes, but it is unclear who exactly the song is about. Fans have speculated the song to be about Matty Healy, whom she dated over the summer of 23’. In the title and the lyrics of the song, it is painfully clear how Swift feels about the muse of this song. I believe some of Swift’s best song writing went into this song. The lyric, “Were you a sleeper cell spy?” is a meaningful line that stems from the idea of “sleeper” spies who are basically spies that are to pretend to be living a normal life for a very long period of time until they are given a go to act on their mission. Swift uses this metaphor to explain that this man acted like he loved her until he suddenly and

Glitter Gel Pen Songs:

Now don’t get me wrong, Swift’s new album also has the love songs that we all know and love. “So High School” is thought to be about her new boyfriend and NFL star Travis Kelce. In the song, Swift declares that said man makes her feel like she is back in a high school relationship. This is one of her more upbeat songs, and very cute.

This more than likely will not be the only big thing Swift accomplishes in 2024. Swifties across the world are already trying to piece together new “Easter eggs” to find out what is coming next from Swift. Swift has really outdone herself with this album, and while this may be her best work so far, I, and many other fans, wouldn’t be shocked if something even greater is in the near future.

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