Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Entertainment

The Tortured Poets Department: A Review From a Swiftie Since 2008

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 SPU chapter.

As a Swfitie since the og Fearless dropped, I think it’s safe to say I am an avid consumer of Taylor Swift’s music (my august tattoo says hello). When Taylor announced her new album, THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT, to say I was excited is an understatement.

I had the pleasure of listening to this album with two of my best friends and it was such a fun time. As you may know, 2 hours after the album’s initial release, Taylor announced it was a double album! Needless to say, we freaked.

Now that I’ve had a few days to really give each song a good amount of attention, I can finally give my top 5 ranking and overall review. I can honestly say at this point in time that this is my favorite Taylor album.

While I wish I could give an in-depth analysis to every single song, my brain and laptop do not have the storage for that right now, so I will be diving into my top 5, as well as sharing my favorite lyric from each song! 

5. The Black Dog

This song was our first impression of The Anthology and I think it was such a beautiful introduction to the second part of the story. One thing about me is I love songs with a slow build, and this song was a perfect example of this. The mix of anger and sadness makes screaming this song so cathartic.

Favorite Lyric: You said I needed a brave man, then proceeded to play him until I believed it too, and it kills me

4. Fortnight (Feat. Post Malone)

One thing about Tayor is her collabs are always incredible, so I was more than excited to see that Post Malone would be featured on this album! I personally think this song is a perfect opener for the album, as it instantly sets the dark tone for the album. This song is so heart wrenchingly honest and I don’t think she could have picked a better opener!

Favorite lyric: I love you, its ruining my life

3. Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?

Lyrically, this song gives me major reputation vibes. She states that “the circus life made [her] mean” in Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?, which instantly reminded me of “all the jokers dressing up as kings” from Call It What You Want. I love the instant turn around in the line “who’s afraid of little old me? You should be”. This song is a perfect mix between angst and melancholy, aka two of my favorite song themes. Also loved her belting the title line, as it perfectly contrasts the lower tone of the verses.

Favorite line: Crash the party like a record scratch as I scream “Who’s afraid of little old me? You should be”

2. I Can Do It With A Broken Heart

When the tracklist first came out, I, and most of the Swiftie population, assumed this song would be about her breakup happening at the start of the Eras Tour, and it looks like we were right. Lyrically, this song is absolutely heartbreaking. Every time this song plays, I just want to give Taylor a hug, as she bravely reveals just how much she was suffering during the start of the tour and how she gave her everything to put on a happy face for us. The contrast of the devastating lyrics to the upbeat tempo makes this song instantly a favorite of mine.

Favorite lyric: Cause I’m miserable! And nobody even knows! (me too Taylor, me too)

1. The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived

Oh wow, this song was life changing. As mentioned at number 5, I love a slow build song, especially when the bridge is where the tempo changes. My friends and I were so shocked by the musical explosion at the 2:25 mark, we literally sat in a circle holding hands for the rest of the song with our jaws on the floor. I love an angry Taylor song, and this song really showcased just how hurt she was; I can only imagine how cathartic it was to write this song. I can confidently say that this song is in my top 5 Taylor songs of all time. 

Favorite lyric: You kicked out the stage lights, yet you’re still performing

Overall, this album exceeded my expectations and I have had it on repeat all week! Special shoutout to The Alchemy and Guilty as Sin?, as they were very close condensers for my top 5! I love Taylor Swift. That’s all, goodbye.

Hi! I'm Emma (she/her) and I am the senior editor for SPU's chapter of Her Campus! This is my third year as a member of Her Campus, as well as my third year being an editor/writer!