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It was difficult, but here are my top 5 tracks from ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

She is back! Taylor Swift just released her new album “The Tortured Poets Department” and I needed all my willpower to choose my 5 favorites. “All’s fair in love, poetry and choosing top tracks…

Last Friday, April 19th, I was going crazy with my closest friends at our listening party for Taylor’s newest album, ‘The Tortured Poets Department’. Needless to say, we were totally devastated by the songs, sonically and lyrically. However Taylor wasn’t just breaking our hearts but also the music industry, with 313.7 million plays on Spotify, she broke the record for the most-streamed album in a single day. 

If you are a swiftie, you will agree with me that it’s incredibly hard to pick out just five favorites. Not only because I believe Taylor can’t come out with bad music, but also due to the limited time to choose (my top songs from the album always change over time). But after listening to it for about three days, somehow I narrowed it down. So here are my top 5 tracks from ‘The Tortured Poets Department’.

💿 Related: Decoding the The Tortured Poets Department Tracklist

TOP5: Fortnight

Being the album’s opening track and the lead single featuring Post Malone, “Fortnight” is a captivating song with its dynamic energy and introspective lyrics. It reflects themes of obsessive love and its devastating consequences, shown by sentences like “I love you, it’s ruining my life.” Additionally, Post Malone’s soft vocals likely add depth and emotion to the song, making it a perfect opener for the The Tortured Poets Department.

With a music video referencing ‘Poor Things’, ‘Dead Poets Society’, and Taylor Swift’s past, this track cannot be left out of my top 5. However, to be honest, I expected more participation from Post Malone’s vocals, considering his powerful voice. Nevertheless, the song’s softness resonates with me. Its captivating nature and Taylor’s use of metaphors have made me addicted to it.

TOP4: Cassandra

Almost at the end, a song stands out among the rest, one that, if you care to notice, will grow bigger with each listen. I’m talking about “Cassandra.” 

Based on the Greek mythology surrounding Cassandra, it delves into the tragic irony, where a character possesses knowledge of the future but is powerless to change it or convince others of the impending doom. Taylor sings as a cautionary reminder of the consequences of ignoring the truth and the futility of trying to alter destiny. 

With a delicate piano arrangement and Taylor’s sophisticated voice, it can convey the tragedy and anguish of the character. I love songs that tell a story, and when I first listened to this, I became obsessed. I spent hours contemplating Cassandra and the intelligence she possessed.

TOP3: Florida!!!

The music that had a profound impact on me, leaving me speechless was “Florida” feat Florence and the Machine. The lyrics are rich yet cryptic, with drums boasting clear traces of Florence Welch‘s creative touch. 

The context of the song marks a significant part of Swift’s Eras Tour, which adds depth to its meaning, Florida shows were the first stop of Swift’s Eras Tour after her widely publicized breakup with her longtime ex-boyfriend. The song portrays Florida as an escape from Swift’s issues and the necessity to flee the feeling, “Can I use you up? Florida.” 

The song is different from everything else in ‘The Tortured Poets Department, and for me, that’s what I love about it, once I listened to it, I couldn’t help but hum the chorus. And as a bonus, Florence gave so many additional lyrics. The track resonated with me on a personal level, perhaps because of its unique sound and the way it captures feelings of longing and seeking solace.

TOP2: I Can Do It With a Broken Heart

When I first heard Taylor singing about how she kept performing during The Eras Tour despite having a broken heart in “I can do it with a broken heart”, I cried; it felt so personal, challenging, and real. 

Taylor is the moment! Breaking all the records, winner of a Grammy, Person of the Year 2023 for The Time Magazine, with her tour sold out, looks like a machine, almost unreal, but she is a human just like us, ordinary people who break and have their hearts broken. In the track which I consider the liveliest track, she reveals her inner struggles, confessing, “I’m so depressed, I act like it’s my birthday every day.” 

The 13th track on the album not only stands out for its emotional depth but also its focus on The Eras Tour, making it feel even more personal for fans like me, fans who went to the show. It’s as if Taylor is speaking directly to us, sharing her vulnerabilities while continuing to perform for us.

TOP1: Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?

Taylor Swift is so good when she’s angry. With instrumental and vocal similarities, Taylor confronts and mocks the rumors surrounding her personal and professional life, using her music as a platform to assert her strength and resilience.

The repetition of “little old me” emphasizes how the media and others may underestimate or belittle her, but she’s reclaiming that narrative and showing that she’s a force to be reckoned with. The defiant line, “Who’s afraid of little old me? Well, you should be” shows that those who doubt her or spread rumors should indeed be wary of the power she wields through her music and her voice. 

When a song manages to encapsulate the essence of an entire album while delivering a captivating melody, it truly speaks to the artist’s skill in storytelling and composition. This is why “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?” deserved the top spot.

Now it’s your turn to tell me your top five favorite songs from the album! I’d love to hear which ones stood out to you the most.


The article above was edited by Maria Esther Cortez.

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Rebeca D’Angelo

Casper Libero '26

A journalism student living for the hope of it all