So High School

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"So High School"
Song by Taylor Swift
from the album The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology
ReleasedApril 19, 2024 (2024-04-19)
Genre
Length3:48
LabelRepublic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Taylor Swift
  • Aaron Dessner
Lyric video
"So High School" on YouTube

"So High School" is a song by the American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift from the double album edition of her eleventh studio album, The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology (2024). Written and produced by Swift and Aaron Dessner, "So High School" has a 1990s-tinged production incorporating various rock styles like alternative rock, indie rock, and pop rock. The lyrics are about how a romantic relationship makes Swift relive the feeling of young love.

Some critics praised the nostalgia-inducing production, but some others found the lyrical content lightweight. The song peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Global 200 and reached the national charts in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and the United States. Swift included "So High School" in the revamped setlist for the Eras Tour, starting from May 2024.

Background and composition[edit]

Taylor Swift announced her eleventh original studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards on February 4, 2024.[1] She had worked on the album shortly after finishing her tenth album, Midnights (2022), and continued writing during the U.S. leg of the Eras Tour in 2023.[2] The standard album was released on April 19, 2024, and a double album edition subtitled The Anthology was surprise-released two hours later.[3] "So High School" is taken from The Anthology and is track number 22 from the album.[4] From May 2024, Swift revamped the set list of the Eras Tour to include tracks from The Tortured Poets Department, including "So High School".[5] The track is performed in a truncated version during the outro of the number "But Daddy I Love Him".[6][7]

"So High School" is a song that combines 1990s musical styles[8] such as alternative rock,[9] indie rock,[10] pop rock,[11] and power pop,[12] with touches of dream pop.[13] It is driven by guitar strums.[14] Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield said that the track's light-hearted power-pop guitar jangle" evokes "Hits Different" from Midnights,[12] and People's Jack Irvin labelled "So High School" a sonic throwback to Swift's 2008 album Fearless.[15] Other critics likened the track to the music of other artists from the past; Beats Per Minute's John Wohlmacher called the song a "throwback at millennial soft rock" reminiscent of Third Eye Blind and Avril Lavigne,[16] The Hollywood Reporter's Ryan Fish compared the song's feel to that of 1980s and 1990s dream pop tracks like Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)" and Tears for Fears' "Head over Heels",[17] and The Wall Street Journal's Mark Richardson named the Primitives and the Sundays as reference points.[13]

The lyrics of "So High School" revolves around careless teenage romance reminiscent of high-school love.[18][19] The lover is portrayed as a football player, a lyrical motif that evokes Swift's Fearless songs like "You Belong with Me" or "Fifteen".[15] Swift sings about youth experiences in the lines: "I'm watching American Pie with you on a Saturday night", "Truth, dare, spin bottles", and "Touch me while your bros play Grand Theft Auto".[12][20] Swift also hints at showing up during her love interest's football games and practices in the lyrics.[18] The dynamic of the relationship in question is portrayed through the line, "You know how to ball, I know Aristotle."[18][21]

Critical reception[edit]

Positive reviews regarded "So High School" as a sonic standout on The Tortured Poets Department for its bright and nostalgia-inducing sound. In Billboard's ranking of all 31 tracks, "So High School" was placed seventh, with Jason Lipshutz writing: "obvious back-half highlight, simply by flexing a little muscle amidst the nostalgia trip."[11] Fish ranked it tenth out of the 31 tracks, regarding it as one of the album's "bright spots" and complimenting its "sweeping feeling" akin to 1980s and 1990s dream pop songs.[17] Richardson called it a highlight off of the album in his generally negative review, because "it serves as a temporary respite from the word-drunk confessionals that dominate the record".[13] Craig Jenkins in Vulture praised the combination of 1990s alternative rock with "the gorgeous reediness of a Sheryl Crow or Aimee Mann".[9] USA Today's Melissa Ruggieri also found similarities to Sheryl Crow and lauded the production as "bouncy" and "breezy glow".[14] Vogue Australia's Nina Miyashita and Jonah Waterhouse described it as an "all-American, feel-good love song" and compared it to Swift's "young and in love Fearless era".[18] Mary Kate Carr of The A.V. Club dubbed "So High School" a "fun, poppy number" that prevents the album from being monotonous,[22] and Jonathan Keefe of Slant Magazine thought that the track had potentials of becoming a radio hit.[23]

Reception of the lyrics was not as uniformly positive. Some publications praised the lyrics for giving listeners a chance to reminisce about their teenage years.[8][20] Slate's Carl Wilson wrote that the football imagery is "so weak and tossed-off as to be wholly extraneous".[24] Wohlmacher wrote that the lyrics' rhyming is "clumsy", but he contended that it was fully intentional so as to make the song "fun".[16] Exclaim!'s Alex Hudson lauded the sound as "vibrantly nostalgic" but said that some lyrics are "cringe-inducing", citing the lines that rhyme "Aristotle" with "Touch me while your bros play Grand Theft Auto". Hudson however added that its "awkward" sentiment also represents what teenage romance feels like.[25]

Commercial performance[edit]

When The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology was released, "So High School" debuted and peaked at number 24 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[26] In Australia, it reached number 26 on the ARIA Singles Chart and made her the artist with the most entries in a single week with 29.[27][28] Elsewhere, "So High School" opened at its peak of number 30 on the Billboard Global 200[29] and charted within the countries of Canada (28),[30] New Zealand (33),[31] and Portugal (82).[32] The song also reached the United Kingdom's streaming[33] and sales charts with respective peaks of number 35 and number 66,[34] Sweden's Heatseeker chart at number five,[35] and Greece's International Top 100 Digital Singles chart at number 53.[36]

