Taylor’s New Album Swiftly Entices Fans

An analysis of ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ by a forever tortured poet
Swifts album, The Tortured Poets Department was released April 19th.
Swift’s album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ was released April 19th.
Full track list of ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ on YouTube

Taylor Swift’s album, The Tortured Poets Department, abbreviated as TTPD, arrived at midnight on April 19, already breaking records in the music industry. Swift, an American singer-songwriter, planned on releasing TTPD from the moment her previous album, Midnights, was submitted to her label back in 2022, as reported by Billboard. Come April 19, the 14-time Grammy winner’s apparent allusions to aforementioned relationships and impeccable lyricism contributed to the outcome of TTPD. Before album had even hit the Billboard charts, it sold 1.4 million copies on the first day of release, reached Spotify’s most pre-saved countdown, broke the record for Apple Music’s most popular pop album, and became Spotify’s “most-streamed album in a single day in less than 12 hours after its release,” Billboard announced.

TTPD contains 16 regular tracks with 15 surprise tracks accompanying the double album released alongside the original album. Swift remained consistent in her list of collaborators, composed of the following artists: Jack Antonoff, Aaron Dessner, Post Malone, and Florence Welch. TTPD received many glowing reviews from sources such as The Times and Rolling Stones. “And that’s the closest I’ve come to my heart exploding,” Swift said when sharing the reviews she received, according to Elle. When my friend from New Zealand — an avid Swiftie — started fangirling over the album to me on April 20 at five in the morning, I knew I had to listen to the album. The following are some of the most popular songs from the album in order.


“Fortnight” (Ft. Post Malone)

“Fortnight,” being Spotify’s most streamed song, is currently one of fans’ top favorites in the album. The word, fortnight, is the British equivalent of the term, ‘two weeks.’ Many listeners hypothesize that Joe Alwyn, Swift’s past lover, started dating another girl in 12 days, which is within a fortnight. “‘Fortnight’ is a song that exhibits a lot of common themes that run throughout the album,” Swift told Variety. “One of which being fatalism — longing, pinning away, lost dreams.” The song serves as a strong example of how Swift interconnected her past experiences and relationships into her music, developing the story behind each lyric strand by strand.


“The Tortured Poets Department”

Due to its eloquent wording alongside the beautiful title, this song is a universal fan-favorite. As the song depicts new relationships, it also dives into the complex relationship between two artists. The storyline evolves further into revealing that the two artists weren’t the perfect example of love like in a perfect fairytale, but instead normal lovers in real life. The song emphasizes self-awareness but also the possibilities of dreaming.


“My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys”

In this song, Swift explores the complexities of loss and love. She describes her partner building her as a “queen of sandcastles,” which signifies her fragile position in the relationship, and how her partner can easily destroy the “sandcastles” in the future. The concept of this song reflects on a used and broken toy, revealing how people can play with one another until they get bored of the “toy.”


“But Daddy I Love Him”

As the longest song of the album with a length of 5:40, “But Daddy I Love Him” indicates how people shouldn’t lose their voice despite the different arguments that they go through the turbulent times of their life. In addition, from Swift’s point of view, the song alludes to how her brief romance with Matty Healy upset her fans and the anger she felt about the comments that judged their relationship.


“Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?”

This song represents the message that Swift wanted to send to the backlash she received throughout her years in the music industry. Swift revealed that she wrote the song as she felt “bitter about the hate that artists receive despite the advancements they make in a society’s culture.”

“What do we do to our writers, and our artists, and our creatives?” Swift said while explaining the backstory behind this particular song. “We watch what they create, then we judge it. We love to watch artists in pain, often to the point where I think sometimes as a society we provoke that pain and we just watch what happens.”


“The Alchemy”

Alchemy is an ancient branch of natural philosophy where one would mix chemicals to find gold. However, the method wouldn’t be able to produce pure gold, but gold alloys. In comparing love to alchemy, Swift refers to her past love as fake gold, also known as fool’s gold. Later in the song, she successfully conveys to her listeners that she doesn’t share fake love anymore and has now found true love.


“Clara Bow”

The last song in the album, “Clara Bow,” connects Swift’s life to the silent film actress Clara Bow, symbolically portraying Swift’s nostalgic feelings about the music industry. In the song, Swift recounts her experience as a beginning artist, when producers noted her resemblance to Bow and told her that she could succeed in having them as her role models. Since Clara Bow was one of the first artists to succeed in the field of entertainment, Swift titled the song after her. The song is symbolic in the sense that one can find inspiration in other people or objects and do well.


As Swift reveals her own thoughts and experiences in various songs in the album, The Tortured Poets Department indeed highlights the autobiographical art of the singer. Never in the wildest of dreams could I have imagined a more fitting title for this album. TTPD’s release date overlapped with Swift’s ongoing Eras Tour, which indicates her passion for creating music. As Swift rises to new heights, many fans await new announcements from the global star.

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About the Contributor
Soeun Lee
Soeun Lee, Staff Writer
Soeun Lee ('27) is delighted to be a Staff Writer for The Echo. She was published in various national publications and was an editor of Limelight, the TMS literary magazine. She is excited to further expand her literary horizons in The Echo. In her free time, Soeun loves spending time with her family and doing anything related to literature.