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the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

“The Tortured Poets Department” forms relatability through pain and emotion

Taylor Swift’s new album is worth a listen for anyone as it teaches growth in any situation.
Taylor Swifts album cover for The Tortured Poets Department features her laying down across a couch.
Photo source: Taylor Swift via Twitter
Taylor Swift’s album cover for “The Tortured Poets Department” features her laying down across a couch.

Popstar and singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released her highly anticipated 11th studio album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ on April 19.

The album represents all of the past experiences and obstacles faced in Swift’s life, reflecting once more over the pain, emotion, growth and lessons learned. By writing the lyrics of the song and recalling the period of her life, it is Swift’s way of letting go of the grudges and freeing herself to move towards the next chapter. The result of this is “tortured poetry,” embodied throughout the album’s entirety. ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ is a double album along with ‘The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology’ which was released at 2 a.m., together, the albums consist of 31 new songs added to Swift’s discography.

A lot of the tracks on the album have similar vocals and vibes to Swift’s previous albums, leading to the thought that the songs may be associated with that era or written about that time. 

“Fortnight (feat. Post Malone)” and “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can),” is very similar to Swift’s tenth studio album, ‘Midnights’ “So Long, London” and  “Fresh Out The Slammer” both allude to Swift’s seventh studio album “Lover,” by referencing song lyrics now considered past tense and changed from the album. “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?” sounds like it could be on Swift’s sixth studio album “reputation.” “Clara Bow” and “Black Dog” both sound like they could belong on either of Swift’s eighth and ninth studio albums, “folklore” or “evermore.” The addition of references to older songs adds even more to how heart wrenching the lyrics are, along with how much Swift has grown and her perspective has changed. It also shows how she is letting go of her past and the emotions she felt are simply told not felt anymore. It is also interesting because it allows audiences to transport back into the time in Swift’s life.

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The second track, “The Tortured Poets Department” is my favorite of the entire album. It clearly depicts Swift’s clever lyricism and songwriting, along with her musical genius which made the song catchy. It is a more lively upbeat song which is ironic, as the song speaks about being able to decode someone’s actions in your mind and not being able to say anything. “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys,” “But Daddy I Love Him,” “Guilty as Sin?,” also use clever analogies and scenarios that clearly show off Swift’s creative lyricism.  Not only are the songs extremely catchy, but the thoughtfulness behind her words allow the songs to flow really well. They encapsulate the feelings and thought processes she went through at the time that are raw and vulnerable, allowing listeners to feel her emotions.

“Down Bad” had an intriguing intro as it sounded very synth and retro but its lyrics sound very repetitive as compared to her previous songs on the tracklist. There were more opportunities to expand her lyricism, and definitely a lack of it in this song. The same thing could be said about “Florida!!! (feat. Florence + The Machine),” at first it was a song I was really excited to listen to because Florence + The Machine is an artist with a really great discography. After listening, the song was underwhelming and the lyrics feel really dull and repetitive, much like “Down Bad.”

“The Alchemy” alludes to the correlation between chemistry and love, it plays on this idea and talks about someone’s heart still belonging to you regardless of what comes between you. The song has intriguing lyrics but the music was too mellow, making the attention more on that rather than on its story. If the music was more empowering yet still fitting to its downbeat vibe, it would allow the lyrics to stand out more and adequately represent the song for what it is.

“Loml,” was sort of a twisted listen. When first coming across the released tracklist before the album’s release on Swift’s Instagram page, I expected an upbeat song about romance. After hearing the song and scanning through the lyrics, it turned out to be a heart wrenching song grieving the loss of a past relationship. Her songwriting also shines through in this song, as the shift in perspective of the acronym “loml” turns from “love of my life” into “loss of my life”.

A few of the songs from Swift’s deluxe studio version, “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology” that really stood out and definitely worth adding to your playlist are “imgonnagetyouback,” “So High School,” “I Hate It Here,” and “thanK you aIMee.” “imgonnagetyouback” is about the thin line between wanting revenge and a person back, it is an extremely catchy song and shows how Swift navigates her feelings through a spiral of plotted lyrics. “So High School” addresses the cliche typical high school romance but what was intriguing was how although she is an adult, she is able to feel that way with the right person which she explores further in the song. “I Hate It Here,” is about getting away through fantasizing to escape reality, the song has incredible storytelling and eloquently expresses her emotions. “thanK you aIMee” was definitely a shocker to listen to, rumored to be about American media personality Kim Kardashian, the song addresses their drama which triggered Swift to go into hiding for a year. The song calls her out, but shows Swift’s growth in perspective, instead of cursing at her now thanking her for giving her a legacy that “cannot be undone” and that Kardashian cannot undo the damage she has pained her with. Despite this, the song lets go of the grudge but disses Kardashian without actually ever name dropping, (get the reference of capitalized letters in the song title now?)

The entire album “The Tortured Poets Department” and the deluxe version, “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology” is definitely worth a listen. It lives up to Swift’s praised lyricism from her more prominent albums and offers music on a relatable aspect for any situation. It reminds listeners that you can grow from any situation and it is not always worth withholding a grudge.

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About the Contributor
Ava Kaleah David
Ava Kaleah David, Staff writer
Hi! My name is Ava Kaleah David, and I am a ninth grade staff writer for The Hoofprint. Outside of The Hoofprint, I am on the girl's frosh volleyball team. I love quality time with family and friends, Hawaii, photography, my dog Mochi, and listening to music (especially Taylor Swift)!
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