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The Lancer Ledger

The Student News Site of Lakeland Regional High School

The Lancer Ledger

The Student News Site of Lakeland Regional High School

The Lancer Ledger

Tortured Poets Department Delivers & Breaks Records

“The Tortured Poets Department” – Taylor Swift” by Brett Jordan (CC BY 2.0)
One of Swift’s album covers for “The Tortured Poets Department.”

If you can’t stop listening to Taylor Swift’s 11th studio album The Tortured Poets Department, you’re not alone. Listeners around the world are raving about the album in what Billboard Magazine called a “historic debut.”

During her Grammy acceptance speech, which took place on February 4, 2024, Swift announced that at midnight on April 19, 2024 she would release The Tortured Poets Department (TTPD) as a standard 16-song album. Swift had advertised 4 additional records and each addition would include 1 bonus track. Fans then rushed to pre-order the records with one of the added songs and had to choose between the editions with either “The Manuscript,” “The Bolter,” “The Albatross,” or “The Black Dog.”

On release night, the superstar shocked fans with posts saying “It’s a 2am surprise: The Tortured Poets Department is a secret DOUBLE album. I’d written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you, so here’s the second installment of TTPD: The Anthology. 15 extra songs. And now the story isn’t mine anymore… it’s all yours.” Swift had been including hidden number “2’s” and holding up 2 fingers on several occasions, causing fans to dive deeper into the meaning behind these “Easter eggs,” and some were successful in speculating The Tortured Poets Department would be a double album.

Going into the release fans speculated the majority of the tortured poems would be about the end of Swift’s 7 year relationship with actor Joe Alwyn. Although this rang true and some lyrics may be accredited to Alwyn, fans surmise many of the songs are about lead singer of The 1975, Matty Healy. There are also mentions of Swift’s struggles with fame and the joy she feels in her new relationship with the Chiefs tight end, Travis Kelce, on top of much more.

Taylor Swift

This synth-pop studio album, following Swift’s 2022 10th album Midnights, has been widely successful. The Tortured Poets Department reached number 1 on the Billboard Top 200 after its debut. Each one of Swift’s full-length albums since the Fearless release in 2008 have debuted at number 1 on Billboard charts. The Tortured Poets Department is Swift’s 14th album to reach this rating and Swift is now tied with Jay-Z for the most number 1 records for any soloist on this chart. The record launched with 2.61 million equivalent album units earned in the U.S. within a week of release with digital downloads, CDs, vinyl LPs, and cassettes comprising 1.914 million of those units. According to Billboard magazine, these figures set new records for the largest streaming week ever, the third-largest sales week in the modern era, and make The Tortured Poets Department the top-selling album of 2024.

Swift has been overjoyed with the love felt towards the album. She shared on X, “I’m completely floored by the love you’ve shown this album… 2.6 million ARE YOU ACTUALLY SERIOUS?? Thank you for listening, streaming, and welcoming Tortured Poets into your life. Feeling completely overwhelmed.”

Since 2019, Swift has released 5 new studio albums, in addition to 4 re-recorded versions of previous albums. The momentum of all this music in addition to her record breaking “Eras Tour” has made Swift one of the biggest acts in the industry. Swift’s tour will “Begin Again” on May 9 in Paris.

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About the Contributor
Christiana Ranft
Christiana Ranft, Staff Writer
Christiana Ranft is a senior at LRHS and is a writer for the Lancer Ledger in Journalism 1. She enjoys reading and writing, and plans on pursuing an English major. Ranft hopes to expand her writing skills over the course of this class and share stories with the public.

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