Taylor Swift just surprised us with a double album! Our first impressions of The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology

The day night we've been waiting for is here at last! Since Taylor announced her new album at the Grammys (and the tracklist a few days later), we Swifties have been on the edge of our seats, counting the seconds until our first Spotify listen.

Now, The Tortured Poets Department is officially here—along with its second surprise installment, The Anthology. Yep, turns out all those peace signs *actually* meant something: At 2 a.m., Taylor announced the double album, which includes 15 (!!!) additional songs. 


A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift)

Ofc, knowing that we had 31 new songs to memorize, we had to dive right in. It may be the middle of the night...but we're dishing *all* of our thoughts on the brand new songs.

The ~vibes~

For the last few years, Taylor Swift has been reinventing herself from album to album, from reputation's edgy electropop to folklore and evermore's dreamy vibes to the autobiographical synth sound of Midnights.

OG stans will be happy to hear that The Tortured Poets Department doesn't have a wildly different sound—but it combines the synth-pop from Midnights with some of Taylor's more thoughtful, reflective tracks.

TTPD is slow, pensive and lyric-heavy, like the "poets" in the title imply. According to Taylor's Instagram post from tonight, the new album's songs "reflect events, opinions and sentiments from a fleeting and fatalistic moment in time—one that was both sensational and sorrowful in equal measure."


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The sound

At their core, most of the songs are classic Taylor, with themes of post-heartbreak reflection. Sound-wise, the album is close to Midnights with edgy synth-pop beats, but it takes on some of folklore's storytelling prowess with a strong emphasis on words.

The Tortured Poets Department is definitely a slow-paced album, and, ngl, we were a *little* disappointed by the lack of catchy dance songs (imagine Midnights but without any of our upbeat faves like "Bejewled" or "Karma").

But TTPD's slow tempo gives us a chance to really soak in the album's stories (which was probably Taylor's intention, since she's been teasing lyrics from the album on social media basically since that first announcement).


Tracklist preview

"Fortnight" (feat. Post Malone) and the five-minute-long "The Tortured Poets Department" kick off the album with slow and detailed narratives. (And "The Tortured Poets Department" could srsly have come from folklore with its characters and mini story within the song.)

Later, the pace picks up just a bit with slightly more uptempo songs like "But Daddy I Love Him," while "My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys" and "Down Bad" both have a cool, unique synth sound. Florence + The Machine fans will also heart Florence's vocals in "Florida!!!" where the two sing a duet (unlike some other Taylor collabs where the other artists tend to just sing backup).

Even with its slower, more musing tone, the new album still sounds like the Taylor we know. A handful of songs, like "Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?" and "I Can Do It With a Broken Heart," could have come straight from a slowed-down version of Midnights.

Oh, and might we point your attention to Taylor's presumably first songs about Travis Kelce ("The Alchemy" and "So High School")—and a not-so-subtle diss track called "thanK you aIMee" about a villain from her past (psst: peep the capital letters).

For for those Swifties who have been loving Taylor's recent dives into thoughtful, lyrical songs, TTPD will not disappoint. 

Stay tuned for even more lyric analysis, vibe breakdowns and overall TTPD content mania. In the meantime, we'll be playing the intro to "So Long, London" on repeat.


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Keep reading for more Taylor coverage:
⭐ Taylor Swift announces new album The Tortured Poets Department
⭐ Taylor Swift just announced the tracklist for her new album The Tortured Poets Department

⭐ 13 times Taylor Swift showed us that she was The Man

Slider and top image: @taylorswift


by Ava Slocum | 4/19/2024