The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



Swifties are no Longer “Tortured” with Anticipation; “The Tortured Poets Department” is out!


Streaming platform Spotify displays the same songs for many Taylor Swift fans. Photo collage courtesy of sophomore Charly Elston.


  People all around the world have flocked to various streaming platforms to listen to prolific artist Taylor Swift’s newest album, “The Tortured Poets Department.” Many of these listeners are at San Luis Obispo High School.

  “I have a very high opinion of Taylor Swift. I have loved Taylor Swift since she put out her album ‘Red’, which was in 2012. I was seven years old, and I immediately gravitated towards her music and her sound and I’ve just been following her ever since,” said senior Emily Sincoff.

  “The Tortured Poets Department” was released at nine p.m. PST on Thursday, April 18, as Swift’s eleventh studio album. Heavily anticipated by students across campus, the album was met by a wave of excitement. At eleven p.m. PST, the extended “The Anthology” edition came out, contributing an additional fifteen songs.

  “It definitely shows a different side to [Swift]; it’s more of a darker side. She talks about topics that she was struggling [with] during the ‘Eras Tour’, which I really like because it gets us to see Taylor for herself,” said sophomore Hudson Zurbach.

  The album is reminiscent of Swift’s previous albums, “Midnights” and “evermore.” Swift uses her expertly crafted lyrics to create themes throughout her songs, drawing people in on even the first listen. Swift has established a consistent ability to appeal to people from all walks of life by playing on well-known human emotions and expressing them in ways all sorts of people can relate to, fans of Swift or not.

  “There’s a range of emotions, despite people [who] say all her songs sound the same. While like this one I feel has a very good range of them. Because there are songs like ‘So Long London’ which [is] in the middle because it’s a sad way of her talking about her experience,” said Zurbach.

  The real question is, though, does the album live up to the anticipation? Is it a success, or a flop?

  Definitively, the album is a success. Every song has the passion, emotions, and power associated with Swift’s music, pushing an intense experience on the listener. The titular track is infused with the energy expected of the album. Songs such as “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys,” “But Daddy I Love Him,” “loml,” “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?”  and “Guilty as Sin” stand out as especially powerful, resonating with raw emotions.

  “I know it’s not gonna be everyone’s vibe, but it is exactly my vibe. And it just all like the synth pop scratches an itch in my brain. All the songs are pretty long and so I love the long, ranty, super lyric-heavy with pleasing music in the background that is not too overpowering,” said Sincoff.

  Swift is often criticized for only writing songs about breakups, however this assessment is a surface-level analysis and ignores the various songs Swift has released that have nothing to do with romance, such as the song “The Man” from the album “Lover,” “marjorie” of “folklore,” and even “Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?” from “The Tortured Poets Department.” The claim that Swift only writes songs about men is reductive and discredits her talents for pulling heartstrings with music not about love, and prevents appreciation for the tracks about love, most of which are impressively crafted songs.

  “Have you listened to a Taylor Swift song? She has written over 200 songs. They’re not all breakup songs,” said Sincoff.

  Once more, Taylor Swift has displayed her lyrical prowess with her eleventh studio album, “The Tortured Poets Department.” An album not to be missed, students will surely be listening to this on repeat!



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Charly Elston, Feature Editor
Feature editor in T3

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