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My Hopeful Expectations for Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poet’s Department

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

Taylor Swift, a name which often makes headlines, is dropping her 11th studio album on April 19, 2024. As the release date approaches, more information regarding the album drops. 

As a very educated swiftie, we know the tagline is: “All’s fair in love and poetry.”

Alone, this is iconic. Her fans watched her come out of a very private relationship with her previous boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. It looks like she is beginning to enjoy the public spotlight more–with help from Travis Kelce, NFL Chiefs tight end player. Despite the looming public eye, she looks to be enjoying herself without shame.

The track list of The Tortured Poets Department includes:

  1. “Fortnight” (Ft. Post Malone)
  2. “The Tortured Poets Department”
  3. “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys”
  4. “Down Bad”
  5. “So Long, London”
  6. “But Daddy I Love Him”
  7. “Fresh Out the Slammer”
  8. “Florida!!!!” (Ft. Florence + The Machine)
  9. “Guilty as Sin?”
  10. “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?”
  11.  “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)”
  12. “loml”
  13. “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart”
  14. “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived”
  15. “The Alchemy”
  16. “Clara Bow”

With exclusive bonus tracks on vinyl: “The Manuscript”, “The Black Dog”, “The Bolter” , and “The Albatross”

Some titles such as “So Long, London” and “I Can Do It With a Broken Heart,” suggest we are saying goodbye to our London Boy, Alywn. I am expecting Miss Swift to walk us through another heartbreak. 

Swift recently created five playlist on Apple Music which represent the stages of heartbreak– denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

The first playlist, “I love You, It’s Ruining My Life Songs” represents denial. It includes many songs written about the British actor, such as “Cruel Summer”, “Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince,” “False God,” and “Lover.” Swift says, “This is a list of songs about getting so caught up in the idea of something that you have a hard time seeing the red flags, possibly resulting in moments of denial and maybe a little bit of delusion.”

It seems that after she stepped out of her 6 year relationship with Alywn and began the re-recording process, she has found her voice again. 

Looking at songs such as “Bejeweled” and “Anti-Hero” on Midnights, I think they symbolize she no longer cares about the public’s opinion of her. With fans to support her, she is free to tell her story.

Title track 16 is named after actress Clara Bow who was known by her dating history and scandalous personal life. After doing some research on Clara Bow, I can’t help but think of “the last great american dynasty” and the story of Rebecca Harkness’s connection between them and Harkness’s Maine house that Swift purchased in 2013.

I am really hoping that the late release of the Midnights 3 A.M. edition: “You’re losing me” symbolized the end of the relationship with Alwyn; and works as a bridge between the success of the story-like albums of Folklore and Evermore and the relatable, emotional side of her music.

There are no confirmations yet, and we will have to wait patiently for the release on April 19. We are left with one last clue, a possible song lyric on April 8, 2024, the day of the eclipse:

“Crowd goes wild at her fingertips / Half moonshine, Full eclipse,”

Caroline Reed

Virginia Tech '24

Caroline is a senior majoring in Multimedia Journalism and minoring in Creative Writing at Virginia Tech. Caroline has been apart of HerCampus for four years and loves being around such a fun group of girls! She loves writing short fiction, poetry, and news articles. She enjoys watching old movies and listening to Taylor Swift.