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Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Mounds View High School's student news site.

The Viewer

Taylor Swift’s most mid album?

Taylor Swift’s 11th album contains controversial lyrics and forgetful melodies, posing the question: Is this Taylor Swift’s most mid album?
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Republic Records

The release of Taylor Swift’s 11th studio album, “The Tortured Poets Department” (TTPD), marks another milestone for the singer as the album reached over one billion streams within its first week on Spotify. Throughout her career, Swift’s albums have allowed her to experiment with new genres and sounds, going from her start with country music, to radio-hit pop, to her two alternative-indie albums, and her most recent albums becoming widely known as bedroom pop, which includes songs with a more “intimate” feel due to softer production and sound. As a fan of her albums “folklore” and “evermore,” the album name, “The Tortured Poets Department” intrigued me, as it made promises of a poetry album involving tasteful lyrics and calming melodies. Upon the album’s release, however, myself and other fans discovered her 11th album would instead be a synth-pop album, more similar to her previous album “Midnights.” 

TTPD starts off with the track “Fortnight,” featuring Post Malone and was released as the lead single for this album. “Fortnight” encapsulates this album as a whole very well, and I believe was an excellent pick for the lead single. Surprisingly, Malone’s vocals on the track blended well with Swift and the production of the song. Though he mainly sings backup vocals on the track, the bridge of the song features his voice most prominently and was incredibly soothing, making the bridge of the song my favorite part. 

Following the lead single on the album was the title track, “The Tortured Poets Department.” Although I enjoyed the song as a whole, unlike Swift, I do not declare that “Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist.” The line felt out of place, as well as the line following it, “I scratch your head, you fall asleep like some tattooed Golden Retriever.” Similar to “Fortnight,” I feel this track sums up TTPD as an album: fun, synth production with mostly great lyrics and some very awkward, out-of-place ones. 

The following 14 songs on TTPD didn’t stick out to me much when listening to the album all the way through, as they all started to blend together. Hopefully, this will change as I listen to each song more. However, Florence + The Machine’s feature on the song “Florida!!!” shows Swift’s ability to adapt to different music artists’ styles and allowed her to experiment a little with this song, making Florence + The Machine an excellent choice to feature on the album.

Two hours after the initial release of TTPD, Swift made the surprise announcement that TTPD would be a double album along with “The Anthology.” The Anthology was an extended 15 songs, making both albums a combined 31 songs. Though both albums are recognized as two distinct parts, they are both referred to together as TTPD online, and the albums can be found as one album on streaming platforms. While I generally preferred the second half of the album, it is no wonder why a few of the songs in “The Anthology” did not make it onto the first half of the album. 

In the song “I Hate It Here,” the questionable lyrics, “My friends used to play a game where we would pick a decade we wished we could live in instead of this. I’d say the 1830s but without all the racists and getting married off for the highest bid.” The lyrics have been justifiably highly criticized online. The lyrics not only imply these issues were the only problems of the 1830s—blatantly ignoring more serious issues that existed—but almost that Swift can look past these issues if she were able to live in that time period. The awkward lyric throws off the rest of the song’s daydreaming fantasies and whimsical vibe and should not have been included in the song. 

Overall, I definitely enjoyed several songs on the album. Some of my favorite songs included “Fortnight,” “imgonnagetyouback” (very reminiscent of Olivia Rodrigo’s song “get him back!”), “So High School” and “The Prophecy.” Though I had higher hopes for this album, I don’t believe it’s necessarily a bad album, it’s just not that exciting compared to some of Swift’s other albums. Swift’s vocals continue to shine through on this album and the production on the album was well done, though feeling a little repetitive on some songs in the first half of the album. Though Swift seems to always want to try something new with each album she creates, TTPD felt like she was instead opting for her “safer” type of music because if there’s one thing Swift can do, it’s writing a catchy radio hit. If TTPD was your introduction to Swift’s newer music, I recommend listening to two of her other albums I previously mentioned, “folklore” and “evermore” to explore the different styles of music Swift has created before.

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About the Contributor
Mara Peacock
Mara Peacock, Staff Reporter
Mara is a junior staff reporter, and this year is her first year on The Viewer. Awards: Best of SNO - Soundless storytelling: ASLHS to interpret spring musical Best of SNO - Sports betting: Teens hit the “slots” Best of SNO - The teacher shortage crisis
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