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The Tortured Poets Department- An Honest Review

Taylor Swift releases her new album and Swifties go crazy
The+Tortured+Poets+Department-+An+Honest+Review

Taylor’s 11th album was released on April 19th at midnight. When the countdown on Swift’s Instagram page hit 00:00, the clock reset to 2 hours. Many Swifties started to speculate what could be happening at 2 AM. Some thought (like myself) Swift was going to surprise drop Reputation (Taylor’s Verison), something that has been highly anticipated by fans. Others thought she was going to drop a double album for TTPD. Those Swifties would end up being correct. When the clock struck 2 AM all streaming platforms updated and showcased “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology”. So 16 songs turned into a 31-song album full of lyrics that carry lots of meaning and metaphors with them. As a Swifte I feel that I must give an honest review and explain what I think some of my favorite songs mean on this new album. So buckle up because this is going to be long.

Track 1: Fortnight (Feat. Post Malone)

When I first listened to this song it wasn’t my favorite on the album, but the more I listen to it the more I love it. It has such a catchy chorus and I love that Post Malone got the bridge of the song. A “Fortnight” means 2 weeks which makes me think it has something to do with one of Taylor’s “exes” Matty Healy, a singer from the band The 1975. The two had a fling back in 2014 and then were seen together periodically in mid-2023. The music video for this song gives me more evidence that the song is about Healy. Taylor is seen in an asylum taking a mystery “Forget Him” pill while the lyrics in the background say “I took miracle move-on drug, the effects were temporary.” Then she follows this line with ” I love you it’s ruining my life”. This line will come back with more context later in the album. Though I’m not an expert on Taylor’s dating life, the biggest hint towards Healy is that “Fortnight” means 2 weeks, and their fling was short. Overall I enjoyed this song and it is my top 5 favorites on the album.

Track 2: The Tortured Poets Department 

Seeing as this is the title track of the album I had very high expectations going in, and boy Miss Taylor did not disappoint. A common thing that she is very well known for is her lyrics and these speak to me. Her references to Dylan Thomas and Patti Smith make me think this song is also about Matty Healy. Dylan Thomas being a British poet and writer and Patti Smith being an American singer-songwriter makes me think she is trying to tell us something.  She also references a typewriter which Healy is known to love. The one line that confuses me a little is “At dinner, you take my ring off my middle finger and put it on the one people put wedding rings on”, when I first heard this line it made me think of her long-term ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn. However, the more times I listen to it I push more towards the Matty Healy side. This piece was very catchy and I enjoyed it.

Track 4: Down Bad

I love this song so much. Its beat is so catchy and something I would put on a “chill” playlist. Taylor came out and explained what this song meant so I’ll sum it up. Love-bombing. She loved this guy and he gave her the world then just took it away one day leaving her thinking if life is even worth living. The lyric “F-it if I can’t have him, I might just die it would make no difference” is so dramatic and I love every second of it. With her lyric “How dare you think it’s romantic, leaving me safe and stranded?” I think she references a lyric from the song “New Romantics” on the 1989 album “Please leave me stranded, it’s so romantic”. The first time 1989 was released in 2014 when Healy and Swift allegedly had their fling. So this clues me into the fact that this song is probably about Healy again.

Track 5: So Long, London

Ah yes, the famous track 5. The most heartbreaking track on the album historically. I have to start by saying RIP Joe Alwyn’s good reputation because this song killed any good thought I had of that man. This song made me cry from the start to the end. Taylor released a song titled “You’re Losing Me” on Midnights a few months before announcing TTPD. At the end of the song, she says ” My heart won’t start anymore” Then in “So Long, London” she says ” I stopped CPR, after all, it’s no use”. Gut-wrenching lyric. She ends the song with ” Two graves, one gun, you’ll find someone”. That last line shattered my heart.

Track 6: But Daddy I Love Him

The best way I can describe this song is “WOW”. I was listening to this song with my mom and with the lyric “I’m having his baby” we both gasped and our jaws dropped. ALL FOR TAYLOR TO FOLLOW IT UP WITH ” No, I’m not but you should see your faces”. She got us there. I think this song is speaking to the fans that shamed her for being seen with Matty. She now knows that he isn’t a good guy but she wants to learn that for herself, she sings ” I’ll tell you something ’bout my good name It’s mine alone to disgrace” I think it’s a good reality check for some Swifties. Taylor is a grown adult and she is going to make mistakes in her love life but it’s none of our business who she chooses to date.

