Taylor Swift’s “Tortured Poets Department” shows her personal side

“Tortured Poets Department” shows Swift’s personal side

Review: Swift’s new album presents easter eggs, exes and emotions through her honest and compelling storytelling.

General atmosphere of Spotify's Taylor Swift pop-up at The Grove for her new album
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Spotify created a Taylor Swift pop-up in Los Angeles to promote her new album “The Tortured Poets Department.”

It’s no secret that Taylor’s Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department album was going to break record streams.

According to NPR, Swift broke Spotify history with over 300 million streams in a single day. The highly anticipated album was announced at the 66th annual Grammy Awards when Swift won album of the year for Midnights.

Swift is known for her Easter eggs and surprises. This album was no different involving a second album drop at 2 a.m. including 15 additional new songs to form The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology. The release was paired with the music video for “Fortnight” with cameos from Post Malone, Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles (and tons of more Easter eggs.)

While the album shows the most resemblance to Folklore and Evermore, the overall tone of this album comes off different than any of Swifts previous works. At first, I wasn’t sure if I would love it. It doesn’t present itself as much a pop and upbeat feel as some of her past offerings like the aforementioned Grammy award-winning Midnights or 1989.

Instead, this album goes more inward. It’s like reading into Swift’s personal diary. Her beautifully crafted lyrics help listeners understand her pain and lets us into her six-year relationship with Joe Alwyn. Through the music we learn Swift committed six years of her life to a man who was not reciprocating her love.

But not all of TTPD songs were about Alwyn. Some were dedicated to another ex, Matty Healey, who Swift was rumored to have a fling with. There was seemingly a silver lining amid all of this heartbreak, as Swift was able to squeeze a few new songs in about her ongoing relationship with NFL Super Bowl winner Travis Kelce.

 Some of the songs on the album revolve around the high emotions she felt touring stadiums and breaking records while going through heartbreak. With 31 total songs on this album, it can be hard to find the time for the total listening time of two hours and three minutes, so I am here to tell you my favorites. With cameos from Post Malone and Florence + the Machine, “Fortnight” and “Florida!!!” have a good beat to them that doesn’t make you want to cry as much as some of the others.

For more of an upbeat, sing-along vibe, “I can do it with a broken heart,” would be the song I recommend.

The irony of the upbeat production of the song is paired with candid, heartbreaking lyrics where you can hear the pain Swift experienced while performing the Eras Tour with lyrics like “You know you’re good when you can even do it with a broken heart” and “Cause I’m miserable and no one even knows.” If you’re looking for a good cry I recommend “The Albatross,” “So Long” London,” “The Manuscript,” “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived” and “loml.” These songs emphasize her feelings going through a breakup while in the public eye with lyrics like, “I’m pissed off you let me give you all that youth for free” from “So Long, London.” The deep percussion of “The Albatross” along with lyrics like “Locked me up in towers But I’d visit in your dreams” exemplifies her pain.

The lyrics on this album are profoundly transparent about how she felt going through a breakup while touring and what that can do to a person, even a pop star like Taylor Swift.

I believe this is the most candid and honest she has ever been. Swift’s poetic storytelling brings listeners inside her head. With such a high profile, it’s refreshing how honest she is. The Tortured Poets Department reveals the pain Swift went through.

Taylor Swift is truly a mastermind, and I am excited to see what future albums she produces.