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The Tortured Eagles Department

Taylor Swift’s long awaited new album, bop or flop?
One of the many album covers for ‘The Tortured Poets Department.”

     The album that many have been awaiting, whether to stay up until midnight for a listening party or to trash on its writer’s career, The Tortured Poet’s Department by Taylor Swift has been an album spreading like wildfire around the world.

Being honest, you’re going to  receive the unbiased opinions of a girl who isn’t quite a Swiftie, but isn’t a D1 hater of her entire existence. Additionally, I will include selections from all of the new songs she has released, including those in ‘The Anthology.”

Fortnight (Feat. Post Malone): 7/10

     I did have a little giggle about the fact I could say I’m listening to ‘Fortnite’ by Taylor Swift. Of course, you know that the 13-year-old boy within me had a field day relating it to his favorite game, which somehow includes Peter Griffin and Beyoncé in the same universe.

     Post Malone was a surprising collaboration that I wasn’t expecting, and this was an interesting style for him to try out. “I hope you’re okay, but you’re the reason” hit hard. A lot of times in breakups we struggle to hate the person even after they make us feel horrible. I really just loved the way his voice sounded in this song, but other than that the song felt a little bit anticlimactic and repetitive. Not that I hated it, but I think a stronger bridge or switch up would’ve been nice.

The Tortured Poets Department: 6/10

     It triggered me a little bit how this wasn’t the opener of the album. Not only is it the namesake of the album itself, it just feels more like an opener than Fortnight did. The vibe of the song was giving very 1989 vibes. I felt that with a lot of songs throughout the album some were unique, but a handful of them pulled from styles and references from previous albums. I was disappointed with the lack of Reputation-esque songs.

     This was another song that the bridge was disappointing. There wasn’t anything overall wrong with the song, but it got to the point where it was so repetitive that it could have been over earlier. 

My Boy Only Breaks his Favorite Toys: 10/10

     This song was one of my absolute favorites. “I’m queen of sand castles he destroys” was a lyric that I loved. This song had the variety that I longed for in the first two. It also felt like the perfect length, I didn’t get tired of it before it ended. 

Down Bad: 8/10

     This was the first song on the album I ever heard. I have seen a bunch of different opinions on it, but I liked it. On the contrary, to quote my fellow staff member Anna, “It sounds like I would hear this in a Hollister dressing room.” I too, Taylor, have been down bad crying at the gym. As I always say, a breakup is just a free preworkout.

So Long London: 6/10

I’m not 100% sure why, but the beginning of this song makes me laugh. As I mentioned earlier, I am not a Swiftie whatsoever, so I can never really tell which boy on the roster each song is about. However, I know Joe Alwyn is British, and if she’s still writing songs about him…

    girl it’s time to get over it, respectfully. 

But Daddy I love Him: 10/10

     This song makes me laugh too, but in such a good way. She literally pretty much says ‘I’m pregnant, sike jk lol.’ You’re so silly for that Taylor. The actual instrumentals feel very free for me. When describing running wild and free with her ‘dress unbuttoned,’ I feel like that is really reflected with the actual music.

Fresh Out The Slammer: 5/10

     The instrumentals are really giving Lana Del Rey to me. “Out the slammer” is such a funny phrase to me, it reminds me of those cartoon bandits walking on their tiptoes in the black and white striped shirts. Other than that, I really just found the song quite bland.

Florida!!! (feat. Florence + The Machine): 10/10

      FLORIDAAAAA!!! DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN. I loved this song, and I love Florence and the Machine. The song just feels so epic, and I have loved the vacation and Disney trip recaps that have emerged on Instagram Reels using this song. I do like Florence more than Taylor in this song. Nothing against Tay Tay, just my opinion.

Guilty as Sin?: 1/10

     Being 100% brutally honest? Skip. I just think it is the plain white bread with the crusts cut off of the album. I can also understand how parts of the Christian community may be a little iffy about the religious themes and relating them in a slightly sexual nature.  

Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me?: 3/10

     A lot of questions as song titles in this album, Taylor. We don’t have all the answers girly. This song gives me a little bit of secondhand embarrassment. I mean can you just imagine minding your own business at a party and Taylor just starts stomping her foot down and yelling this…try not to cringe challenge: level impossible. 

I Can Fix Him (No I really can): 1/10

     Put a finger down if you have said this exact sentence. For me, the first few celebrity crushes included Draco Malfoy, Loki and the Joker. I’ve had my share of I can fix hims (still holding out for Darth Vader.) Unfortunately, this song is another big fat yawn for me. It was also a little bit awkward when she starts saying “good boy”… you can keep that to yourself. 

I Can Do It With a Broken Heart: 10/10

     This song reminds me of ‘Anti-Hero.’ It is very groovy, and “I’m so depressed I act like it’s my birthday” made me laugh. I like this song a lot, and when you really listen to the lyrics they can be pretty relatable. 

The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived: 4/10   

     I didn’t understand a lot of references in this song, probably since I’m not one of those girls who has a file full of every single event of Taylor’s dating history, tabbed and annotated. This song was slow to start off, but I liked the lyrics. Just another song I feel like she took too much time on.

The Alchemy: 9/10

     Another one of my favorites. It’s giving a comeback, it’s giving baddie. As someone who has been in the hospital quite a few times, I can also agree with the fact that it is the worst sleep I have ever had. The rhythms are also very pleasing to my ears. A bit of niche nostalgia, but the title reminds me of playing that Little Alchemy game on my chromebook. 

The Black Dog: 1/10

     YAWN, next.

imgonnagetyouback: 6/10

     Alright, I know I can’t be the only one who thought about ‘get him back’ by Olivia Rodrigo. I like this song in itself, but it gives me mixed feelings how similar it is to Olivia’s song. Could we not have been a tiny bit more creative?

So High School: 9/10

     There are some absolutely WILD lyrics in this song. Something about GTA and touching and- shudders. You’re kinda crazy for that Taylor girl. “You know how to ball, I know Aristotle” lowkey was a banger line though. I did mess with the actual music in this one, it was groovy.

thanK you aIMee: 1/10

     The title is BOLD. However, I was hoping that this song would have more of a Reputation/revenge vibe. I was disappointed by that and thought the song was pretty underwhelming and bland. 

 Cassandra: 7/10

I liked this song, I thought that it was very unique with the actual style of it. The only thing I would change is that I wish the build-up of the song actually led to something more climatic.

Peter: 8/10

This song hit close to home for me, and I liked that the allusion to Peter Pan was subtle and not what the entire song was about. This feels like one of her more raw and emotional songs.

     Overall, I think this album deserves a 6/10. There were some bangers, but the skips outweigh them. Definitely not on my top Taylor albums, but my ears aren’t bleeding. I had high hopes for this album, but had to tell Taylor “you’re losing me” by the middle of the album.

I’m hoping that the Swifties don’t read this review and see me as an anti-hero. Trust me, I am ecstatic to see the next Taylor Swift vs. Unnamed Football team game. “Go Taylor’s Boyfriend!” (That was painful to type.)

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About the Contributor
Pressley Grzybowski
Pressley Grzybowski, Photography Manager
Pressley Grzybowski (she/her) is a Sophomore at GlenOak this year, and the Photography Manager for The Eagle. This is her 2nd year on staff. At GlenOak, Pressley is in both Chorale and Notables, Student Council, Student Ambassadors, and is a member of the International Thespian Society. Outside of school, Pressley teaches Sunday school at her church and engages in numerous volunteer opportunities. Her favorite food is any kind of Asian cuisine, and her favorite singer is Laufey.
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