The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: No feed found.

Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to create a feed.

‘THE ANTHOLOGY’ displays Taylor Swift’s flawless lyricism once again

Image courtesy of Republic Records
A surprise addition to Taylor Swift’s eleventh album, “THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT: THE ANTHOLOGY” features heartfelt songs with captivating melodies.

As the clock struck midnight, millions of fans scrambled to refresh their streaming services. Whether it was Spotify, Apple Music, or any other streaming app, they all had one common goal: to access Taylor Swift’s newly released album, “THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT.” Little did they know that this was only half the excitement that the night would bring.

On April 19, Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated album, “THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT,” was dropped. Immediately, fans began reporting a mysterious countdown clock on Swift’s Instagram page, seemingly counting down to 2 a.m.. After the surprise release of “Midnights (3am Edition),” a seven-song addition released three hours after her last album, “Midnights,” was dropped, fans were quick to start speculating about what the new countdown would lead to.

As the countdown ended, “THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT: THE ANTHOLOGY” was released. This 15-song collection was filled with feeling and vulnerability, with some listeners comparing it to the likes of Swift’s previously softer-sounding albums, “folklore” and “evermore.” This is partly due to many of the songs produced by Aaron Dessner, a producer known for his acoustic sounds.

The contrast between the main album and “THE ANTHOLOGY” is immediately clear. “THE ANTHOLOGY” starts strong with “The Black Dog.” The gut-wrenching, lyrical song provides a huge distinction in tones compared to the vibrant sound of the main album. Singing, “And so I watch as you walk/Into some bar called The Black Dog/And pierce new holes in my heart,” Swift perfectly encapsulates the feeling of distrust and the devastating emotions that come after being misled. 

In another emotional song, “How Did It End,” Swift writes personal lyrics about navigating personal relationships amidst her life’s neverending heavy media coverage. With lyrics such as, “The empathetic hunger descends,” Swift refers to how her fans and the people around her are constantly more focused on digging up the story rather than asking how she’s doing. 

One of my favorite songs off “THE ANTHOLOGY” and the whole album, in general, is “Cassandra.” Although listeners commented on its dull melody, I thought it was beautifully written, perfectly accompanied by a piano in the background. “Cassandra” references a Greek myth about Cassandra, a Trojan priestess blessed by the god, Apollo, with the gift of prophecy. However, after rejecting Apollo, she was cursed so that no one would ever believe her prophecies. It is speculated that this song is written about Swift’s relationship with Kanye West and his recent controversies. The vocally-focused melody backed up by an occasional choir flawlessly captures the helpless and desperate spirit of the myth.

Although many of the songs off “THE ANTHOLOGY” are raw and melodic, Swift did include a few feel-good songs. In “So High School,” Swift compares the freeing feeling of young love with her current relationship and in the song, “thanK you aIMee,” Swift puts another one of her infamous easter eggs directly into the title. Here, she sings about how previous incidents and people in her life helped her grow into who she is today, with lyrics such as, “But when I count the scars, there’s a moment of truth/That there wouldn’t be this if there hadn’t been you.” 

As I was initially more hesitant about the synth-pop sound of “THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT”, “THE ANTHOLOGY” provided me with a more comfortable and cozy vibe to immerse myself in. Within “THE ANTHOLOGY,” I found myself listening to the softer-sounding songs more than the upbeat ones. The prose Swift uses when she writes her emotional songs is incredibly unique and irreplicable, causing them to stand out to me more than her radio-tailored songs. However, from piano ballads to sprightly and optimistic songs, “THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT: ANTHOLOGY” has something for every listener.

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

Information about our comments policy can be found here:
All tjTODAY Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *