There's a beautiful album hidden somewhere in Taylor Swift's latest surplus album

There's a beautiful album hidden somewhere in Taylor Swift's latest surplus album

Who can stop Taylor Swift? The 34-year-old singer is at the peak of global stardom. It's global Tour of the ages – July 4, 5 and 6 in Amsterdam – has already grossed more than $1 billion, making it the highest-selling concert series ever. She was the most streamed artist of 2023 on Spotify with 26.1 billion streams. Since 2020, she has released four new albums, as well as four re-remasterings of older recordings. SWIFT is everywhere, and it is unstoppable.

Her eleventh album, Section of tortured poets, was released on Friday at 5 a.m. Dutch time. No singles up front, sixteen songs at once. So much for a pop album. You could listen to it exactly twice before Swift dropped another surprise at the seventh hour: It turned out to be a double album. Tortured Poets Section: Selections Part Two contains fifteen more songs totaling over two hours. An abundance of pop stars everywhere.

Section of tortured poets It is a record full of gray skies. They are subdued, mid-tempo pop songs about broken hearts, a new love that seems doomed, and judgments from the outside world about the love in question. The wrong man appears to be Matty Healy, singer of the indie pop band The 1975, with whom Swift had a short-lived but very controversial relationship in the summer of 2023. In addition to somewhat pretentious music, Healy also likes to make controversial comments, and has suffered Overt addiction in the past. Not the man her fans would want to see the American Princess with, to say the least.

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Taylor clearly didn't care about the comments that relationship sparked: “No, I'm not coming back to my senses / I know he's crazy, but he's the one I want,” she sings on “But Daddy Love Him.” '. It's ferocious: “I'd rather burn my whole life down / Than listen to one more second of all this whining and moaning.”

Taylor Swift isn't holding back, and that's very exciting. But it also creates a number of awkward or even downright awkward phrases, which can ruin an entire song in one go. Your rage stops at a completely ugly line like “We'll choose the decade we wish we lived in instead of this / I'd say the 1830s but without all the racists” (“I hate this right here”).

Global picture

In the title track, Swift mentions two famous poets in a simple, precise line that fits perfectly with the song: “You ain't Dylan Thomas, I ain't Patti Smith / This ain't the Chelsea Hotel, we're modern.” Idiots.” Then he dropped the same song like a stone with a funny metaphor: “I scratch your head, you fall asleep / Like a tattooed golden retriever.” OK.

Swift fills her songs on this album with many metaphors, references, and, above all, a lot of lyrics. Every square centimeter of the songs is fully written. There is little air.

A piece of glass

Swift is teaming up with two of her favorite co-producers. Jack Antonoff, with whom she has been co-writing and producing since 2014, and Aaron Dessner, the guitarist and keyboardist of beloved indie rock band The National, who first assisted her on popular quarantine albums. folklore in forever (2020).

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Section of tortured poets It's a combination of both: Antonov's melancholic synthesizers and Dessner's dark, indie guitar. This new album is an extension of Swift's previous album midnight (2022), also moody pop. but Poets It is early morning after the drinks have finished and the glasses have fallen. Beautiful, yes, but now we know that voice from Swift. And where it is lyrically fierce, it remains Poets A bit flat in terms of sound.

There are highlights: “Clara Bow” sounds dreamy, but also a bit strange; A song that wouldn't be out of place for Phoebe Bridgers. The ballad “The Prophecy” is one of the simpler songs on the album, with Swift's voice sounding very soft in her lower register. “So High School,” one of the best songs on the album, is unfairly hidden in the middle of the second disc. With him jangly The guitar sounds almost like 90s dream pop. Taylor Swift has never been close to the Cocteau Twins. But despite such highlights, Poets It's still a lot of the same.

So an hour is a very long time, let alone two hours. It has a very good album Section of tortured poets handle. A shorter album in particular, in which clearer choices were made, more loved ones killed, and in which someone took a critical look at the lyrics.

Swift may be a victim of her own success, of her romanticized image of herself as a brilliant poet and songwriter, who no longer allows herself to be told anything. Whereas it might have been nice if someone had been in the studio to say, “This could be better.” Or: “We won't do this.”

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But on Section of tortured poets Taylor Swift doesn't let anyone stop her.

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