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Taylor Swift “does it with a broken heart” in ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

Taylor+Swift+poses+for+the+album+cover+of+the+31-track+%E2%80%98The+Tortured+Poets+Department%3A+The+Anthology.%E2%80%99+%28Courtesy+of+Republic+Records%29
Taylor Swift poses for the album cover of the 31-track ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology.’ (Courtesy of Republic Records)

Get your dictionaries out for this year’s most anticipated album by far. Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department was released on April 19, and with its surprise-released The Anthology double album, the album spans two hours long with 31 songs.

With the concept of a poetry office, Swift names herself as the chairman of the “Tortured Poets Department”; Swifties are the members of the department.

Opening the album is the lead single “Fortnight,” featuring Post Malone. Despite the song name, it’s not about the popular video game. The narrator talks about her new neighbor; her ex which they were in a relationship in for two weeks.

The pair’s voices complement each other with a “call and response” between lyrics. It’s the weakest opening track out of all of her albums with line distribution and production bringing it down. It’s no “Lavender Haze” or “Willow.”

My personal favorite is the 13th song “I Can Do It With A Broken Heart” which discusses having to perform during “The Eras Tour” after her breakup. It’s a song that’s lyrics sound like it shouldn’t be a song that can be danced to but it is one.

“I’m so depressed / I act like it’s my birthday every day”

With upbeat instrumentals in the background, Swift sings about the depression she is in that she pretends her birthday is every day to cheer her up. The theme of the song is relatable, that no matter what goes on in life, the show must go on. It’s reminiscent of “Mastermind” (another track 13) from Midnights in the introduction.

Putting past relationships aside, “The Alchemy uses football metaphors to describe her relationship with her boyfriend Travis Kelce.

“So when I touch down / Call the amateurs and cut ‘em from the team”

Amid its questionable and cheesy lyrics are some of my favorite low notes of Swift, especially when she sings “The Alchemy.”

In The Anthology, Swift incorporates more folk elements into the 15 bonus tracks. Aaron Dessner, a collaborator since Swift’s 2020 alternative/folk album Folklore, produced most tracks on that side of the album. The song “The Albatross” is a great example of the folk sounds within the album, as it incorporates storytelling.

The Tortured Poets Department is a great album, but production is bringing it down. I give this album a 7/10, it could be better. While it’s one of Swift’s weaker albums, it still has great songs in it.

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About the Contributor
Didrik Caleja
Didrik Caleja, A&E Editor
Didrik Caleja is a freshman at Palatine High School. When he was younger, he was interested in journalism and pursuing it as a career. In his free time, he plays video games on his PlayStation, listens & sings to music and learns song choreography. 

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