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Some Think ‘TTPD’ Isn’t Taylor Swift’s Best Album & Are Saying Jack Antonoff’s To Blame

Taylor Swift’s 11th studio album The Tortured Poets Department is, IMO, one of her best albums, but many critics don’t think so. Swift released TTPD on April 19, and shortly after, at 2 AM on April 20, she released The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology, which is the second installment of TTPD with an additional 15 songs. While many Swifties (myself included) are claiming TTPD as one of Swift’s best works to date, critics, and some internet users disagree. 

TTPD has been receiving praise from some of the largest media outlets. Rolling Stone gave it “Instant Classic” status, and Variety said, “The Tortured Poets Department feels like it comes the closest of any of Taylor Swift’s 11 original albums to just drilling a tube directly into her brain and letting listeners mainline what comes out. “ Swifties love the album too, expressing how real she’s keeping things in the tracks. 

However, not everything is fair in love and poetry. On April 22, an article from Pitchfork reviewing TTPD went viral on X/Twitter for its brutally honest commentary on the album. The article’s author Olivia Horn,  gave TTPD a 6.6 rating, which isn’t awful, but some of the reviews of certain tracks surprised people. Horn wrote, “ Tearjerkers like ‘So Long, London’ and ‘loml’ fall short when every lyric carries equal weight. There’s no hierarchy of tragic detail; these songs fail to distill an overarching emotional truth, tending to smother rather than sting.” 

A New York Times article written by Lindsay Zoladz titled “On ‘The Tortured Poets Department,’ Taylor Swift Could Use An Editor” argues that Swift’s longtime collaboration with Jack Antonoff has gotten too repetitive (TBH, I agree a little). She wrote, “‘The Tortured Poets Department,’ however — gauzy backdrops, gently thumping synths, drum machine rhythms that lock Swift into a clipped, chirping staccato — that suggests their partnership has become too comfortable and risks growing stale.” 

These reviews have Swifties feeling conflicted. For the most part, manylove and support TTPD, but some fans have critiques to share. 

On April 20, a TikTok posted by @tawdrylorde talks about Swift and Antonoff’s collaboration, and argues that it might be time for their partnership to dissolve. 


initial thots on taylorswift, jackantonoff, and the #torturedpoetsdepartment album

♬ original sound – katherine

They argue that Antonoff is holding Swift back, production-wise. “Lyrically [TTPD is] great, poetic if you will. But sonically it sounded like one big run on sentence,” the creator said. While I love when Swift and Antonoff collab, I do have to agree with this take to an extent. And TBH, I’m not the only one.

Moral of the story is, it seems people want Swift to work more with Aaron Dessner for production, and I have to agree. ICYMI, Dessner, is a producer, songwriter, and member of the band The National. Dessner has produced some of the most iconic Swift tracks, like “Hits Different,” “Cardigan,” and “But Daddy I Love Him.” His work with Swift is accredited the most with Folklore and Evermore

I still will continue to stan TTPD and will defend it, but I see where these people are coming from (to an extent). 

Eileen is a senior at Fairfield University who is studying Communications with minors in English, Professional Writing, and Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies. She has a passion for magazine writing and hopes to pursue a career in the field. Eileen is the Entertainment & Culture Intern at Her Campus where she covers all things pop culture, entertainment, and internet trends. Eileen was formerly a National Writer for Her Campus from April 2023 - January 2024. Eileen is one of the Campus Correspondents (CCs) at Her Campus' Fairfield University chapter. She oversees the entire chapter and works with her other CC to curate ideas and events for HCFU. She also mentors and trains the editorial team and helps create content and boost engagement alongside the social media team. In her free time, you can find Eileen creating new Spotify playlists, getting a sweet treat with friends, or obsessing over Taylor Swift. If she isn’t doing that, you’ll likely find Eileen with her six best friends from school talking about their “Big Three”: "Normal People," their favorite "Dancing With The Stars" performances, and Greta Gerwig's "Little Women."