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TTPD is, perhaps, the beginning of the end of Taylor Swift’s era

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.

The Tortured Poets Department is, perhaps, the beginning of the end of Taylor Swift‘s era and, here, I will try to explain why. In an attempt to make a project close to her last three released studio albums – folklore, evermore and Midnights -, the singer immersed into lyrics, above all, obvious ones, and melodies less explored acoustically. Of course I know that it’s impossible that in 31 songs, none would attract me – which is the case with “But Daddy I Love Him”, “Florida!!!”, “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived” and “The Black Dog”, all which I ended up loving.

But what point do I want to get to? Taylor is a great writer, always has been. However, TTPD presents some songs with plenty of phrases made simply to please the fans. And I not only blame her for that, but I also blame the singer’s fanbase – including myself -, because in any new project that Swift proposes to do, her admirers insist on trying to “uncover” who or which ex she wrote it for.

It’s important to point out that music is an art that involves poems, and poems can be fictional or not. I also know that she is known for writing songs about situations she already experienced, but I believe that, at 34 years old – especially in a post-“Folkmore” (a combination of folklore and evermore) era – Taylor no longer needs to clarify who or what she wrote these lyrics for. And, let’s face it, it’s tiring both for her and for anyone who just wants to appreciate the art.

Returning to the topic “lyrics to please fans”, I point out the case of “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart”. For me, this is a collection of “hmm, people will like this, even much more than me”, a thought influenced by the theory of Cultural Industry, by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, I would say! The song has sad lyrics, but an exciting rhythm, which makes it comical and sarcastic. Taylor even presents a deeply sad album, with writings about marriage, disappointment and anger. In fact, I was surprised by the number of songs criticizing the media – which I consider a great point.

The title song is the second track on the album, and it’s in this song that she “opens the doors” to the references about marriage that will be on the album – which were not few. Many people said that this was made for Matty Healy – lead singer of the 1975 band with whom she had a month-long affair, in mid-2023 – but I wouldn’t say that. I because it definitely was for Joe Alwyn, precisely because of the quote in which she says : “At dinner, you take my ring off my middle finger/and put it on the one people put wedding rings on/and that’s the closest I’ve come to my heart exploding”, which is, in fact, ends up being the strongest part of the song!

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“So Long, London” is the official Joe Alwyn’s funeral. Taylor doesn’t hide that this is for her old “London Boy”. This specific part: “I died at the altar waiting for the proof” scandalizes how much Swift wanted to marry Joe, but unfortunately he didn’t. Another highlight I give is to “Florida!!!” with Florence + The Machine, who adds an “extra improvement” with her vocals that really pop – opposed to Post Malone in Fortnight, for example! The song starts off quite lukewarm, followed by an increase on the chorus, which creates an expectation, but becomes lukewarm again – something that I don’t really consider a quality, but there are people who like it…

So, where did Taylor actually go wrong? As I stated in the beginning, she is a great writer and makes beautiful poems. But, how long will this work if the melodies continue to be poorly worked on by Jack Antonoff? In fact, I appreciated Aarom Dessner‘s production much more, which appears more than Antonoff in The Anthology, who just did more of the same – and didn’t get it right. For me, Taylor needs to explore acoustic music again and let go of the artificial mixes she used so much on Midnights. Was it an album that won you a Grammy? Yes. But is it worth continuing anyway? What else does Taylor Swift need to prove?


The article above was edited by Clara Rocha.

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Tiffany Maria

Casper Libero '26

I'm a journalism student at Cásper Líbero. I love read and write about anything, especially music and art. I perceive art in everything where my eyes can see. As a new person in journalism world, I’m expecting that one of my texts impacts you from some way.