Track 9: Guilty as Sin?

I mean can you say scandaloussssss? This whole song is the concept of Taylor fantasizing about a guy without ever meeting him. The details of the lyrics in this song are phenomenal. This is rumored to be yet another song about Matty Healy on the album. Taylor references “Downtown Lights” which is a song by the Scottish band ‘The Blue Nile‘, which Healy has stated in an interview was his favorite band. Like come on, could she have made it more obvious? While some people are starting to get tired of how many Healy songs are on the album, I like how many perspectives she is giving us. Like do we love him or hate him?

Track 10: Who’s Afraid Of Little Old Me?

This is my favorite track off the whole album. I am IN LOVE with the way it sounds. The complex lyrics like ” I leap from the gallows and I levitate down your street”, it’s so beautiful. Then when she says ” Who’s afraid of little old me?….You should be” there are literal chills down my spine. The production of this piece is so high quality and the lyricism paired with it is a masterpiece. I’m not too sure what this song is about. Many say it could range from her drama with Kanye West to her situation with Matty Healy. I’m not sure yet but I will keep digging to find out.

Track 12: loml

When she first showcased the names of the songs I thought this was going to be a love song for Travis. “love of my life” turned into “Loss of my life” and it killed me. The lyric “I wish I could un-recall how we almost had it all?” tells me that she is talking about Joe and how hard she fought for their relationship to work, but others think it’s a song about Matty. She was with Joe for 6 years and I think they got engaged at some point so it makes sense that he would go from love to loss. Overall this song is very sad and good to put on a “crying in my room” playlist.

Track 13: I Can Do It With a Broken Heart

This is a glitter pen song. This is absolutely in my top 5 for this album. I love a Jack Antonoff-produced song. The depressing lyrics with such upbeat music is so conflicting and I LOVE IT. I went to a Taylor Swift night at the House of Blues and dancing to this was so fun. This song is about how Taylor was able to perform at The Eras Tour even though she was going through her break-up with Joe. I remember seeing a video of her crying while singing “Lover” and that’s when we knew something was up. Joe messed up.

Track 15: The Alchemy

WE GOT A TRAVIS SONG. I honestly didn’t think we were gonna get a Travis Kelce song on the album because they had made their relationship public only a few months ago, but I should’ve known better, Taylor writes in her sleep. Travis is my favorite muse that she has written about because he is such a cool guy and you can tell she feels so safe and protected with him. The bridge of this song gets me, “Shirts off, and your friends lift you over their heads, Beer sticking to the floor Cheers chanted, ’cause they said there was no chance, trying to be the greatest in the league whereas the trophy? He just comes running over to me” Like omg my heart. This is redeeming the fact that the album ‘Lover’ is now kinda ruined.

Track 18: imgonnagetyouback

I really like this style of song where the meaning can go both ways. It reminds me a lot of Olivia Rodrigo’s song “Get Him Back” off of ‘GUTS. In the song, Taylor sings ” Whether I’m gonna be your wife or / Gonna smash up your bike, I haven’t decided yet”. So she is either going to get him back as a lover or get him back with revenge. You can sing certain lyrics of this song to make it your own story and I love that. The beat of this song is also really catchy and something you would probably hear on the radio.

Track 31: The Manuscript

We have finally reached the LAST song on the album. Taylor closes out this astonishing set of songs with a piece that I can only describe as closure. She is finally letting go of her past and all the anger she has from it. She is moving forward. Ending the song with “Now and then I re-read the manuscript but the story isn’t mine anymore” shows that she is releasing her feelings to her fans and it’s our turn to heal from our “Joe Alwyn” ex-boyfriend. This is her coming out and saying it’s done and she is ready to look past it now. Oh what a journey this album has been.

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About the Contributor
Nola Patty
Nola Patty, Sports Editor/Photographer
Nola Patty is a part of the Class of 2024 at Oakmont Regional High School. This is her third year being a part of The Oakmonitor. Her main focus on the Oakmonitor page is sports/sports photography. Nola is a member of the Marching Spartans, and she plays lacrosse for the school as well. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, watching hockey, and hanging out with friends. Nola has always wanted to be successful, but she never puts it above having fun and making memories. She enjoys taking photos, capturing happy moments for others, and writing about sports. She works with AWCM TV as an Ice Hockey Broadcaster. A long-term goal for her is to work in social media marketing or broadcasting for the NHL. Nola was appointed to the 2024 All-State MASPA Journalist staff.

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