Taylor Swift Unveils Surprise Double Album “The Tortured Poets Department”

Swift shared on Instagram, "I'd written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you."

Taylor Swift unveiled her 11th studio album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” as a surprise double album featuring a total of 31 songs focused on heartbreak and a period she describes as “the saddest story” of her life.

Released at midnight EDT, the initial 16-track album was followed two hours later by another 15 songs.

Swift shared on Instagram, “I’d written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you.”

This release follows her 2022 album “Midnights” by 18 months. A new music video for “Fortnight,” a collaboration with Post Malone and the first single from the album, debuted on the same day.

Now 34, Swift continues to impact the music industry significantly, resuming her record-breaking Eras Tour in Paris this May.

Her extensive influence was recognized when Time magazine named her its 2023 Person of the Year, applauding her impact on pop culture and voter registration.

The album is described as “an anthology of new works that reflect events, opinions and sentiments from a fleeting and fatalistic moment in time – one that was both sensational and sorrowful in equal measure.”

The Instagram announcement further reflects on this period as “now over, the chapter closed and boarded up,” mentioning that “There is nothing to avenge, no scores to settle once wounds have healed.

And upon further reflection, a good number of them turned out to be self-inflicted.”

Swift also views the writing process as cathartic, stating, “This writer is of the firm belief that our tears become holy in the form of ink on a page.

Once we have spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it.”

Speculation among fans suggests that the album may delve into her breakup with British actor Joe Alwyn in April 2023 after a six-year relationship, although specific events are not confirmed in the posts.

Critical reception of “Poets” varied. Rolling Stone praised the album as “wildly ambitious and gloriously chaotic,” while Billboard highlighted its emotional depth, stating, “not everyone will love it, but the ones who get it will adore it fiercely.”

“Conversely, NME found it “surprisingly flat and, at times, cringeworthy,” and New York Times critic Lindsay Zoladz suggested that the album’s best tracks were somewhat lost among the sheer volume of new songs, commenting, “Great poets know how to condense, or at least how to edit.”

Swift heightened anticipation for the album by dropping hints on Apple Music earlier in the week, aligning the release with National Cat Lady Day, a nod to her known affection for cats.

She first announced “Poets” on stage at the Grammys in February, where she claimed her fourth album of the year award for “Midnights.”