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‘The Tortured Poets Department’: A swiftie's behind-the-scenes look into Taylor’s life

Taylor Swift released her double album, "The Tortured Poets Department," on Apr. 19, giving fans 31 new songs.
Taylor Swift released her double album, "The Tortured Poets Department," on Apr. 19, giving fans 31 new songs.

Taylor Swift performed over 150 shows on her whirlwind that was “The Eras Tour,” all while re-releasing two of her past albums to gain the rights back to her music. On top of that, Swift was at the forefront of the public eye with her new boyfriend, Travis Kelce.  

Over the past two years, we’ve seen a polished and happy side of Swift as she performed onstage in her series of sparkly outfits. Still, with her new double album, “The Tortured Poets Department” and “The Anthology,” which consists of 15 additional songs, Swifties get an inside look at what her life has been like behind the scenes through a whopping 31 tracks.

With lyrics like, “Baby gotta fake it ‘till you make it and I did / Lights, camera, bitch smile / Even when you wanna die,” we see a more authentic side of Swift and what she was privately battling during “The Eras Tour,” which makes fans feel a more personal connection to her as a human rather than a performer and artist. 

The album's vibe aligns more with Swift’s 2020 releases “folklore” and “evermore,” diverging from her pop-centric 2019 album, “Lover.” The songs are primarily slow-paced and contain downhearted themes and topics within the lyrics, which makes this the perfect album for driving around your hometown on a rainy day. 

Critics have been vocal about the flaws of the album, including a New York Times review, “The Tortured Poets Department, Taylor Swift Could Use an Editor.”

Lindsay Zoladz of The New York Times writes: “It is almost singularly focused on the salvation of romantic love; I tried to keep a tally of how many songs yearningly reference wedding rings and ran out of fingers. By the end, this perspective makes the album feel a bit hermetic, lacking her best work's depth and taut structure.”

Instead, I believe Swift has been facing a lot of criticism after the release of “The Tortured Poet’s Department”  because the public puts her on a pedestal, making her an easy target for hate.  

Swift sheds the perfect pop star persona and incorporates new lyrical elements into her work, providing fans with new and exciting music that highlights the underbelly of her career. 

One of the features that makes this album stand out is Swift’s collaboration with Post Malone on “Fortnight” and Florence  + the Machine on “Florida!!!” Swift’s vocals blend beautifully with these artists’ voices and adds an extra layer to her already outstanding songs. 

“The Tortured Poets Department” is more than an album to Swifties; instead, it is a showcase of Swift’s evolution as an artist and a person, as we have seen her grow from her original country era. 

Rating: 8.5/10 

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