The Student News Site of St. Charles East High School, 1020 Dunham Road, St. Charles, Illinois 60174


The Student News Site of St. Charles East High School, 1020 Dunham Road, St. Charles, Illinois 60174


The Student News Site of St. Charles East High School, 1020 Dunham Road, St. Charles, Illinois 60174


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Taylor Swift releases surprise double album

Taylor Swift at the 2023 MTV awards. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Since the Grammy Awards in February, many Taylor Swift fans and I have been waiting eagerly for Swift’s latest album, “The Tortured Poets Department.” The album’s title is a mimic of the movie “Dead Poets Society” featuring the heavily acclaimed Robin Williams. In addition, the music video for the opening track “Fortnight” featuring Post Malone was released on April 20. “Dead Poets Society” actors Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles made cameos in the music video, further contributing to Swift’s theme for the new album.

In addition to the original 16 songs expected on “The Tortured Poets Department,” Swift released a second album at 2 a.m. on April 19 titled “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology.” Jack Antonoff, the producer behind Swift’s sister albums “folklore” and “evermore,” had a large impact on the original album’s sound. In contrast, Aaron Dessner, founder of the band “The National,” contributed to eight songs from the Anthology.

In total, Swift released 31 new songs detailing the in-depth moments of her relationships that have occurred in the past decade. While many fans had speculated that the album would mainly be composed of songs based on her six-year-long relationship with actor Joe Alwyn, it seems to have been more about her decades-long situationship with lead singer of The 1975, Matty Healy. To many fans’ excitement, two of the songs, “So High School” and “The Alchemy,” seem to be about NFL football player Travis Kelce. I was surprised that despite the short, whirlwind romance Swift and Kelce have had, she had time to write and record two songs in time for her album.

Overall, there were a couple of standout tracks that I can envision myself playing on repeat in the future, such as “Florida!!!” featuring Florence & the Machine. Though, with 31 new songs to listen to, it was a drag to go through a two-hour and two-minute album. Most of the songs bled together, having the same type of sound. Lyrically, you can tell that Swift was taking these painstaking experiences in her life and turning them into poetry, but listening to them lacks the excitement and drive to finish the album. After continued listening, many of the tracks have grown on me and I can see their beauty, but it doesn’t make my top three.

The album art lacked the beauty and sophistication of Swift’s earlier works, though they heavily fit the look of the album. In particular, “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology” looked like it could have been designed on Canva with the line work surrounding Swift’s figure. While the original album cover has that sense of whimsy and new age, the Anthology lacks the depth and star factor of Swift’s other covers.

“The Tortured Poets Department” could be signaling Swift’s departure from her peak popularity which is seen in the final track of the original album, “Clara Bow.” The track comments on the “it girls” of every generation, especially as she says, “You look like Clara Bow in this light… all your life, did you know / You’d be picked like a rose.” In the next chorus, Swift goes on to compare the listener to Stevie Nicks, and in the last chorus, drops her own name. This song was a meaningful way to end the album, showing Swift’s fear that she might have hit her peak.

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About the Contributor
Brynn Copp
Brynn Copp, Features Editor
Brynn is a junior at East. She plays the electric guitar for a youth band and enjoys crocheting in her free time.

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