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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 Conn Coll chapter.

On April 19, 2024, Taylor Swift dropped not one, but two new albums. With 31 total new songs featured on THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT: THE ANTHOLOGY, it’s clear that those of us at Her Campus Conn who are Swifties will be satiated for a while. Here are some of our thoughts on the release:

Caitlin Boyd ’24

It’s way too long.

Caroline Snyder ’26

I enjoyed most of THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT! It is definitely pretty long, but honestly, I don’t find it unbearably so, and I also feel that people would complain if it was shorter, as well. A few songs were underwhelming, but there were some really great things in there– I particularly love “Guilty as Sin?” “Cassandra,” “The Manuscript,” and “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived.” I think I was hoping for a slightly more folklore or evermore type of sound, as those are my personal favorite Taylor Swift albums, but there was a lot I enjoyed about this album. My main criticism would have to be the stupid line about the 1830s… What on earth was that? Overall, though, I have really enjoyed the album, and even songs I initially didn’t love have definitely grown on me. Taylor Swift is an incredible songwriter. 

Madeline Motes ’27

To be honest, THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT did not turn out to have the vibe I was hoping for. A lot of the songs sounded very similar, and they blurred together overall. However, there were a few exceptions. “Florida!!!” was one of those exceptions for me, and one of my favorites on the album, as well as “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?” and “I Hate It Here.” I am still much more excited for Rep TV though, because that’s my favorite era. “The Black Dog” is another one from THE ANTHOLOGY (the 2am set of songs) where you really have to pay attention to the lyrics to truly enjoy it. All in all, it’s a solid 5.5/10 for me, and it’s been fun speculating which songs are about who!

Olivia Stacey ’27

At first, I was disappointed by TTPD. I like some of the lyrics, but was hoping for more musicality. To me, nothing will ever beat folklore. Yet as I play the album more this week, I’m starting to love “Fortnight,” “I Look in People’s Windows,” and “Fresh Out the Slammer.” A lot of the songs are super romantic, but you have to listen hard to the lyrics. The songs I don’t like I would enjoy if they were just poems. A common critique I have heard about the album is that most of the songs sound the same. I think that’s because the focus is supposed to be more on the lyrics and their function as poetry rather than the music, which is why I think some of the songs would be better as just poems. I do love the aesthetic of THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT, and I am excited to see which songs Swift chooses to perform live! 

Catherine Gwinnett ’24

Full disclosure: I have not listened to the full album, and I don’t know much about it beyond the X (formerly Twitter) memes. The songs I have heard are fine, but for the sake of always having an opinion (and I always do), I think it is interesting to see how huge pop artists are returning to Western music trends. I noticed that in several songs, such as “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)” and “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?,” there are a lot of especially twangy and deeper guitar strums, which typically characterize western folk music. In conjunction with Beyoncé’s iconic COWBOY CARTER album, and probably many other musicians and albums that I am woefully unfamiliar with, I like to think that Western and Country is coming back to the mainstream. Coming from North Carolina, folk and bluegrass are some of my favorite genres!

Lara Beckius ’24

To be completely honest, THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT has not made its way into my daily Spotify listening quite like COWBOY CARTER has, but I continue to be amazed by Taylor Swift, her abilities as a musician and lyricist… and her fans. My favorite song so far is “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?” because of the movie-soundtrack-like instrumentation and intensity. If I had to paint a correlation between my music taste and Swift’s discography, the more orchestration, the more I like a song. I’ve also been appreciating the TikTok edits to this one. It’ll be interesting to see how the public reception of THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT grows and changes over time, but until then, I’ll be patiently waiting for Dua to drop Radical Optimism next week. 

Lara is a senior at Connecticut College, where she is pursuing a double major in environmental studies and economics with a minor in dance. Her interests include choreography, sustainability, the performing arts, and conservation.
Caitlin Boyd

Conn Coll '24

Caitlin Boyd is a junior at Connecticut College studying neuroscience. She loves writing everything from book recs, to music reviews, to campus life experiences! If you see Caitlin around Conn, she is probably looking fascinated by the campus squirrels.
Caroline Snyder is a rising junior at Connecticut College who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies! She is the president of Conn's Her Campus chapter, co-captain of the college's Equestrian Team, aids in education work in the Office of Sexual Violence Prevention, and works in the college's archives, among other things. She loves writing, reading, her cat, dinosaurs, working out, and sustainability.
Madeline Motes

Conn Coll '27

Hi! My name is Madeline and I'm a first-year student at Conn! I'm from DC and I went to Jackson-Reed High School. I love swimming, creative writing and traveling. I also spent three years of high school living overseas in Amman, Jordan where I got to travel to lots of exciting countries, such as an international swim meet in Greece and a community service trip to Cape Town, South Africa. I also enjoy cooking and baking. I am very excited to be a part of HerCampus!
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Olivia Stacey

Conn Coll '27

Olivia (she/her) is a freshman at Connecticut College majoring in English and Gender, Sexuality, and Intersectionality studies. She loves reading, cooking, and spending time outside!
Hello! My name is Catherine (she/her) and I am a Classical Languages and Art History major at Connecticut College. I am also completing a Museum Studies Certificate Program here. I work as a curatorial and archival intern at the New London County Historical Society, and I love visiting museums and spending time around good (and bad) art.