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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

Taylor Swift releases 2024 album: Tortured Poets Department

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Aakanksha Balachander
At Target, a stock of vinyls for Taylor Swift’s new album, The Tortured Poets Department quickly sold out within days of release.

On April 19th, Taylor Swift dropped her highly anticipated eleventh studio album, The Tortured Poets Department. The album comes less than ten months after the re-release of her fifth album, 1989. It is assumed to have been written mostly while the singer was on her still-continuing Eras Tour.

In between flying across the United States and then later going international, Swift has dropped two re-recordings, (Speak Now Taylor’s Version and 1989 Taylor’s Version) in addition to her newest album, the Tortured Poets Department, which was revealed to be a double release at 2:00 AM EST. 

At 2:00 AM, the singers shocked fans by dropping 15 additional songs in an extended version of the album called the Anthology. General themes of the album included commentary on the media and public image, past feuds and lovers, and of course, heartbreak. The album drew criticism for its hard-to-follow storyline, as well as a lack of sonic cohesion, with songs ranging in musical styles. Notable songs include the title track, Fortnight (ft. Post Malone), thanK you aIMee, The Manuscript, and The Albatross. 

The Tortured Poet’s Department

Since the album’s release, Swift’s fan base has debated the muse for this album. However, most signs point to Matty Healy, who Taylor had briefly dated in the summer of 2023. The song discusses dealing with a partner’s addiction in detailed imagery and metaphors, and the singer muses on who will love her ex if not her. 

Fortnight (ft. Post Malone)

The first track on the album, “Fortnight” is the only song so far from the Tortured Poets Department to receive a music video, featuring both Swift herself and her duet partner, Post Malone. The lyrics discuss having a cordial relationship with an ex, but missing the relationship that once was. 

thanK you aIMee

If other songs received a debate about their protagonist, thanks to Swift’s careful use of punctuation, “thanK you alMee” points clearly to Swift’s 2016 feud with Kim Kardashian. In the end, Swift thanks Kim for helping her grow as an artist. From this music piece, she told the audience that “if you never bleed, you’re never going to grow.”

The Manuscript

An odd song out, “The Manuscript” references a previous relationship with an older man, and the singer reflects on the failed relationship. The song acts as a metaphorical closing of the album, being the last track on “The Anthology”, as Swift closes the book of the old relationship and simultaneously ends the album. The artist reflects: “The story isn’t mine anymore”

The Albatross

Swift assumes her man-eater persona on this track, the lyrics comparing her to a bad omen: “She’s the life you chose / you’re in terrible danger”. The singer subtly criticizes those who pick apart her relationships, as she does on numerous other songs in the album. 

The Alchemy

The last track on the first installment of the album is “The Alchemy.” This song is packed with sports metaphors: “When I touchdown / call the amatures and cut ‘em from the team,” a clear indication that the muse of this song is Taylor’s current boyfriend, Travis Kelce, tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs. The catchy song is an upbeat ending to a very tortured album. 

Final Verdict

Overall, people who enjoy poetry will like this album. Although a little messy, the eclectic mix of genres and the intertwined storylines will leave listeners intrigued.

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