ALBUM REVIEW: ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

A recent New York Times article declares Taylor “could use an editor.” Here’s one Swiftie’s take on the criticism.

Taylor Swift released her eleventh album on April 19, “The Tortured Poets Department.” As a Swiftie and writing major, I am obsessed with the new album and the emotion behind every song.  

In true Taylor fashion, she has continued to share her thoughts on romance and heartbreak. Her song, “The Alchemy,” alludes to her newest romance with the Chiefs’ tight-end, Travis Kelce. 

The singer-songwriter has left behind the fictional stories of “Evermore” and “Folklore.” In her article On ‘The Tortured Poets Department,’ Taylor Swift Could Use an Editor, Lindsay Zoladz says Taylor has returned to “her specialty: autobiographical and sometimes spiteful tales of heartbreak.”  

Zoladz also argues that Taylor has used poetry as a marketing strategy. She describes it as “a whole way of looking at the world.” 

While I agree that poetry can be used as a marketing strategy, I do not believe that Taylor has done this. 

Instead, I would argue that songwriting is a type of poetry that has a different presentation, like a haiku or a limerick. They may be longer than a traditional poem, her longest song being just over 10 minutes, but they have verses and a chorus that can be thought of as the stanza of the song.  

When it was released, Taylor surprised Swifties with a double album. “The Tortured Poets Department” is filled with 31 songs that provoke powerful emotions, making it her longest album yet.  

Zaladz also mentions that Taylor and her longtime friend and record producer, Jack Antonoff, may have grown “too comfortable” and their art has “gone stale.” I found each song to have its distinct characteristics but still a similar undertone. This is something that Taylor has always done, opting for a theme and incorporating a few outliers.  

She followed this double album drop with another one of her infamous surprise cardigan drops inspired by “The Tortured Poets Department.” Although, fans were slightly disappointed by the rather plain cardigan which was a light grey and only had the small TS and album title tags.  

Despite the disappointing cardigans, “The Tortured Poets Department” is another masterpiece added to Taylor’s already extensive repertoire. She even has two more recorded albums that are hopefully going to be released at some point in the next year. She is truly an unstoppable force.  

Featured Image, TTPD cover taken by @bethgarrabrant. Photo from @taylorswift via Instagram.