Stories from The Trail

CT Today

Stories from The Trail

CT Today

Stories from The Trail

CT Today

Stress During Final Exams
Stress During Final Exams
Blake LangleyMay 20, 2024

  Final exams are around the corner and they are something that can be very stressful for many students. Studying for final exams involves a...

Defying the odds
Defying the odds
Ava ZadigianMay 19, 2024

  Torn ACL, broken leg, sprained ankle. All injuries happen in a split second and can be easily fixed with a cast, and, in the worst case, surgery....

Taylor Swift’s Tourtured Poets review


  In February, popstar Taylor Swift announced her new album: The Tortured Poets Department. Closer to the release date, Swift and Taylor Nation (@taylornation) have been posting hints and teasers for fans. 

  In previous albums, Swift organized her albums into a house symbolizing different eras of her life. Tortured Poets is revealed to be a psych ward that she was trapped in while experiencing the stages of heartbreak: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. As the self-designated “Chairman of the Tortured Poets Department” Swift owns the ability to twist her own tragedies into poetic masterpieces. 

  The album starts with ‘Fortnight (feat. Post Malone)’ It’s a stunning harmonization of Malone’s and Swift’s voices. It explores the tragedy of two former lovers and the damage that unfolded between them in two weeks. This gut-wrenching introduction establishes the album’s common motif of love, delusion, and heartbreak.

  Swift poured her grief into songs such as, ‘So Long London,’ ‘loml,’ and the title track, ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ describing the agony of losing someone you loved more than anything. ‘My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys’ and ‘The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived’ reflect the ironic humility of falling for a self-sabotaging man. As Swift notes, in the exclusive vinyl edition of the album, “It’s the worst men that I write best.”

  It should be commented on how relatable Swift is for fans especially those that were/are dating crooked men. Swift admits the joy and delusion that comes with those relationships too, reflecting on the different ways she bargained her red flag relationships. The “head over heels” love in ‘Down Bad’ and ‘Guilty as Sin?’ and ignoring red flags in ‘But Daddy I Love Him.’

  During the midst of the Era’s Tour, her ever-growing popularity, and her biggest heartbreaks, Swift reflects on the contrasting emotions in ‘I Can Do It With a Broken Heart.’ Swift recalls her time performing in Tampa, Florida after she and Joe Alwyn broke up after dating for six years. Lyrics such as “All the pieces of me shattered//As the crowd was chanting “MORE!” You can hear the anguished irony of her glittering shows contrasted with the real depression she felt.

  ‘Fresh Out The Slammer’ and ‘Florida!!! (feat. Florence + The Machine) reflects the desire to run away from the struggles of life, especially heartbreak. In ‘Fresh Out The Slammer,’ lyrics such as “Years of labor, locks, and ceilings / In the shade of how he was feeling / But it’s gonna be alright, I did my time,” and in ‘Florida!!!,’ the lyrics “I need to forget so//Take me to Florida//I got some regrets//I’ll bury them in Florida,” are obvious for hinting at Swift’s heartbreak. Both lyrics embody the idea of running away from your problems after years of being imprisoned in a life you didn’t desire.

  ‘Who’s Afraid Of Little Old Me,’ is one of Swift’s angriest songs reflecting on all the hate she gained at the height of her popularity. With the chorus lyrics, “I was gentle//Till the circus life made me mean//Don’t you worry folks,//We took out all her teeth//Who’s afraid of little old me?!// Well you should be.” The frustrating tone shows how Swift felt about the media making jokes at the expense of her insecurities. The suffocating pain of being the most loved and hated artist reveals the tragedy of an infamous pop star.

  In addition to discussing fame and celebrity life, Swift comments on the music industry and female artists. ‘Clara Bow,’ the ending track of the album, illustrates how as a society, female artists are dispensable but better than the girls before them. She references the first “it girl” of the 1920s, Clara Bow who was replaced with the “it girl” of the 1970’s Stevie Nicks. At the end of the song she includes herself being replaced by future “it girls” too as she ages. Some girls that come to mind are Sabrina Carpenter, Olivia Rodrigo, and Gracie Abrams. 

Honorable Mentions from “Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology”

  From shady tweets to Swift’s previous songs such as ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ and ‘Anti-Hero’ which dissed Kim Kardashian, Swift decides she will take the last word in ‘thanK you aIMee.’ The capitalized letters clearly spell “KIM” and is her final word on the feud between Kardashian and Taylor Swift back in 2016. It’s one of the most lyrical diss tracks painting Kardashian as a bully, but someone who has contributed to making Swift stronger. It’s an attempt at being mature with Swift saying “thank you KIM” in the final lyrics ‘thanK you aIMee.’

  In London, there is a pub called The Black Dog which is the same place Swift and Alwyn frequented while together. It tells the story of a lover who is confused with the lack of love their partner has. The lyrics encompass this idea of miscommunication, confusion, and the slow realization that someone you love no longer loves you in return. The screaming synth cords and the ending lyric, “Cause old habits die screaming.,” make this one of the saddest bonus tracks.

  ‘Chole or Sam or Sophia or Marcus’ encapsulates Swift’s agony as she faces the fact that she is no longer loved. “Hands in the hair of somebody in//darkness named Chloe or Sam//or Sofia or Marcus//And I just watched it happen…//And you saw my bones out with somebody new…//And you just watched it happen.” While others speculate this is Swift outing her ex as bisexual, it seems that it’s actually showing how much the narrator doesn’t care who the other person that their former lover is with. The only thing that matters is now they’re separated and the love they shared so passionately is no longer there.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Emma Tran
Emma Tran, Staff Reporter
Emma Tran is a Senior at CT and it’s her first year in Digital Media. She’s interested in being able to tell stories and explore her creative side within those stories. As a second generation immigrant in her family, Emma is thrilled to see what opportunities she’s able to experience and face challenges she’ll overcome. When she was younger, she used to play with cameras and when she got older, grew more experienced with video editing. While AP assignments and her part-time job take up most of her time, she uses every ounce of free time to read and go to concerts. Emma hopes to gain experience in news telling, writing, organizing, and production in order to graduate with different experiences and knowledge she’s never had before. After graduating, she hopes to be a software engineer and travel around the world.
Paige Kyle
Paige Kyle, Staff Reporter
Paige Kyle is a Senior at Cherokee Trail High School. She has been a part of the CTTV program for two years and loves it. She works mainly with video aspects of various stories and writes some copy. For the last four years, she has been in the International Baccalaureate Program and National Honors Society. She loves teaching dance and is a part of the Colorado School of Dance faculty as a teacher for 4-8 year olds this year. She aspires to go to college and become a teacher in the future. Her favorite things are family, friends, being a teacher, pandas, and the color green.

Comments (0)

All CT Today Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

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