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The Township Times

The Township Times

The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

A Review of “The Tortured Poets Department”

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On April 19 Taylor Swift released her 11th studio album “The Tortured Poets Department.” This album was expected by fans to be similar to Swift’s 10th album “Midnights,” a pop album with lyricism similar to her eighth and ninth albums, “Folklore” and “Evermore.” 

“The Tortured Poets Department” was a highly anticipated record because it followed one of her best albums, “Midnights,” which won her her fourth Album of the Year Award at the Grammys. “Midnights” also made Swift the first artist in history to cover all top 10 spots of the Billboard Hot 100 list at the same time. 

I think these huge accomplishments definitely put a lot of pressure on Swift to outdo “Midnights”, which would be very difficult. This is possibly why fans are split on how they feel about the album, but these are the tracks that seem to stick out. 

The opening track and first single, “Fortnight,” was one of the most anticipated songs on the album because of its unique title and feature of well-known singer/songwriter Post Malone. “Fortnight” was well deserving of the promotion it got. The lyrics and storyline were well-written and Swift and Malone’s vocals matched each other nicely. The song set the tone for the entire album extremely well.

The third track “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys” shows Swift’s excellent use of symbolism. It compares how she was treated by her ex to how a child treats its favorite toy: at first they are in love with it and favor it above everything else, but as they get older they forget about it more and more. Throughout the song Swift sings, “But you should have seen him when he first got me” as if she is trying to convince herself and everyone around her that her significant other still loves her even as he fades away. 

The fifth track “So Long, London” was also highly anticipated because Swift is notorious for putting her saddest songs as track five and her ex boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, is from the UK. This track’s title parallels the song “London Boy,” a love song about Alwyn featured on her sixth studio album “Lover.” 

“So Long, London” was lyrically one of the best on the album. Lines like “How much sad did you think I had in me?” could reference her and Alwyn’s love of sad songs. Another line that stuck out was “You swore that you loved me, but where were the clues, I died on the altar waiting for the proof.” These lyrics reference how Alwyn never spoke about her publicly and kept their relationship hidden. Now that we see Swift’s public relationship with her current boyfriend Travis Kelce, a tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, secrecy is obviously not what she wanted. 

Another song that was extremely well-written was “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived”. The song’s bridge was one of the best Swift has written with many fans saying it surpassed “All Too Well (10 Minute Version),” one of her best-written songs. The bridge of this song includes the lines, “Were you sent by someone who wanted me dead” and “And you deserve prison but you won’t get time.” These lyrics ask whoever this was written about if he was treating her like this out of pure hatred because that’s how bad he has treated her. When listening, you can definitely feel the pain this song took to write.

Overall, this album is very well written. It has been one of the most unfiltered albums Swift has released and she hinted at that early on saying that she “never needed song writing more” while on tour. It’s difficult to fully grasp the concept of “The Tortured Poets Department” with one listen because it unpacks so many heavy topics in her life. When reflecting on the album I do understand people’s confusion with the storytelling and the way Swift chose to write lyrics this time around. There are songs that are on the bottom of many peoples rankings, including mine, but they are definitely not going to be what this album is going to be remembered for. This being said, there are plenty of well-written songs on this album that really define the true purpose of the record. “The Tortured Poets Department” will be a notable album in her career simply because of the time in her life that she wrote it, the overall quality and its relatability to the audience to similar situations. 

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Bryn Morrison
Bryn Morrison, Staff writer
Bryn is a staff writer for The Township Times and is a sophomore at MT.

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