Swift’s new album, ”The Tortured Poets Department”, sold more than 1.4 million copies on the first day of release.
Swift’s new album, ”The Tortured Poets Department”, sold more than 1.4 million copies on the first day of release.

Taylor Swift ‘Can Do It With a Broken Heart’

April 19th. A date that could not come soon enough for all of the Swifties around the globe. Star studded singer, dazzling performer, and critically acclaimed songwriter, Taylor Swift, dropped her highly anticipated album, “The Tortured Poets Department” last Friday night. Not only did she drop 16 songs on the official album, but released another half of the album comprising an additional 15 songs entitled “The Anthology”.

Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff, and Aaron Dessner teamed up again to make the saddest pop album of the year. Swift’s style of songwriting that she used to paint rooms, draw symbols and metaphors for yearning, and write from various perspectives in studio albums “Folklore” and “Evermore” has come back to haunt her adoring fans with her recent album.

“Tortured Poets” is by far one of her most well-written albums, if not the best. Her creative use of telling stories that symbolize human experiences she went through and powerful emotions she felt are what define this transparently deep album. British writer Percy Bysshe Shelley once said, “Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” This quote could not be more true and representing of what Swift’s 11th studio album means.

Her vocals laid in this album are stunning. It’s so fun to be able to listen to how she captures the story Swift is telling using her voice. “Fresh Out the Slammer” shows her lower register off using a clear and rich tone that the fans don’t get to hear very often. Sure, she has sung in a low, raspy voice before, but usually it’s matched with breathiness. In this specific track, she cruises through the melodies with slight vibratos and making the atmosphere sparkingly dreamy. On the other end of the spectrum, Swift does not shy away from belting out her higher range in “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?”. It is no surprise how great her voice sounds with her prep for touring, but it’s nice to see that hard work being represented within this album.

She reveals in her 13th track, “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart” paints the picture of performing her famous “The Eras Tour” night after night while going through the heartache of break ups and betrayal. What is unique about this album is that in her past bodies of work, there are usually some songs of encouragement. The closest to becoming optimistic TTPD gets is in this track where she sings in the chorus, “I’m so depressed, I act like it’s my birthday every day.” “Down Bad” is another song that is catchy enough to dance to, but the content within the song describes a magnet without a home, yearning for a person that she just can’t obtain but feels connected to.

The best songs on this album have this cinematic build and atmosphere to them. Swift is masterfully known for the bridges she writes for songs, no matter the mood she creates for the piece. Hearing Swift dive into new formulas of creating music is refreshing, and gives the same emotional impact, if not more. “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?”, “The Black Dog” and “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived” tell a story following notes until it leads to the orchestra of madness and revelation. 

Her experimentation does not end there. In songs “Guilty As Sin?” and “So High School” create a ’90s dreamy atmosphere that still dwells in synth but leans more towards a timeless era with guitar and drumming fantasia.

Every songwriter’s goal creating music revolves around the transparency shaped as a wall between human emotion and what the listeners hear. Songs are supposed to be human emotions in a bottle by writing a narrative reflecting on an emotion. The 14 Grammy winner embodies this purpose by taking her listeners through a period of time of grief, pent up anger, and distraught she was feeling behind the scenes. The swelling ambience and additional strings Dessner and Antoff provide in the production of the album perfectly embody the emotions pouring out of Swift as she processes her woes.

This album is Swift’s most vulnerable, unhinged, chaotic, and human body of work. “The Tortured Poets Department” offers insight and perspective in healing the ugliest wounds marked on the soul and how it makes the singer-songwriter feel. Although “The Eras Tour” is whimsical and alluring, this album of healing is the hidden beauty of what came out of it. The love that Swift once experienced is now unfamiliar once she pulled the curtains and saw it for what it really was.

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