Staff Mixtape

Musixmatchers, straight from the Tortured Poets Department

Mauro di Battista
April 2024

The latest Taylor Swift album, The Tortured Poets Department, remained shrouded in mystery until its release on April 19. All we had were four covers, melancholic vibes, and all her social media accounts turned black and white. A month on, we’re still obsessed and simply had to cover it for this month’s edition of Connected.

Taylor surprised us all with a double album, The Anthology, featuring not 16, but 31 songs! As a Swiftie, I was eager not only to review the album myself but also to share feedback and feelings about it with the community. It felt like the most natural thing to do with such a substantial album. That's why I invited our Specialist Aisyah L. to join me in discussing her favorite parts of the album.

Even now, "Midnight become my afternoon" echoes in our minds, and "Hi, I'm the problem it's me" remains stuck in mine. "The Tortured Poets Department" evokes a myriad of emotions—it's energetic, sad, happy, mad, funny, romantic, absolutely dramatic, and surprising.
- Aisyah L

What struck me was how I delved more into the nostalgic and sentimental aspects of the album, while Aisyah found herself captivated by the moments when Taylor showed her nails.

Aisyah’s Songs for the time-capsule:

Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?

loml

I Can Do It With a Broken Heart

The Albatross

Mauro’s Songs for the time-capsule

The Tortured Poets Department

Guilty as Sin?

Fresh Out Of Slammer

Florida!!!

The Albatross almost made it to my time-capsule, but I couldn’t exclude the haunting Florida!!! —how could I ignore the blend of Florence Welch and Taylor’s voices?

With 31 songs, it takes time to digest all the themes. While this album might be less cohesive than Taylor's previous works, it contains some of her finest songs. Guilty as Sin? which I’d call the younger sister of illicit affairs exudes dreaminess and sensuality.

loml evoked mixed feelings when I realized it's not "Love Of My Life" but rather "You're the loss of my life." It's sad yet beautiful, almost brought me to tears, to be honest. I Can Do It With a Broken Heart is truly something special; it ignited a spark within me. Hey, a broken heart is not a reason to feel down. TayTay proves that a broken heart can be transformed into amazing art.
- Aisyah L

I also loved the uptempo songs that always bring some kind of torment but with a glittery twist. My Boy Only Breaks Its Favorite Toys describes a toxic relationship but the way Greta Gerwig would portray it in one of her films.

And my favorite track is Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me? because the line "You don't get to tell me about sad" immediately grabs me. In fact, I adore the entire lyrics of the song. "I was tame, I was gentle 'Til the circus life made me mean." I couldn't agree more with that sentiment; sometimes, we don't intend to be unkind, but life forces us into it. Additionally, I'm particularly fond of this part: "Put narcotics into all of my songs, And that's why you're still singing along." It sheds light on why I'm so drawn to her music.
- Aisyah L

The Tortured Poets Department offers diverse perspectives and warrants exploration from various angles. Undoubtedly, we'll continue to listen to it in the coming months, especially as the Eras Tour traverses the globe.

Mauro di Battista
Pragmatic dreamer and lyrics passionate, connected to this world but always with my headphones on and my thoughts in space. In the eight hours per day that I'm in reality, I share, I care, and I communicate with our great community of music lovers.
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