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The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology, Taylor Swift sets her story free

Photo courtesy of Republic Records
The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology album cover

In 31 songs Taylor Swift reminds us why she rules the world.

Swift’s gut-wrenching The Tortured Poets Department was released worldwide on April 19. With 16 poetic tracks, fans had plenty to dissect, and then in typical cryptic fashion, Swift released the 2nd piece of her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology just two hours later adding an additional collection of 15 songs.

Swift never previously categorized TTPD into a genre. Was it a breakup album reminiscent of her past works? A triumphant masterpiece to celebrate a year of stratospheric success? A soft-rock album about her new love? Her stroke of genius with this release was letting fan speculation drive expectations, then flipping the script by releasing an album encompassing the past few years of her life, not sticking to one genre and embracing her dynamic experiences of recent years.

TTPD did not just hit hard with fans but was streamed from every corner of the world. According to, Swift was able to crush her own single-day Spotify record, garnering over 313 million streams in the first 24 hours. Her album also received a “perfect 100” rating and was deemed an “instant classic” by Rolling Stone. In just three days TTPD became the fastest album in history to reach 1 billion streams.

In connection with Swift’s life and recent heartbreak, “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart” might be Swift’s best song to date. While it is not as lyrically inclined as some of her other work, it speaks to her true feelings about her recent successes. “All the piеces of me shatterеd as the crowd was chanting/“More”/I cry a lot but I am so productive, it’s an art/You know you’re good when you can even do it with a broken heart.”

As hints of her struggles during her worldwide Era’s Tour contrast with a fast, peppy rhythm, Swift describes the feelings of having to move on from her boyfriend of six years all while performing the highest grossing tour in history. The pop hit is a memorable listen and carries an upbeat melody that is unique for the darker album.

Furthermore, “The Alchemy” acknowledges the public scrutiny Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce faced as a couple after their romance began in the summer of 2023. However, the song also praises their triumph through the storm, even referencing The Chiefs’ storybook Superbowl win in February. This electric country love song fits perfectly on the album, where her lyrics are able to take center stage and her romantic style is as strong as ever.

TTPD also hit the mark with two powerful feature tracks, “Florida!!!” (feat. Florence + The Machine) and “Fortnight” (feat. Post Malone), which garnered the title of lead single and an accompanying music video. “Fortnight” is a brilliant opening to the album, with Post Malone adding a level of depth to portray the struggles of Swift’s tumultuous breakup.

A major critique of the album sonically has regarded the familiar synth beat heard on other tracks from Swift’s recent discography. With common producers like Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, fans have picked up on familiar melodies reminiscent of some of her earlier work. While it is understandable that fans wanted something completely new, what makes this album powerful is Swift’s callbacks to her journey and how she has reimagined every step without directly copying it.

It seems like Swift is always claiming new territory, and with her new release, reminds fans that greatness, and heartbreak, are not to be shied away from. Every song is uniquely hers, opening a new chapter in her songwriting, while closing the door on her past relationships and leading her to embrace exactly where she is right now.

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  • J

    James MorrelliMay 7, 2024 at 3:56 pm

    article is VERY well written, i dont agree with your opinions, but i enjoyed the article