The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

“Fresh Out The Slammer,” Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department” is “So High School”

Beth Garrabrant
American pop star Taylor Swift released her latest album, “The Tortured Poets Department” Friday, April 19 as a dual production, encapsulating a total of 31 songs and creating an over two-hour listening session. Ranging from personal, heartfelt topics to empowering, synth-pop jams, Swift transports her listeners into a world of reminiscent stories and novel music. The variety of lyrics and themes discussed satisfies fans with brand-new music that may last until the next “Taylor’s Version” drops.

World-renowned singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released her 11th studio album, “The Tortured Poets Department” (TTPD), as a surprise double album drop. At the Grammys Awards ceremony February 4, 2024, Swift announced the album alongside a changed profile picture on her social media accounts, followed by a post of the official album cover. At midnight. April 19, Swift made her album available on streaming platforms and then surprised listeners with “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology” two hours later, containing an additional 15 songs joining the original 16-track album. 

Incorporating elements of her previous albums “Midnights,” “Evermore” and “Folklore,” this sultry and melancholy greyscale album depicts mature phases of her life through abstract songwriting. Addressing direct conflicts within her life, Swift’s use of imagery and references lures fans into a world of illustrative music. Swift pours her heart into each lyric, tapping into her lower register voice and impressive melodies. Straying away from her typical fast-paced pop music, as highlighted in her 2014 record-breaking album “1989,” TTPD showcases heavy themes and explicit language.

“Personally, my favorite albums include ‘Evermore’ and her debut album, ‘Taylor Swift’, so the synth-pop vibe of this album doesn’t really fit what I usually listen to. But, even just from listening to the album for an entire day, it’s already started to grow on me; once I know the songs more, I know I’ll like the album more,” junior Leika Badstibner said.

Drawing listeners in with “Fortnight,” featuring American rapper Post Malone, Swift guides listeners through a two-hour journey of both energetic and depressing music. The title track “The Tortured Poets Department” brings the audience into a five-minute auditory love story, including references to current pop culture stars such as singer-songwriter Charlie Puth. The variation of the album becomes visible by the fourth track, “Down Bad” through its vibes similar to her popular album, “Reputation.” “So Long, London,” a hint to Swift’s song entitled “London Boy” in her 2019 album “Lover,” allegedly references her past relationship with actor Joe Alwyn. When rumors about Alwyn cheating arose in February, Swifties reanalyzed previous albums and conspired to believe that Swift’s “Midnights” depicts a heartbreak, rather than a romance.

When Swift released promotional pictures and teasers about TTPD, several clues suggested the album encapsulated her feelings relating to those of a psych ward patient. In “Fortnight”’s music video, Swift acts as a psychiatric patient chained up while doctors examine her. In her final track of the album, “Clara Bow”, Swift references the actress of the same name, who became a patient at a psych ward after reports of several scandalous rumors arose, tarnishing her name. This theme of torture further unravels throughout the rest of her album. Swift’s second feature collaborated with rock band Florence & The Machine, showcasing “Florida!!!” as an escape from Swift’s problems. 

“The theme of the album is gorgeous. I love the color scheme and mental asylum aesthetic. It really shows her emotions of feeling crazy and misunderstood. This album definitely stands out from others because of its dark tones and aesthetics. Taylor’s lyricism is amazing and imaginative, and her storytelling is heartbreaking but beautiful,” junior Tessa Saunders said.  

While still displaying themes of heartbreak and torture, Swift surprised fans with a new glitter gel pen song, “I Can Do It With A Broken Heart”. While the song contains a sorrowful array of lyrics describing Swift’s depressive feelings, the high-quality melodies and impressive instrumentals led Swifites to pick up on Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner’s influence in the catchy song. Having worked with Swift on several of her albums, Antonoff and Dessner understand how to share Swift’s storytelling in poetic ways that leave Swifites satisfied

“I love how [Swift] alludes to a bunch of her old albums, especially in ‘So Long, London’, when she goes back to her Lover era where she wrote ‘London Boy’. There are a couple of songs that remind me of Reputation, especially showing how in love she was through the songs in TTPD. I love how the theme and style of the album differs throughout the entirety of it, and I cannot wait to hear what Taylor’s future music will sound like,” magnet junior Olivia Doucette said. 

The album appears as a turnaround from “Midnights” and the recent re-releases and focuses on Swift’s story rather than exploring others’ perspectives such as in “The Last Great American Dynasty.” With this change in viewpoint, on the same day of its release, TTPD became Spotify’s highest-streamed album in a day while Swift became the highest-streamed artist in a day, breaking Spotify’s record. Her new album proves that Swift can “Do It With A Broken Heart” and remains “Guilty as Sin” of always impressing Swifites. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

To provide a comment on a story, you must include a valid first and last name. If you do not include both a first and a last name, The Chant reserves the right to not post your comment.
All The Chant Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *