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Everything we know about Taylor Swift's new album

From features to bonus tracks

Everything we know about Taylor Swift's new album From features to bonus tracks

Swifties are in a frenzy because today, Friday, April 19, 2024, Taylor Swift's new album, her eleventh in her career, has been released. Announced last February during the 66th edition of the Grammy Awards, it's titled The Tortured Poets Department and arrives ten years after the release of the original version of 1989, the work that established her as the queen of contemporary pop music. Here's everything we know.

The Tortured Poets Department is a double album

"I've written so many tortured poems over the past two years and I wanted to share them with all of you, so here's the second installment of the album: The Anthology. Fifteen extra songs," Taylor wrote on Instagram, adding: "And now the story isn't mine anymore... it's all yours." So, if the standard version contains 16 tracks, the Anthology one has a whopping 31. Among the 15 additional songs are The Manuscript, The Bolter, The Albatross, and The Black Dog.

The 4 versions

The Tortured Poets Department is released in three formats: vinyl, CD, and even cassette, plus deluxe editions sold through the singer's website. Merch and gadgets designed for swifties like charms, magnets, bookmarks, and postcards are also available. Those who opt for vinyl can choose from four versions, each with a different bonus track among The Manuscript, The Bolter, The Albatross, and The Black Dog. The covers, all in black and white, are also different. In the first one, made by Beth Garrabrant, Taylor is lying on a white bed, posing with her arms wrapped around her body, with the upper half of her face obscured (as in the original cover of 1989), wearing black high-waisted top and panties from The Row. An interesting fact: all physical copies of the album contain an original poem by Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac.

What's Taylor Swift's new album about?

Explaining on Instagram the origins and meaning of her work, she called it "An anthology of new songs that reflect events, opinions, and feelings of a fleeting and fatalistic moment - which was sensational and painful in equal measure. This period of the author's life is over now, the chapter is closed." She goes on to say that "the wounds have healed" and that "once we've told our saddest story, we can get rid of it. And all we leave behind is the tortured poetry."

There are several references to her exes, including Matty Healy

Fans have theorized that the album will detail Swift's separation from actor Joe Alwyn, with whom she dated for six years before their breakup in April 2023. References to the English actor and their previous relationship are both in the album title and in the title. Alwyn has, in fact, revealed in a recent interview with Paul Mescal that he has a Whatsapp group chat with Andrew Scott called The Tortured Man Club. It seems that Taylor also references Matty Healy of the 1975 in the lyrics, with whom she had a brief fling last year, for example in My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys and in The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived. Swift has somewhat confirmed the speculations by revealing that the project talks about a broken heart experienced and told almost like mourning. For this reason, the pop star has devised a series of exclusive playlists, in collaboration with Apple Music, choosing songs from her catalog that fit each of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

The Tortured Poets Department features

Taylor Swift has included some collaborations in the album, which is produced by Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner of The National. In Florida!!! we hear the ethereal voice of Florence + the Machine. In an interview with Billboard in 2015, the pop star shared admiration for Florence Welch and said "she's the most magnetic person in the room, always surrounded by people who are fascinated by the idea of being close to her." The other featuring is by Post Malone. The artist duets with Swift in Fortnight, which is also the first single (with a video clip) from the album. Speaking of him, Taylor wrote on IG: "I'm a big fan of Post and his way of writing, his musical experimentation, and those melodies he creates that stick in your head forever. I got to witness firsthand the magic that came to life when we worked together on Fortnight." 

Fan reactions

Like all Swift releases, The Tortured Poets Department was highly anticipated. Reviews from industry experts have been mostly positive: Variety called it "bold" and "overwhelming" and "the most Taylor Swift album ever", while Rolling Stone deemed it "wildly ambitious and gloriously chaotic", and NME said the album contains "some of her most exciting songs to date" and "lacks the truly interesting changes that have punctuated Swift's career so far". And fan reactions? True swifties stayed up all night to listen to the 31 tracks and shared support for the work of their favorite star. Some expected more explicit references to Joe Alwyn and fewer to Matty Healy, others thank Taylor for talking about her breakups, while a third group wonders how to survive a Taylor double album without bursting into tears during the day.

Taylor Swift: the tour is coming to Italy

After the album release, the artist will resume her Eras tour which has sold out worldwide. The three-hour live show in which Taylor sings over 40 of her hits, will arrive in Italy in the summer. Unfortunately, the dates of July 13 and 14 at the San Siro Stadium in Milan are also sold out. Are you among the lucky ones who already have tickets?