Taylor Swift's 'The Tortured Poets Department' appears focused on this one thing

Swift directs her lyrics toward a former friend.
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Everyone was hanging on by a thread on Grammy night when Taylor Swift took the stage to accept her award for Best Pop Vocal Album. Rumors had been flying all day about whether the artist would be announcing her fifth re-release, Reputation (Taylor’s Version), and all signs pointed to yes. Fans were ready for something to happen, but Swift had something else in mind and announced her eleventh studio album, The Tortured Poets Department.

Swift said while accepting an award, "I want to say thank you to the members of the Recording Academy for voting this way. But I know that the way that the Recording Academy voted is a direct reflection of the passion of the fans. So I want to say thank you to the fans by telling you a secret that I’ve been keeping from you for the last two years, which is that my brand new album comes out on April 19. It’s called The Tortured Poets Department."

When she got off stage, immediately rumors started swirling again about what exactly this album would entail. The biggest rumor is that this album would be a tell-all of her relationship with Joe Alwyn. Or more importantly, how it all ended.

Taylor Swift's new album, The Tortured Poets Department, will be released in April

But what is the proof behind the rumors? As savvy as Swift normally is for leaving Easter eggs and hints, she left the door pretty wide open here. She didn’t hide much about who she was writing about if you know the places to look.

First, the name. The Tortured Poets Department sounds too dramatic to just be made up. And it’s true. Swift’s ex, Alwyn, was quoted in an interview stating that he and his friends were in a group chat called the Tortured Man Club. He was quoted as saying that he and his friends sent each other good morning texts back in 2022, shortly after Midnights came out and Taylor Swift catapulted to fame.

He said in December of 2022 that he didn’t have to use (the chat) very often now because he was “less tortured”. The best thing to do when getting over an ex is to use their own words against them, and that seems to be exactly what Swift is doing.

Second, the date. The album comes out on April 19th, which seems to be a fairly inconspicuous date. But eagle-eyed Swifties will know that date is the last time (a year ago) that Joe and Taylor followed each other's friends on Instagram, shortly after unfollowing each other. In the world of millennials on Instagram, this is a huge deal, and most likely the biggest reason for the album being about Joe Alwyn.

Third, the tracklist. Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn were together for six years, and in six years you’re going to write songs about someone. Especially if that’s your job. And when you inevitably break up with that person, you might reference songs you already wrote. In the 20-song track list, Taylor Swift makes references to past songs multiple times, but the most obvious one was ‘So Long, London’ as a reference to her song London Boy from her Lover album.

With twenty tracks it seems like Taylor has a lot to say, and it will be interesting to find out what happened and what was going on in her mind as her longest relationship ended. It is bound to be her most heartfelt album and will definitely cast a new light on the relationship that was mostly hidden.

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