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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

The insanely anticipated fourteenth album belonging to Taylor Swift has finally graced our ears and taken over our social media algorithms. Regardless of its registration as a synth pop album, fans were expecting a love child of ‘folklore’ and ‘evermore’, sophisticated, sonically poetic and heartbreaking. What we got within the unexpected double drop, consisting of 31 songs in total, was something more akin to the singles off of Swift’s 2022 album ‘Midnights’. 

The first section of the album harbored good old fashion pop hits, something Taylor has mastered. Most of the lyrics were surface level digs at her ex Joe Alwyn, who we all expected to be torn apart within this album, and unexpected mentions of Matty Healy. While many songs were juvenile in lyrics with catchy beats, others were heartfelt ballads masked by the dizzying synth pop mixes; such as “loml,” “The Alchemy,” and “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived.” 

The unexpected second release of “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology” brought us tracks that fit the heartwrenching, melancholy tunes we were anticipating. Songs such as “The Prophecy”, “Peter”, “The Black Dog”, and “Robin” were tracks that could have easily been vaulted on Swift’s more poetic albums.

Although this album did not completely live up to my expectations of ballads that would send me into emotional distress, maybe we were given something we didn’t know we needed. Out of the 31 songs we were given, there were of course some that didn’t fully land or resonate with me, but to a greater extent, my brain chemistry has been altered for the better through my favorite tracks. I could go on forever about each of my favorite songs but for now I will give a thorough review of my top five. 

Guilty As Sin?

Arguably my favorite song of the entire drop, ‘Guilty As Sin?’ was the perfect mixture of catchy and honest lyricism topped off with the unbeatable composition from Jack Antonoff. This track could have flawlessly been on Swift’s album ‘Midnights.’

Down Bad

In my personal second place, ‘Down Bad’ immediately won me over. How did Taylor know I have, in fact, been down bad crying at the gym? Regardless of the juvenile lyrics, the vibe of the song is unbeatable.

The Prophecy

As the new anthem for all us hopeless romantics, ‘The Prophecy’ stemming from the second half of Swift’s release, portrays bargaining with the universe in pursuit of love.

My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys

The first thought I had while listening to ‘My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys,’ was that it could have easily been in a 2014 ‘Divergent’ Tumblr edit. Another masterpiece created with the help of Jack Antonoff, this track could have been an addition to ‘1989 Taylor’s Version.’


Last but certainly not least, ‘imgonnagetyouback’ is the perfect song to slink around to. From the lyrics to the composition, it checks all the boxes for me. As a ‘Reputation’ defender, I think it could have even been from the yet to be released ‘Reputation: Taylor’s Version’ vault.

‘The Tortured Poets Department’ has completely taken over my Spotify account, and while it has not defeated Swift’s other albums in the competition to be my favorite, it has won a special place in my library.

Summer Deciucis is a Journalism and Fashion Merchandising student at Virginia Commonwealth University, and an HCVCU editorial member. She has interests in pop culture, current social issues, fashion, and true crime.