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Taylor Swift – “The tortured poets department: anthology” (2024)

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Taylor Swift – “The tortured poets department: anthology” (2024)

Since records are no longer sold, records are basically a promotional excuse to go on tour. That is the reality at least for the vast majority of soloists and bands on the pop scene. But Taylor Swift It has its own rules. The American makes it clear from the beginning “The tortured poets department: anthology” that production will experience a new turn, another era. One with a more retro feel, as indicated by the corpulent and repetitive keyboards of “Fortnight”shared with Post Malone, a surprising opening in his discography and that would almost fit more into the “Future nostalgia” (20) de Dua Lipa.

His texts, as usual, leave many doors open. A puzzle that its most faithful fans, of course, will reconstruct until they find all the keys. In the Telegram group “Taylor Swift Nation” They have been intense days speculating on the meaning of words created from capitalized letters of album songs like “Lover” (19) on the Apple Music platform. Hereby, conduct or this are some that were speculated on. They made reference to a supposed “marriage union that never took place.” A game of hangman swiftie. Supposedly a nod to actor Joe Alwyn, to whom he already dedicated songs in “Midnights” (21).

But Swift is different regarding her penultimate album. At its core, this is an album that brims with much more pain, reflection and introspection. And in the form there are also novelties, multiple examples: the percussion of the song of the same name as the title, the second of the full-length, leaves no doubt as to where the aesthetics will go, eighties. With her voice, as usual, supported by choirs. No noise. Direct.

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Another of the recurring encrypted messages these days has been number two. The figure is specified in that “The tortured poets department” It is a double album (The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology, it is finally called), of which on April 19, sixteen songs in total have been released – which, by the way, had been floating around on the networks for two days before, the result of a supposed leak – until Swift herself announced in the morning that there were as many more songs.

— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) April 19, 2024

“Surprise at two in the morning: The Tortured Poets Department is a secret double album. I had written a lot of tortured poetry over the last two years and I wanted to share it all with you, so here is the second installment of TTPD: The Anthology. 15 additional songs. And now the story is no longer mine… it is all yours,” the post highlighted. Swiftie is such a beast, by the way, that many of her fans were debating whether to listen to her and reject the release to their idol or not.

In the midst of the most important tour the industry remembers, The Eras Tour, one that reviews each of Swift’s stages, the American has distinguished herself with a calm album and a disturbing point. Of foul language, even. A new audience unifier and one that, as she herself sold in her communications about the tour, has nothing to do with what has been done so far. And that opens a new chapter. One closer to the consecrated signatures of the confessional than to the radio formula (with exceptions such as chvrchiana “My boy only breaks his favorite toys”).

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From their pandemic albums, “folklore” y “evermore (20), that Taylor Swift is not shy about talking openly about mental health. On this album, it is the theme song. That’s why she caught many of us, with songs like “this is me trying”. In the new feature, the issue sneaks in shamelessly. To the guts: “Down bad”.

Another regular of musings, Florence and the Machine collaborates on a song, “Florida!!!”, although its spirit also permeates the narration and the most prophetic and dramatic sung parts; in the way of singing, of communicating, in “So long, London”, there is no doubt about it.

“The tortured poets department: anthology” It is a hard compilation, without glitter, almost incompatible with everything done before. The artist’s tenth album does not make concessions towards much of her audience, the youngest (slight exceptions, those power drums of “But daddy I love him”, maybe). It’s an album from his thirties. From our thirties. No one can accuse her of not reflecting in her music what she goes through. It’s part of the contract with her fans.

Although the production is, in general, modern and solid, regulars like Jack Antonoff and also Aaron Dessner (The National) are included in the credits, the initial surprises are gradually lost in the album. Except for some outbursts, the Miley Cyrus scream of “Who’s afraid of little old me?”, the doped rhythm of “I can do it with a broken heart”the emo “So high school” to the lyricist “Cassandra”. The novelty declines especially in the second part, in the fifteen “added”, more naked ones. Its diehards will like it, due to its point of unfinished sketches. That’s the grace of “The manuscript”which makes your hair stand on end.

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This is, as until now, a confessional album. About which speculations, rumors and certainties will grow. We don’t find out what everything is. That is a bit of the beauty of a phenomenon, of a life, like that of Taylor Swift. Reality and fiction blurred in a sea of ​​tweets, reels and stories. Of names. Of loves and heartbreaks. And personal growth.

The author of this review, Yeray S. Iborra, is also responsible for the book “Taylor Swift Phenomenon” whose review you can read at this same link.

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