Taylor Swift leaves her sorrows behind in her new and long-awaited double album

The American singer reaffirms her popularity with 'The tortured poets department'

5 min
Taylor Swift's new album, ''The Tortured Poets Department'', includes a song called ''Florida!

BarcelonaThis Thursday night the fans of Taylor Swift (West Reading, Pennsylvania, 1989) celebrated their own New Year's Eve. As they prepared to live the last midnight of the era Midnights, were beginning to become familiar with the American singer's eleventh album, The tortured poets department, an unexpected and highly anticipated album at the same time, which he announced last February during the 66th Grammy Awards and which was published this Friday at 6 a.m., Catalan time. The singer has such a stratospheric influence that has managed to establish a vital calendar, the eras swifties, which many fans have adopted as an infallible template that guides their own lives. Stratospheric, as well as extraordinary, huge and astronomical, are adjectives that journalists often use unfairly, but in this case they are completely honest. Swift, who was named by the magazine time personality of the year 2023, it took only two minutes to accumulate a million likes on Instagram by publishing the cover of The tortured poets department, and now it has beaten the record of people who reserved the album in advance on Spotify. And all this while traveling around the world with The Eras Tour, which will arrive in Europe on May 9 with a concert in Paris.

The promotional images of the album suggested that The tortured poets department It would be especially autobiographical, focused on Swift's breakup with British actor Joe Alwyn, who officially announced in April 2023 after a six-year relationship. The swifties They sensed (and secretly desired) a heartbreaking and stark album, in which Swift would expose the dirty laundry of the relationship and publicly humiliate the ex-couple. And they were right, but at the same time it has not been exactly like that.

Taylor Swift performing at Sydney Accor Stadium in Sydney, a few days ago

The breakup with Alwyn plans throughout the album and is made explicit in the song Long sound, London –a wink to london boy, a song from the album lovers (2019)–, in which the singer takes the end of a life stage with a harsh melancholy, tinged with resignation: "You say I abandoned the ship, but I was sinking; my white knuckles clung tightly to your silent resentment. [...] Every day the old love story, every breath seems like the strangest air, when you're not sure if you want to be there. Furthermore, the title of the album alludes to a WhatsApp group that Alwyn shared with other celebrities, such as Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott, which they had named Tortured man club (The Tortured Men's Club). Who also comes out battered is the singer of the band The 1975, Matty Healy, with whom Swift had a brief romantic history shortly after breaking up with Alwyn. Everything indicates that Swift has dedicated songs like The smallest man who ever lived and But daddy I love him, in which he takes the opportunity to throw a hint at the swifties who criticized the relationship with Healy.

Now, although she will always be that histrionic teenager who shares personal dramas through tears and who in each new relationship repeatedly falls into the same masculine pattern, in this album Swift shows herself as a woman who lives her thirties with maturity and certainty. serenity, now back from everything, convinced of her power and having accepted that perhaps she will never be able to change some of the behaviors of the men she falls in love with. We see that ironic, perhaps even sardonic, tone in the song My boy only breaks favorite toys, which can be read in the same key as the movie Barbie by Greta Gerwig. And also in And I can fix him (no really I can), a particularly funny track in which Swift tries to convince herself that she can "fix" men: "Trust me, I can get away with a dangerous man. Seriously, I can do it. They put their hands on their heads and say " Oh my god, help her" when I tell them he's my man [...] Seriously, I can fix it.

The tortured poets department It is a serene and at the same time melodramatic album, in which the singer transmutes into a condemned poet and leaves her sorrows behind through the verses. She herself has described the album So: "It is an anthology that reflects facts, opinions and feelings of an ephemeral and fatalistic moment, which was sensational and at the same time painful. This period has already passed, it is a closed chapter of the author's life. Once the wounds heal They have healed, there is no need to repay anything or be accountable to anyone [...] After telling our saddest story, we can free ourselves from it

The dark aesthetic of the images that Swift has posted in recent weeks suggested that. possibly The tortured poets department would have the floating, intimate and self-absorbed lyricism of the albums Folklore (2020) and Evermore (2020). In reality, the singer opts for two collaborations with Post Malone and Florence & The Machine and maintains the enveloping synthesizers of her tenth album, Midnights (2022). And he puts them at the service of lyrics that, despite having many poetic references, are above all direct, with a point of literality that fully connects with generation Z. Swift is not reciting names and surnames without giving them. many explanations, especially in the title song of the album: from Dylan Thomas and Patti Smith to Charlie Puth.

An expanded edition of the album, with fifteen more songs

Taylor Swift's hyperproductivity has made her one of the most prolific artists on the international scene. In the last five years, he has not only published the albums lovers (2019), Folklore (2020), Evermore (2020), Midnights (2022) and The tortured poets department (2024), but also four re-recordings of older albums, now produced according to their own criteria: Fearless (2021), Grid (2021), Speak now (2023) and 1989 (2023). Although this overflowing creativity is one of the traits that most differentiates her as an artist, fans have welcomed her with amazement. ad from a second expanded edition of The tortured poets department, which includes fifteen other songs.

If the original disk is closer to Midnights, both in terms of the literality of the lyrics and the forceful synthesizers, these new songs resume the introspective air of Folklore and Evermore. The black dog, the first song of the second part, includes explicit references to the breakup with Alwyn, but the rest of the songs in the second volume are more evasive and spare. With references such as the albatross in The albatross, the singer approaches the poetic tradition of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Charles Baudelaire. And it distances itself from traumatic events with an elegant subtlety that allows it to finish cleaning. "Now only the manuscript remains, a last memory of my trip to your shores. From time to time I reread the manuscript, but the story no longer belongs to me," he sings in The manuscript, the last song on the second album.