Another gem: Swift drops 31-song double LP

At the stroke of midnight Friday, Taylor Swift’s 11th album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” was unveiled, surprising fans with its depth and emotion. But the surprises didn’t end there. Two hours later, Swift dropped another bombshell, announcing 15 more songs and dubbing it “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology.” This unexpected double album was not what Swifties were anticipating, but it’s a welcome surprise that has fans buzzing. 

Swift is known for her fifth track being the most vulnerable and personal. “So Long, London” is definitely one of them, and tissues are a must. On Swift’s album, “Lover,” she has a song called “London Boy.” It is assumed to be about her ex-boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, as he is British. This feels like her way of saying goodbye to the relationship as she sings, “Had a good run, but I’m not the one.” This song leaves you with chills. 

Swift did a world tour last year, which was a three-hour show. Her song, “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart,” leaves fans thinking it’s about the tour and how she did the whole thing with a broken heart as her break up happened before the tour started. The lyric video for this song shows clips from the Eras Tour, confirming the theory about the song’s meaning. She sings in the pre-chorus, “They said, ‘Babe, you gotta fake it ’til you make it,’ and I did.” The song has a happy beat, so you would assume it’s a happy song, but if you listen to the lyrics, it’s not. 

“But Daddy, I Love Him” describes a forbidden relationship. It feels like her song “Love Story,” but more mature. She sings, “I’d rather burn my whole life down than listen to one more second of all this bitchin’ and moanin’. I’ll tell you something ’bout my good name. It’s mine alone to disgrace. I don’t cater to all these vipers dressed in empath’s clothing.” It seems to be her way of rebelling against public scrutiny about her relationships. 

Swift has had a few enemies, including Kim Kardashian and Kayne West. It started in 2009 when West came onto the stage during Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video and said it should’ve gone to Beyoncé. Kardashian comes into the picture when she leaks an audio recording of Swift saying she was OK with West’s song where he said he made that b— famous. Swift did not agree to it, and in her song “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things,” Swift sings, “Friends don’t try to trick you. Get you on the phone and mind-twist you,” West told Swift a different lyric, not the lyric he actually sings in the song. 

In her song “thanK you aIMee,” Swift references the feud in many ways, such as “She wrote headlines in the local paper, laughing at each baby step I’d take” and “I wrote a thousand songs that you find uncool. I built a legacy that you can’t undo.” Swift uses this song to show them she has healed and, in a way, is thankful to Kardashian. 

While this album has many break-up songs, there are also a few love songs. One is “The Alchemy,” which many fans believe is about her current boyfriend, NFL player Travis Kelce. In this song, she sings in the bridge, 

“Shirts off and your friends lift you up over their heads. Beer stickin’ to the floor, cheers chanted ’cause they said ‘There was no chance trying to be the greatest in the league.’ Where’s the trophy? He just comes runnin’ over to me.” 

It’s pretty clear this is referencing the moment the Kansas City Chiefs won the Superbowl in 2024, where the two gave us a bunch of PDA, which Swift has never done in her past relationships. 

Swift has had a bunch of rumors surrounding her personal and professional life. In “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?” she underlines how the media consistently downsizes her plainly by repeating “little old me” while referring to herself. She sings in the song, “Is it a wonder I broke? Let’s hear one more joke. Then we could all just laugh until I cry.” “Laugh until you cry” refers to laughing until tears well up in your eyes. Swift turns the phrase, which often has a positive meaning, on its head by claiming that she is crying out of sorrow rather than happiness since everyone is laughing at the jokes about her, and she is acting like she is smiling, too. 

With this album, Swift has broken many records. It has been out for five days. On its first day of release, it became the first album in Spotify history to have over 300 million streams in a single day. It was also the biggest pop album of all time by first-day streams on Apple Music. It was also the most streamed album on Amazon Music ever on its first day. 

To me, this album is one of my favorites of hers. The album feels like it is written in the style of her album, “reputation,” but the instrumental feels like it is a mix of “folklore” and “Midnights.” She wrote this album for herself; it is her way of healing from her break up with Alwyn. 

Write to Lauren Viska at lauren.viska@mnsu.edu

Header Photo: This cover image released by Republic Records shows “The Tortured Poets Department” by Taylor Swift, her 11th studio album released April 19. (Courtesy Spotify).

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