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The Tortured Poets Department: A Torturous listen


Back in April, music artist Taylor Swift released her 11th album, “The Tortured Poets Department.” 


Now there are two types of people in the world: people who love Taylor Swift, and people who hate Taylor Swift. I am neither. I don’t listen to modern music, so most of Taylor’s stuff is unfamiliar territory for me, and with her fans being the way they are, this territory is like a minefield. After going through a list of her songs, I do recognize some names, but not many. 


So I decided why not. Let’s give her new album a listen. I’ve been indoctrinated into worse things before. 


Before I talk about the album, I think we should talk about the cover. The standard cover, and the cover I was first exposed to, is definitely something that should probably be censored. Seriously, who’s idea was this to make this the album cover? The alternate cover is better, just showing Taylor from the waist up (thank God), and… wait a minute? Why are there two covers? 


Well, for whatever reason, Taylor made two versions of the same album, and released them on the same day. What’s the point?! They’re literally just the same album, except the alternate version adds an extra hour to an already hour long record. I seriously am just baffled at the choices, and we haven’t ever gotten to the songs themselves. Why would you make two versions of the same album and release them on the same day? There’s no point. Just release it as a two hour long album or release two albums. Why two versions of the same album though? 


Before listening to the album, I decided to look through the titles of the songs, and good golly are they something. “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys,” “Down Bad,” “But Daddy I Love Him,” “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?,” “Loml,” “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived,” etc. are all hilarious song titles, and those are only songs from the first half of the album. There’s also a song called “Clara Bow.” The silent film actress? Why would she name it after Clara Bow? None of her fans are gonna know who that is. They’re probably too young to remember “Shake it Off.”


Well this is where our fun ends. I went to this album open-minded, and I genuinely feel like I lost brain cells from this album. This album is so long and boring. It’s like watching paint dry, but instead of getting stimulated from watching the paint, my stimulation is a pop star who destroys the Earth with her private jet. 


All the songs sound the same. I’m at a loss of words to talk about them. I would have an easier time explaining the taste of water than explaining these songs. The best way to describe this album is that if these songs came on the radio, I wouldn’t turn them off, but I would never put them on willingly. 


This album is two hours long, and it didn’t even have to be one. I’ve heard albums that are only half an hour that are better than this entire piece of work. This album is the poster child of the saying “quality over quantity.” Seriously, the best part of listening to this album were the commercial breaks I got in between songs. I’ve heard radio jingles with more soul than the songs on this album. 


Every song on this album is around three to four minutes long, and none of them stand out from one another. And I know The Beatles’ White Album is 90 minutes long, but every song sounds completely different. If you don’t believe me, just pick five random songs from the album. Now, pick five random songs from this album. They sound the exact same. 


Now I will say the background music is pretty good. I especially like the use of synthesizers on the album. However, a little variety in sound won’t hurt her bank account. 


The main single of the album, “Fortnight,” was picked as the single for obvious reasons. It has Post Malone on it. However, the song picked to be the single could’ve been any of them. They all sound the same. And, I’m sorry, but I can’t take a song seriously where the chorus has Taylor singing, “I touched you for only a fortnight.” Call me immature if you want. 


I know it’s become a meme to clown on the album’s lyrics, and that’s for good reason. They’re so shallow and pedantic. My favorite example is the third song off the album, “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys,” in which she compares her romance with a guy to kids playing in a sandbox. How romantic. 


Another example of the goofy lyrics is from “Guilty as Sin?”, where she goes from talking about religion to singing the line,” What if he’s written ‘mine’ on my upper thigh only in my mind?” How cartoonish. I also love “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?,” which is Taylor’s tragic attempt at being edgy. She gives Jojo Siwa a run for her money in this song. No matter how hardcore she tries to be, I cannot take the line, “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?” seriously. 


This album sucks. I’d give it a light 2 out of 5. I’ve heard better and more original songs from Boy Scouts, and the songs here are as diverse as a 1950s movie. The songs are boring, and I hope Taylor gets on her jet and never comes back. That sure won’t be the day the music dies.

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About the Contributor
Water Butler
My name is Walter Butler and I am currently a Junior at Anderson High School. Usually, I can be funny, friendly, and outgoing.  I'm interested in writing about the crazy and weird stuff you don't see or even hear about every day. The wacky stuff about abnormal things that are done by unusual people. I also like to write comedy stories in my free time. I am also reliable and flexible when it comes to work. In my free time I like to watch a lot of old comedies, which is where I get my influence to write my comical stories. I also like to listen to old music from the 60's and 70's, and I've also got a small collection of old vinyl records from that old era. My goal is to entertain you with my stories, or maybe teach you something you didn't know before reading it.
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