McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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Review | “The Tortured Poets Department” is a powerful album

Taylor Swift’s 11th album, which was released last month, is a powerful and relatable album that shows a pop star at the top
Julien de Rosa / AFP via Getty Images / TNS
Taylor Swift performs onstage at the Paris La Defense Arena as part of her Eras Tour, in Nanterre, France, on May 9, 2024.

In this day and age, Taylor Swift has become a hot topic due to her divisive reputation. Over the past year she has gone on The Eras Tour which had brought in a lot of money for her and the places she toured alike. In this tour she sang songs from all of her albums, and going into the year as the tour ended she continued to keep her momentum by announcing a brand new album.

On April 19, Swift released “The Tortured Poets Department” and then also released a second album “The Tortured Poets Department” The Anthology.” This album has sparked more controversy surrounding her and her music due to many either loving or hating the new album. These albums are well done and show how she has matured throughout her music career.

“The Tortured Poets Department” has 17 songs and “The Anthology” has thirty-one songs adding on to the other songs in the original album. When releasing the The Tortured Poets Department she only told listeners about the first album, but she released both as a surprise to listeners.

This album encapsulates the heartbreak and the challenge of learning through heartbreak. She poetically describes what she has been through in each song, and they can be relatable to many that have been through a heartbreak or situationship.

While the songs are slower and not upbeat, they are very thoughtful in word choice and relatable to her audience. The album the first couple of times listening through is challenging to sing along to due to the specific word choice and poetics of the songs, but if the words are carefully listened to they can be very relatable and catchy.

Within the album there are songs that are most upbeat such as “Florida” or “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart,” but when listening to the words of the song they are still centered around her heartbreak and struggles.

These albums are not happy upbeat songs, they are there for her audience to relate to if they have been through heartbreak with relationships or even friends. The lyrics are poetic and powerful throughout her songs.

These songs have bridges that have been recognized as some of her best. The theme and tone throughout the album is very consistent, and the song’s order is also powerful for it seems to be in the order of her thoughts and learning these lessons. She has two features, Post Malone and Florence + The Machine, within the albums that she pairs very well with her voice and match the tone of the album.

While Swift has released many “new” albums recently, they are rerecorded albums to gain her music back. This was a completely new album and shows her maturity in her voice and how she has matured throughout love and heartbreak. “The Tortured Poets Department” can be compared to the mood of her other albums “Folklore” and “Evermore,” for the both are more centered around the kind of love and heartbreaks she has been put through. “The Tortured Poets Department” albums, however, has a beat to it that is very different to both of these albums which makes them feel as if they have a different tone.

The albums of “The Tortured Poets Department,” while they need multiple listens to learn the lyrics throughout the songs, the songs are powerful and could be very relatable to her audience or anyone who has gone through a heartbreak of any form. The albums and songs were very well done and maintained a consistent tone and message throughout the album.

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