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REVIEW: Taylor Swift’s “The Tortured Poets” album falls flat

By Bella Punzio

The opening song to the album, The Tortured Poets by Taylor Swift, is “Fortnight.” The album is known for being about Taylor’s ex(s), Joe Alwyn, Matty Healey, and her current boyfriend, Travis Kelce. The overall concept or meaning Taylor Swift is trying to convey is to reflect on her fame, current and past relationships from an understandable, more raw viewpoint of the true emotions and challenges she has faced while getting through her breakups. 

The album itself gives me more of a calm collective, but chaotic, sad vibe. I feel that the songs convey a message of everything can be perfect, but something has to go wrong or you have to go through a few challenges to get to where you want to be. With the story behind each song, you have to really pay attention to the lyrics and metaphors to understand the concept of each song. For example, in “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys” Taylor uses the lyrics “When your impressionist paintings of Heaven/Turned out to be fakes” as a metaphorical way to show disappointment and disillusionment. The lyrics are saying something can seem so perfect, but end up not being as real as you thought it would be. It’s a way to describe a letdown or realize that things aren’t always the way they seem. 

The album tends to make me want to sit with the stillness of everything around me and notice the little movements of everything the fan moves around. It makes me think back to all the times I’ve embarrassed myself and what regrets I have. I feel that the album is meant to portray the sad challenge people go through while getting out of a relationship because the songs are supposed to be telling the story of her emotions while she went through the break up. 

In “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart,” the lyrics  “I’m so depressed, I act like it’s my birthday every day” are her way of saying that the impact of going through what she went through caused her to feel dejected, but she was putting up a happy or celebratory front, like how when it’s your birthday you’re extra happy or excited. She was masking her true feelings with a facade of being content. The lyrics are saying that she was struggling but trying to appear happy and cheerful on the outside. 

Personally I think that the last song could have been better, but it was a good song to end the album with. “Clara Bow” is a good song. I think there are more exciting songs she could have ended the album with but the overall meaning of the last song summed up the album’s meaning. The song was supposed to have a meaning of “women are taught to replace each other.” The album is supposed to show heartbreak or loss through the lyrics. The song she ended with gave me more of a story that you’ll go through a heartbreak at some point in your life and that you will be compared to other people no matter what. 

Overall, the album itself is a really good album. I do think it’s very similar to some of her other albums such as Folklore, Evermore, and Red. The songs in the album all seem to be in different tones, but they all have the same meaning behind them. I did personally think this isn’t her best album, but it is definitely a good one. I wouldn’t say I would listen to the album all the time because the mood of the album isn’t very exciting but more dreary and on a dazed side.

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