Uncovering The Tortured Poets Department: A Background

Uncovering The Tortured Poets Department: A Background

For many of the millions of Swifties (Taylor Swift fans) worldwide, Apr. 19 is about to be one of the biggest days of their lives. With the release of Taylor Swift’s album set for that date, Swifties have been waiting impatiently to hear what Swift’s 11th album is all about. Many Swifties had been speculating that she would announce Reputation (Taylor’s Version), but to their pleasant surprise, a complete album was announced on the night of the Grammys—a way to celebrate Swift hitting the milestone of having 13 Grammys (her lucky number).

Freshman Shraddha Ellur is among one of the many hardcore Swifties, and here’s what she had to say after finding out about the new album. “I’m excited for the new era and type of music that’s gonna come [with it], [Taylor Swift] always amazes us with the new songs and aesthetic; she never fails to stun me every time,” said Ellur.

The post announcing this album, which featured a white album cover with dark tones throughout, obtained millions of views in a matter of seconds. Since then, the original album has been expanded to include different variants for an additional five bonus tracks other than the original 16. Each variant includes not only a separate bonus track, but also is centered around a different theme, including “I love you it’s ruining my life” and “Am I allowed to cry?”

The virality of the announcement post has helped it gain quite a lot of traction, as was the case with sophomore Grace Hwang. “I don’t know much about [the Tortured Poets Department] so my opinion is going to remain neutral, but since people are going crazy on social media I’m pretty sure it is going to be a hit,” she said.

Many speculate that this album will be about her break-up from her six-year relationship with Joe Alwyn, a British actor. This is especially true through the tracks including “So Long, London” creating a direct parallel to the song originally written to Alwyn (“London Boy”), “Clara Bow” (referencing a famous actress whom the public always discussed her relationships), “The Bolter” (a bar in London where they allegedly had their first date), and “The Black Dog” (Alwyn had a black dog). However, the most clear example of this album’s connection to Alwyn is in the album’s name itself—Alwyn said he had a group chat called “The Tortured Man Club.”

Though Swift has not given away too much about the album yet, she recently said “Tortured Poets is an album that I think more than any of my albums that I’ve ever made—I needed to make it. It was really a lifeline for me, just the things I was going through, the things I was writing about.” Swift added, “It kind of reminded me of why songwriting is something that actually gets me through my life.”

Like many Swifties, another AHS student, freshman Amanda Hang, shared Swift’s enthusiasm. Hang states, “I’m excited for The Tortured Poet’s Department because it’s been hyped up a lot by fans and the artist herself!”

What Swift has talked about so far in regards to the new album has led to many speculating that the album would sound similar to two of Swift’s later additions onto her tenth album Midnights: “Hits Different” and, significantly more so, “You’re Losing Me.” In addition to sounding like these two songs, fans have speculated that Swift’s 11th album is set to be the triplet of her earlier two sister albums, Folklore and Evermore. Each of these albums have intricate, beautifully complex lyrics, diving deep into emotions of sadness, love, and even guilt as they illustrate the lives of not only Swift but serve as a story of a love triangle Swift created for fans to follow along with in the album.

As we learn more about the album, fans eagerly wait for snippets of lyrics, announcements, and easter eggs, emotionally preparing themselves for what many have speculated will be a life-changing album. In the lives of many Swifties right now, Apr. 19 simply cannot come fast enough.

Photo courtesy of PRINTERVAL

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