TTPD: A New Era for Taylor Swift

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Ladies and gentlemen, she has done it again! For the first time since her 2012 album Red, Taylor Swift has shattered our hearts into a million pieces with another breakup album. After Swift’s breakup with her long-term boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, she has fully taken her fans through her stages of grief in her new eleventh studio album, The Tortured Poets Department.

Since news broke last April that Swift and Alwyn had split, fans have joked about a break up album. But this… was just so much more. After keeping her relationship out of the public eye for the most part, this album gave fans an entirely different view of the two’s years together.

From song titles that scared us to begin with, to lyrics that cut even deeper, it’s safe to say that this might just be some of the songwriters’ best work.

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The Parallels

The album started strong with the first four tracks of the album, with many references to past songs written about Alwyn and their relationship. To start, the opening line in “Fortnight (Ft. Post Malone, “I was s’posed to be sent away, but they forgot to come and get me,” which references her song “Hits Different” on her tenth studio album, Midnights. The line reads, “Is it okay? Or have they come to take me away?” With many easter eggs in events leading up to the release of TTPD, we learned that the door in the “Lover house” leads to a psych ward. In this album, there are many references to locking her up, getting taken away, and going crazy.

In the second track titled “The Tortured Poets Department,” Swift sings, “At dinner, you take my ring off my middle finger and put it on the one people put wedding rings,” which connects to lyrics from Evermore‘s “Champagne Problems”, “She would’ve made such a lovely bride, what a shame she’s fucked in the head, they said,” again, referencing the psych ward.

And in the songs, “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys” and “Down Bad” Swift cut deep with lines that anyone could relate to after experiencing a bad relationship. Some being, “Left all the broken parts, and told me I’m better off,” “I might just die it would make no difference,” and finally, “How dare you say its–” cutting herself off before claiming it was love, after realizing it wasn’t.

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Track 5

Were we prepared for another Taylor Swift Track 5? Yes. Were we prepared for this? Not even close. The lyrics, the parallels, and everything about “So Long, London” is gut-wrenching. After thinking “You’re Losing Me” was a masterpiece, hearing Swift sing “My face was gray, but you wouldn’t admit that we were sick,” to “So Long, London” lines, “I’m just getting color back in my face,” fans just realized just how terrible the relationship was.

From the very first line, the song has lyric after lyric of heartbreak. After looking into the album before its release, fans noticed that Swift co-wrote the song with Aaron Dessner, who also co-wrote “Tolerate It” on her ninth album Evermore. In “Tolerate It” the lyrics fantasize about breaking free and leaving a relationship in ruins. However, four years later in “So Long, London” Swift sings about how she did everything she could to try to save their relationship. Hearing the singer’s slight screams in the background of the bridge topped the song off. The song was truly a masterpiece.

Every track on this album, and the double album The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology were incredible. “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived,” “loml,” “I Can Fix Him (No Really I can),” and so many more gave fans exactly what they were expecting and more from Swifts’ first breakup album in over 10 years.

There simply just isn’t enough space to fully review the masterpiece that is Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department. Follow @VALLEYmag on social media and share your favorite tracks!


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