The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

The Newspaper of McDaniel High School

The Oracle

Taylor Swift’s most recent album is mediocre, forgettable at best

I have been a diehard Swiftie through and through since I was a little girl. At six years old, I was dancing to “I Knew You Were Trouble” in my living room. At 10 years old, I was singing “Shake it Off” in the back seat of my moms car. Just last year, as a junior in high school, I drove myself to school with “Midnight Rain” on the radio. Everything she releases I love.

However, with her most recent album The Tortured Poets Department released on Apr. 19, I can’t say the same. The album feels vanilla at best, with unmemorable songs that all seem to blend together into a mush.

My first listen through the album, I couldn’t stop making cringed and confused faces and taking deep sighs at the lyrics, soulless beats and her “sing-talk” vocals. The lyrics for a majority of the songs are very cringe. In her song, “So High School,” she sings, “Truth, dare, spin bottles / You know how to ball, I know Aristotle / Brand-new, full throttle / Touch me while your bros play Grand Theft Auto / It’s true, swear, scout’s honor.”

These lyrics are cheesy and bland, and this carries through for most of the album’s lyrics. They lack complexity and depth which makes it difficult to connect to the music. Swift is known as a lyrical genius, so this comes as a surprise and a letdown. The lyrics on this album drag each song down like a giant weight. 

While Swift’s vocals are certainly strong, she also does this odd style of singing, best described as “sing-talking,” where she is technically singing, but it sounds more as if she is talking. On top of this, many of the songs feature a synth beat that makes each song sound robotically the same and repetitive.

The album as a whole lacks the regular Taylor Swift spark that her previous albums shine with. You can listen to any Swift song, and you’ll either be filled with excitement and a dancing feeling or feel as if you’ve just had a knife stabbed in your gut, twisted about with raw emotion. The Tortured Poets Department doesn’t display either—it’s lacking any sort of fun or beautiful sadness. It is simply boring. It feels haphazardly put together and forgettable. 

There are some aspects and songs that pull ahead of the rest and show hints of the Swift we all know and love. Her vocals throughout the whole album are strong, melodic and beautiful, which is no surprise. Songs such as “So Long London,” “Florida!!!” and “The Prophecy,” are some of the few that feel fresh, exciting and have interesting beats that elevate the songs. I have noticed the more I listen to the album, the more the songs do grow on me, but overall, it doesn’t impress me.

As a fan, I wish I enjoyed this album more, but it falls flat for me in almost every way that is important for an album. As I mentioned, the more I listen the more I do begin to like it, but it doesn’t compare in any way to her other albums or to many of the other big name albums that have come out this year. The Tortured Poets Department lacks the grandeur and sincere emotional quality that Swift usually implements into her albums, and what is left in its place is a monotonous and lifeless album that falls short compared to her previous work leaving a taste of disappointment. 

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About the Contributor
Olivia Oliver
Olivia Oliver, Feature Editor
Olivia Oliver (she/her) is a senior who enjoys hanging out with her friends and spending time outside. She loves being a journalist because she can engage with her community and be creative.

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