The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

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Taylor Swift is Personal Like Never before in Her Latest Album “The Tortured Poets Department


If you went onto the street, in pretty much any country or city, and asked one hundred different people, “Who is Taylor Swift?” every single one of them, whether they loved her music or hated it, would say something along the lines of “she is a very famous singer with a huge fan base and is known for writing personal music about her life” They might also say that all of her music sounds the same and each album is about her having a tough breakup and moving on too quickly. However, these same people have likely not listened to Swift’s latest album: “The Tortured Poets Department.”

This album is unique, not just to Swift and her past albums, but to other artists as well. Her lyrics transport listeners into a void with ghosts of past relationships lurking everywhere. The current is strong but the waters aren’t rough. There is a calming aroma in the water, but it isn’t safe.   

Each song in the album tells its own story, but when put together they create a complete masterpiece. “The Tortured Poets Department” echoes topics of love, loss, anger, and sadness. But even further, the theme is that nothing can last forever. The emotional writing makes it clear to listeners that Swift is going through a breakup or a split with an important person in her life, most likely a love interest. She consistently sings about a relationship that seemed to be forever but slowly fell apart over time, eventually becoming unsalvageable. 

A song in which this sadness is at its peak is “So Long, London. Lines like “I stopped CPR, after all, it’s no use” and “You say I abandoned the ship / But I was going down with it,” beautifully illustrate that despite the effort put into keeping their relationship alive,the split was inevitable. Overall, “So Long, London is a heart-wrenching song with precise lyrics and a distinguishable and consistent melody that could bring almost anyone to tears. 

When news broke of Taylor Swift’s shocking split with her boyfriend of six years, actor Joe Alwyn (the person that most of “The Tortured Poets Department” songs are speculated to feature), she had just kicked off her historic world tour, The Eras Tour. After hearing this news, fans were expecting to see a more somber Taylor Swift take the stage at the tour, but this couldn’t be further  from the truth. 

Swift performed with immense energy and showed emotion in song and dance like never before. 

Most fans assumed that she had just gotten over the split quickly, or that the two had been separated for a long time but  the media had only found out recently. However, once they had heard Swift’s newest hit, “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart,” they would never think about “the best night of their lives” (The Eras Tour) the same. In the song, “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart,” Swift uses lines like “Lights, camera, b**** smile / Even when you wanna die,” and “All the pieces of me shattered / As the crowd was chanting ‘MORE!’” to express that she wasn’t okay or happy, and her energy during the tour was simply acting.

The song is also surprisingly upbeat, contrary to the dark and depressed lyrics. This is a brilliant way to show insincerity in music. She purposefully used a happier beat to show audiences how she was living during the tour: fame and glory on the weekends, heartbreak and depression throughout the week. 

Overall, “The Tortured Poets Department” is a complex and deep album with various meanings and beautiful melodies. The somber mood visible throughout the entire record gives it a reliable mood and allows for the album to exist beautifully as a whole and not just as a collection of individual songs. Though the album speaks mostly of heartbreak, with songs like “Peter,” “The Bolter,” “The Manuscript,” and “Who’s Afraid Of Little Old Me?” that each have meanings and themes that make them special. The album is expressive as well as touching, and worthy of anyone’s time.   

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About the Contributor
Drew Brandmeyer
Drew Brandmeyer is a staff member of the Polygon and a sixth grade student at Poly. He likes to play soccer and write creatively.

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