April 22, 2024
Trish Arab

Taylor Swift's The Tortured Poets Department - Could this be the best saved for Last? (2 minute read)

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A wise woman once wrote "boys only want love if it's torture" and there is nothing more beautiful and complex than a poet who vocalizes that torture in the way that Taylor Swift has done in her new album.

I was sick for most of last week, which was terrible news for the most part, except for late evening Thursday as it switched over to Friday when I could not sleep and instead waited for the much-anticipated drop of Taylor Swift's new album, The Tortured Poets Department. As I listened and quickly fell in love with each track, imagine my surprise when 15 more songs dropped, making this album "The Anthology."

This album combines the beauty of "Evermore" and "Folklore" but does so with the same appeal of "Midnights" but even saying that is simplifying her genius.

It is now Sunday night as I write this, and I have listened to the entire album five times. The first time I listened, I was breathless (no pun intended) someone surprised at how raw and real each lyric is - even though it's what we've come to expect from Taylor Swift.

After the second go around, I got a feeling in the pit of my stomach, leading me to think that this may be the end of an era (pun intended) and truly question whether TTPD may be the last album we ever get from Taylor Swift.

Each song, as it played, seemed to tie up any loose ends in Taylor's public and what we think we know about her personal life.  

In fact, after my third listen, I wrote the following to some of my Swiftie friends:

"This whole album feels like she is tying up loose ends. Her beef with Kim, any leftover feelings from Matty, and even being "an albatross" in her new relationship with Travis. She's addressing every feud and every criticism in the most beautiful and creative way. Putting a period on it all. I feel like this is goodbye.
I don't think we will get new music from her for a very long time, if ever again, and if we do, I think it will be a huge reset.
I think she's found her happy ending, and now it's time to focus on that. I've been warning that we won't get any more good music from her now that she's settled for Travis, but I have a feeling we won't be getting any more music at all.
This album truly feels like a goodbye. I love the entire album. It may be her best work yet. "

There have been lots of people who have done a deep dive into which song is about who and which relationship inspired what; I won't get into all of that, but I will say that she did what Taylor does best: exorcise any demons left inside of her so that she can turn the page and start something new.

What's that new thing going to be? Well, I think we will see marriage and babies for sure, and even though I do feel like this album was a goodbye, I don't think she will actually ever step away from the music industry.  

Maybe the next step will be starting her own record label and welcoming new artists who need mentors and protection from the industry, much like she did at one point. She can start to correct what she knows is wrong with the industry and still be a part of it without having to give so much of herself.

I guess we will have to wait and see, but until then, I will be pressing play on The Tortoured Poets Department once again and letting Taylor do what she does best: create beautiful art in a way that only she can.