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The Tortured Poets Department: Album Review (Reagan’s Version)

Apr 19, 2024 Pop artist Taylor Swift dropped her 11th studio album called The Tortured Poets Department. The album features artists such as Post Malone and Florence + The Machine.
Graphic of The Tortured Poets Department album cover re-designed by Reagan Westphal.

On April 19, 2024, music artist Taylor Swift released her 11th studio album named The Tortured Poets Department. The Album has 16 tracks with two features, those being Post Malone and Florence + The Machine.

Swift and her mastermind dropped a double album which was a surprise to many. Swift released The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology, with 16 added tracks to the album, making the album have a total of 31 tracks.

Swift announced her 11th studio album at the Grammy’s. Many Swifties had thought they cracked the mastermind’s code and thought she would be releasing Reputation (Taylor’s Version). On Feb. 4th fans were shocked when Taylor went on stage at the Grammys after winning an award for Best Pop Vocal Album for her album, Midnights and announced she would not be releasing Reputation (Taylor’s Version) but would actually be releasing her 11th studio album by the name of The Tortured Poets Department.

As a Swiftie myself I remember being in such utter shock at the moment of the announcement. I was convinced that Swift would be dropping Reputation (Taylor’s Version) but was pleasantly surprised by the announcement and could not wait to give the album a listen.

Track 1: Fortnight (feat. Post Malone)

I have always loved Swift’s voice but this song just made me love it even more. Her voice in this song is so soft yet so strong. The lyrics are beautiful. I am usually not the biggest fan of features on albums of artists I am a big fan of but I think that Post Malone was the cherry on top to this song.

Track 2: The Tortured Poets Department

This song reminded me a lot of one of my favorite Taylor Swift albums Suburban Legends off of her album 1989 (Taylor’s Version) from the Vault. Swift repeating “Who is going to love you like me?” hit my soul and left a mark. This song is one of my favorites on the album. The beauty of this song is unspeakable. I could write a whole different article just about this one song. I have so many things to say about this song but I don’t think there are enough words in the English language.

Track 3: My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys

The start of this song was not how I expected it to go but I am not mad at it one bit. This is one of Swift’s songs where you are able to feel and hear her anger just by how she sings the lyrics and the beat of the drums in the background. This song made me hate anyone who has ever hurt Swift’s heart.

Track 4: Down Bad

The beat of this song is very different for Swift. I am not able to tell just yet if I love the beat or not. The song makes so much sense. I think that Swift hit the spot with this song. It is a perfect representation of what it feels like to get broken up with and want nobody else but that person. She speaks on the feelings of hating and not caring about and else because the one thing you loved is no longer yours.


“ F*** it if I can’t have us” was such a simple but complex lyric that shattered my heart hearing her sing it. I love this song.

— Reagan Westphal

Track 5: So Long, London

Hearing the start of this song gave me goosebumps. Again it reminded me of another one of her songs. This time being Call It What You Want off of her album, Reputation. I definitely thought this song was going to be about her ex-boyfriend Joe Alwyn but I now think that it could be about her possible fling with British song artist Marty Healy. Swift is able to express her emotions in such a beautiful way that just breaks hearts.

Track 6: But Daddy I love him

When I first heard this song it gave Evermore era which I love. I could visualize this song in my head because of how descriptive she is able to write her songs. I can just picture Swift herself running through a field of wildflowers singing this song at the top of her lungs as the sun sets in the background. 

Track 7: Fresh Out The Slammer

The opening instrumental of this song gave me a bit of Chris Stapleton vibes which Swift has collaborated with on her re-release of Red (Taylor’s Version) which I was a fan of. It also reminded me of an old-timey black-and-white cowboy movie with a standoff in the desert. Then the vibe becomes more modern and more of Swift’s style. I love the lyrics and how she sings about how she knows who her first phone call after getting out will be to. 

Track 8: Florida!!! (feat. Florence + The Machine)

This song got straight to the point. Oh, how I love Swift. This song has such a summer vibe that you blast on a summer night with the car windows down while you drive around in the country of your small hometown with your closest friends and just let the wind blow your hair all over the place. Florence + The Machine and Swift’s voices are perfect together. They fit so well together.

Track 9: Guilty as Sin?

As someone who doesn’t just appreciate lyrics but also the instrumental, I love the drums at the beginning of the song and how simple the song starts off. The song goes from being so simple to becoming so heartfelt and becomes another song that pulls on my heartstrings. This song reminds me of the “first love” experience. The kind of love that takes over your mind 24/7. The kind of love where you are able to just sit and talk for hours and not do anything but sit and talk for hours. This song easily became one of my favorite songs off the album. 

Track 10: Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?

This is not what I thought this song was going to sound like at all. When hearing this song, it felt like a get-back song for anyone who has ever talked badly about Swift. It felt like a public letter written to the news outlets who wrote misleading articles on Swift and would write about all of her relationships. I love how she did not hold back at all in this song and it shows how much power she has.

In this song, Swift showed she was THE MAN!

— Reagan Westphal

Track 11: I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)

This song was again another track I did not think would sound the way it does. It is like her song Fresh Out The Slammer. It has a bit of a country twang to it, which Taylor is no stranger to. I like how Swift is able to put a pop vibe and country vibe into one song.

Track 12: loml

The piano in the background was so beautiful and added such a soft touch to this song. This song sounds like a song you would dance to in a ballroom with the love of your life where you just stare into each other’s eyes. Swift talks about all of the feelings of falling in love and out of it as well but still loving that person. This song holds so much meaning and emotion. It leaves you just sitting there not singing along but thinking about the lyrics.

