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New Taylor Swift album proves she CAN do it with a broken heart

By Gilliana Taylor, Staff Writer

Photo Credit: The Columbian

On Friday, April 19, Taylor Swift released her 11th studio album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” with 15 songs making up the album. Two hours later at 2:00 a.m., she announced “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology,” releasing an additional 17 songs.

The double album comes just a year after Swift and now ex-boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, split after six years together. The 31-track album takes fans through Swift’s journey through heartbreak, losing herself, and eventually finding herself again. 

 “This writer is of the firm belief that our tears become holy in the form of ink on a page. Once we have spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it. And then all that’s left behind is the tortured poetry,”  Swift wrote in a post shared on Instagram. 

Swift expressed to fans that she is through with this chapter of her life, and it now belongs to her listeners. In her most cathartic album to date, Swift delves into a new level of vulnerability within the album, sharing her rawest emotions. 

In the song “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me,” she explores the pain of growing up in the public eye, and how it has hardened her. 

“I was tame, I was gentle, till the circus life made me mean, don’t you worry folks we took out all her teeth,”  Swift sings.

 “I felt bitter about just all the things we do to our artists as a society and as a culture. There’s a lot about this particular concept on ‘The Tortured Poets Department,'” Swift said when asked about the meaning of the song. 

Sophomore medical imaging major Jules Segreto shares her favorite song from the album.

“I like ‘How Did It End’ because, in the song, she is comparing the end of a relationship to the end of someone’s life,” Segreto said. “The opening is ‘We hereby conduct this post mortem’ which is how an autopsy starts, to me Taylor is looking at the relationship on its deathbed. I love how she was able to connect love and death in such a beautiful and vulnerable way.” 

Sophomore musical theater major Liana Genao shared how she relates to Swift.

“It’s really difficult to pick, but one of my favorites is ‘I Can Do It With a Broken Heart,’” Genao said. “I love songs where the sound of the song and the lyrics are juxtaposed. It’s this upbeat song, but once you listen to the lyrics, you realize how heartbreaking the song is. I love how she gives an insight into what she’s hearing while she is performing during The Eras Tour with the snippet of her earpiece cues. From the perspective of a performer, I understand what it’s like to put aside any issue and have to act like you are happy when you are going through an unimaginable heartbreak.” 

Fans have responded well to the album, critics have shared mixed reviews. The New York Times has slammed Swift in an article entitled “Taylor Swift Has Given Fans a Lot. Is It Finally Too Much?” In which they argue that Swift is overloading her fans with content. On the other hand, Rolling Stone named the album an “instant classic.”

Despite mixed critic reviews online, Swift continues to roll in the accolades. Spotify announced over the weekend that “The Tortured Poets Department” is the first album to have more than 300 million streams in a single day. The lead single, “Fortnight,” is now the most streamed song in a single day in Spotify history. Beating her previous record from 1989 (Taylor’s Version) in October 2023, Swift now holds the top three spots for most-streamed albums in a single day with “The Tortured Poets Department,” “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” and “Midnights.”

Whether the album is your cup of tea or not, it doesn’t matter to Swift–she is on top of the world and not slowing down anytime soon.


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