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My Top 10 Songs From “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology”

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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 Oswego chapter.

Taylor Swift recently released an album called “The Tortured Poets Department” with 16 songs and a lengthened version called “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology” with 31 songs. Since many people don’t have the chance to sit down and listen to 31 songs to decide a favorite, I decided to do it for them and choose my top ten songs from the lengthened album. 

When creating this ranking, I considered elements such as lyrics, rhythm, structure, dynamics, emotional impact, relatability, and overall listenability.

  1. Imgonnagetyouback
  2. I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)
  3. Fresh Out The Slammer
  4. Guilty as Sin?
  5. Who’s Afraid Of Little Old Me?
  6. Down Bad
  7. I Can Do It With A Broken Heart 
  8. The Alchemy
  9. Fortnight (feat. Post Malone)
  10.  Clara Bow

Here is a mini-review of each song listed: 


This song is my number one because not only is it more upbeat and catchy, it has a relatable meaning and deep lyrics. After recently going through a breakup myself, the entire song resonated with me and I felt my emotions coming through the speakers. 

I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)

I felt that this song was really strong lyrically, something that Swift is good at. The lyrics felt like reading a story. I LOVED the vibe of this song, it felt very Lana Del Rey-ish to me. It was a different vibe that I haven’t heard much from Swift and I would love to hear more of it in the future. 

Fresh Out The Slammer

This song grew on me. I started this article with this song not even in my top ten and am finishing this article with it in my Top 3. I find this song to be the one most caught in my head recently. I love the second verse: “Camera flashes, welcome bashes / Get the matches, toss the ashes off the ledge / As I said in my letters, now that I know better / I will never lose my baby again.” 

Guilty as Sin?

This is another song that’s great lyrically. I feel like I’m reading poetry while reading through the lyrics. This is another one that I felt entirely resonated with me. However the line: “What if I roll the stone away? / They’re gonna crucify me anyway” really stuck with me. She means that she should just do what she wants to do because people will hate her for it regardless. This is a tough lesson to learn in life and she’s teaching this to people through music.

Who’s Afraid Of Little Old Me?

I love that this song gave “Reputation” energy. I’m surprised that she didn’t keep this in the vault to add to her “Reputation (Taylor’s Version)” album in the future because I feel like it would be a perfect fit. I love the way she yells “Who’s Afraid Of Little Old Me?” in the background and then sings “You should be” louder and more confidently. It adds to the message she’s attempting to put through this song.

Down Bad

This song may be less lyrically advanced, but the rhythm and beat make it very catchy. The message is also very relatable, which makes for a great hit. The lyrics “Fuck it if I can’t have us / I might just not get up, I might stay” resonated with me because it’s something everyone can relate to during a breakup.

I Can Do It With A Broken Heart 

I love this song. The paradox of an upbeat song to sad music displays her pushing through her broken heart and depression to perform on The Eras Tour for her fans. The line “All the piеces of me shatterеd as the crowd was chanting, ‘More’” really resonated with me because it shows how tired she is. She never seems to catch a break between shows, re-records, album releases, break-ups, etc., and yet her fans still beg her to keep releasing albums. This song is heartbreaking after deeply listening to its meaning.

The Alchemy

I love this song. Originally it was my number one and I still feel guilty putting it so low on my list for this ranking. I feel that it doesn’t compare to some of the other songs lyrically; however, the vibe, rhythm, listenability, and relatability were solid in this song. I loved the lyric, “’Cause the sign on your heart / Said it’s still reserved for me / Honestly, who are we to fight the alchemy?” It represents the difficulty during and after a breakup, and how for a long time your heart remains “reserved” for that other person because of the chemistry and history you have with them. It’s something I know I relate to, and many others do as well.

Fortnight (feat. Post Malone)

This is yet another song that Swift crafted beautifully when it comes to lyrics. It feels like she turned a poem into a song. Plus, it’s another song that I think has a lot of relatability to it. The lyrics, “I love you, it’s ruining my life” repeating throughout the song is something I think everybody feels at least once in their lifetime. The repetition adds to the emotional impact as well. Do I think Post Malone needed to be on this song? Not really. He adds an interesting vibe to it that I’m not even sure how to describe, but it wasn’t needed for this to be a good song.

Clara Bow

I originally wasn’t a huge fan of this song, but seeing TikTok edits of Sabrina Carpenter with this song in the background changed my mind because it added an entirely new meaning to the song for me. Many speculate this song was written about her and how Swift is metaphorically passing the pop princess baton to her. I’m not sure that’s entirely true, but it reveals a strong message about how artists are often seen as replacing each other on the charts, rather than just being appreciated in general. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, the album is very strong lyrically. It was a surprise to me that a majority of the songs were slower-paced, and there was a lack of her usual pop-hit vibe to it. You can tell she was striving for something different than her usual work and she did it very well. I do have to admit I wasn’t a huge fan of the album at first; I think it’s one of those albums you need to listen to more than once to love. It takes time to fully let the lyrics and emotions of each song sink in. I’ve even had to edit the ranking multiple times while writing this. Although I like many of the songs on this album, the album itself is not my favorite and may be one of my least favorite of hers. However, it may take a few more listens to grow on me.

I'm Abbey, I'm 19 years old, and am currently a junior at the School of Communication, Media, and the Arts at SUNY Oswego where I'm majoring in Broadcasting and Mass Communications with a minor in Sales. After graduation, I hope to get into either videography, journalism, or marketing. I have a passion for all three industries and I can't wait to see where the future takes me. Besides writing for Her Campus, I also am an executive producer for WTOP-10 TV Oswego's student-run newscast, a devoted pet mom to my 3-year old turtle Squirt and my 4-month old kitten Gracie (who I call Wheezie), and a manager at my hometown Taco Bell. I hope you enjoy my stories as much as I liked writing them! They are a great insight into my life, my favorite things, and my advice.