Track 13: I Can Do It With a Broken Heart

I knew I was going to love this song just from the title. This song sounds like it could have been one of the vault tracks from 1989 (Taylor’s Version). I love hearing songs that remind me of other songs I love so I really enjoyed this song. I can almost see how this music video would be filmed. 

Track 14:The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived

I could tell by the title of this song that it was going to be a sad song and sad it was. I think that this song would have been really good on Folklore or Evermore because the beat in the background is similar to many of the songs off those albums. I like this song but it is not my favorite. I love the bridge of the song the best out of the other lyrics.

Track 15: The Alchemy

The beat of this song was very different from the other songs but I like the lyrics a lot. I like how Swift started to sing right from the start. My favorite lyric from the song is “the sign on your heart said it’s still reserved for me.” I love that because it’s like saying you know someone is waiting for you and you are waiting for them. This song is the definition of ‘right person, wrong time’.

Track 16: Clara bow

It is the kind of song you listen to when you realize you’re in love for the first time just by looking at them. I like that there are songs like this on the album that are about falling in love. It balances out the heartbreak songs and yearnful songs.

I really liked this song. The beat reminded me of a Gracie Abrams song. This song was such a teenage girl bop.

— Reagan Westphal

Track 17: The Black Dog

It seems as though Swift has a pattern in which the tracks are laid out in her albums. I mean, of course she does, she is Taylor Swift. It seems like she is going through the phases of being in love and falling in love along with also falling out of love. This is one of her heartbreak songs because in the song, she asks if she is missed by the person that once used to love her. I like this song and how the lyrics build onto one another. Swift ends the song by saying “Old habits start creeping.” That was so powerful.

Track 18:imgonnagetyouback 

This song easily became one of my favorites so quickly. I loved the beat of the song and the lyrics. I love how the song is about struggling to let a person go and wanting them back. I think this song is so powerful and full of emotion like many of the other songs on the album but this one holds so much more. The feeling of being in denial over a relationship that ended really shows in this song. This song is top-tier. 

Track 19: The albatross

This song was another song that reminded me of Swift’s other albums, Folklore and Evermore. I could definitely see this song being on either of those albums. I like the humming in the background of the track while Swift sings.

Track 20: Chole or Sam or Sophia or Marcus

When looking at the track name I had no idea what to expect out of this song because it’s nothing like other track names Swift has but then it reminded me of the August, Betty and James love triangle that Swift wrote about on her Folklore album. I love the softness of Swift’s voice on this track but it is not my favorite. 

Track 21: How Did It End?

There is something about when Swift adds a piano to any of her songs as the lead instrument that just lifts my soul out of my body and takes me to a different world. I can feel the emotion in Swift’s voice each time she asks the question “How did it end?” It’s like she is reminded each time she hears those words of how everything played out.

Track 22: So High School

The guitar at the beginning of this song reminded me of some of the guitar off of the Red (Taylor’s Version) album. All I could think about while listening to this song is falling in love for the first time and having that moment replay in your head because of how happy that moment was. My favorite part is where she says “Are you going to marry, kiss or kill me” because that is such a high school teenage girl thing to say. 

Track 23: I Hate It Here

Any time there is a guitar on a Swift song it is one of the first things I am able to notice because each note and chord that is played just seems to fit with Swift’s voice so well. I enjoyed this song because it was like Swift was telling the story of hating the place you are in because it reminds me of something you lost and keeps you heartbroken being there. 

Track 24: thanK you aIMee

HOLY COW. Wow. All I can say about this song is that Swift dissed Kim Kardashian so hard in such a classy way. Swift is a mastermind. 

Track 25: I Look in People’s Windows

In this song it seems as though Swift is trying to show that this song could be about never really letting go of someone and never being able to let go because you still want to be in their life. A short but sweet song. 

Track 26: The Prophecy 

When listening to this song it seemed like Swift was angry at first and then sad but honestly I think she was both. I was not as much of a fan of this song as other songs on this song but would never skip it. Just not a favorite.

Track 27: Cassandra

I will definitely say that this song is a little slow for my liking but I like the story she is telling in this song. It reminded me of her song Betty because she is telling a story of a person like it’s a book. 

Track 28: Peter

I have come to the conclusion that there are few songs with names as the titles that I like by Swift. I don’t think they are bad but I definitely prefer more of her upbeat songs. I like this song though because it is the story of Peter Pan in song form.

Track 29: The Bolter

I don’t have much to say about this song other than that this song is a bop. My head just kept bobbing back and forth to the beat of the song. 

Track 30: Robin

This is a song I could see playing in the background of a movie while a character is finally finding themselves after facing many struggles throughout the film. 

Track 31: The Manuscript

This was such an amazing song to have the album end on. It pulled all of the other songs together and made the whole album become a story that Swift told beautifully.

The mastermind of this album, Taylor Swift herself did a fantastic job of telling the story of what it is like to be in love.

— Reagan Westphal

After listening to the whole album from track one to track 31, I am ready to say that this album is a 9.4/10. The mastermind of this album, Taylor Swift herself did a fantastic job of telling the story of what it is like to be in love. It was crafted so well and the easter eggs from before the release to even after fit so perfectly with the theme of the album. I love The Tortured Poets Department album so much. It gives the listener a little taste of some of Swift’s older music and a bit of her new style.

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About the Contributor
Reagan Westphal
Reagan Westphal, Reporter; Yearbook Copy Editor
(she/her) Reagan Westphal is a Junior at West High. This is her second year being part of the yearbook and first year being part of the Wahawk Insider staff as a reporter. Within yearbook, she is the Copy editor and outside of yearbook and Insider she can be found running cross country, on the field playing soccer, wrestling, listening to music, taking pictures, playing guitar, and working as a host at Doughy Joeys.
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