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for "So High School"
Chart (2024) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[27] 26
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[30] 28
Global 200 (Billboard)[29] 30
Greece International (IFPI)[36] 53
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[31] 33
Portugal (AFP)[32] 82
Sweden Heatseeker (Sverigetopplistan)[35] 5
UK Singles Sales (OCC)[34] 66
UK Streaming (OCC)[33] 35
US Billboard Hot 100[26] 24

References[edit]

  1. ^ West, Bryan (April 21, 2024). "Taylor Swift makes Grammys history with fourth album of the year win for Midnights". USA Today. Archived from the original on February 5, 2024. Retrieved April 21, 2024.
  2. ^ Blistein, Jon (February 7, 2024). "Taylor Swift Reveals Tortured Poets Department Back Up Plan In Case She Didn't Win a Grammy". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 7, 2024. Retrieved April 19, 2024.
  3. ^ Longeretta, Emily; Jackson, Angelique; Woerner, Meredith (April 18, 2024). "Taylor Swift Drops 15 Surprise Songs, Announces The Tortured Poets Department Is a Double Album". Variety. Archived from the original on April 20, 2024. Retrieved April 21, 2024.
  4. ^ Rossingol, Derrick (April 19, 2024). "Taylor Swift's The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology: Here Are The Full Album Credits With Songwriters". Uproxx. Archived from the original on April 27, 2024. Retrieved April 27, 2024.
  5. ^ Logan, Elizabeth (May 11, 2024). "Taylor Swift's Eras Tour Set List in Order: Here's Everything She's Changed So Far". Glamour. Retrieved May 13, 2024.
  6. ^ Savage, Mark (June 8, 2024). "Taylor Swift Eras Tour Review: Pop's Heartbreak Princess Dazzles in Edinburgh". BBC. Retrieved June 11, 2024.
  7. ^ Shafer, Ellise (May 10, 2024). "Taylor Swift Masterfully Reinvents the Eras Tour for Its European Version: See All the Changes". Variety. Retrieved June 12, 2024.
  8. ^ a b Viswanath, Jake (April 20, 2024). "Taylor Swift's 'So High School' Will Make You Miss Your Teen Days". Bustle. Archived from the original on April 21, 2024. Retrieved April 21, 2024.
  9. ^ a b Jenkins, Craig (April 23, 2024). "The Performative Poets Department". Vulture. Archived from the original on April 23, 2024. Retrieved April 23, 2024.
  10. ^ Exposito, Suzy (April 19, 2024). "Taylor Swift's The Tortured Poets Department – And Its Surprise Companion, The Anthology – Mine The Darkness To Pop Perfection". British Vogue. Archived from the original on April 19, 2024. Retrieved April 20, 2024.
  11. ^ a b Lipshutz, Jason (April 19, 2024). "Taylor Swift's The Tortured Poets Department: All 31 Tracks Ranked". Billboard. Archived from the original on April 21, 2024. Retrieved April 21, 2024.
  12. ^ a b c Sheffeld, Rob (April 21, 2024). "Taylor Swift Busts Out the Quill Pen and Delivers an Epic Double Album with TTPD: The Anthology". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 19, 2024. Retrieved April 21, 2024.
  13. ^ a b c Richardson, Mark (April 23, 2024). "The Tortured Poets Department Review: Taylor Swift's Songs of the Self". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on April 23, 2024. Retrieved April 23, 2024.
  14. ^ a b Ruggieri, Melissa (April 19, 2024). "Taylor Swift's Tortured Poets is hauntingly brilliant, even the 15 surprise songs". USA Today. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  15. ^ a b Irvin, Jack (April 19, 2024). "Taylor Swift Sings About Travis Kelce Relationship on 'So High School'". People. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  16. ^ a b Wohlmacher, John (April 23, 2024). "Album review: Taylor Swift – The Tortured Poets Department". Beats Per Minute. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  17. ^ a b Fish, Ryan (April 22, 2024). "Every Song on Taylor Swift's The Tortured Poets Department, Ranked". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  18. ^ a b c d Miyashita, Nina; Waterhouse, Jonah (April 24, 2024). "All the hidden meanings in Taylor Swift's The Tortured Poets Department album". Vogue Australia. Retrieved May 13, 2024.
  19. ^ Bailey, Alyssa (April 19, 2024). "Taylor Swift Sings About Wanting to Marry Travis Kelce in 'So High School'". Elle. Archived from the original on April 21, 2024. Retrieved April 21, 2024.
  20. ^ a b Cappadona, Bryanna (April 20, 2024). "'So High School' lyrics: What does the Taylor Swift song mean?". Today. Archived from the original on April 21, 2024. Retrieved April 21, 2024.
  21. ^ Cavender, Elena (April 19, 2024). "The wildest lyrics on Taylor Swift's The Tortured Poets Department, from 'Grand Theft Auto' to Charlie Puth". Mashable. Archived from the original on April 20, 2024. Retrieved April 21, 2024.
  22. ^ Carr, Mary Kate (April 21, 2024). "Okay, so how about the second part of The Tortured Poets Department?". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on April 21, 2024. Retrieved April 21, 2024.
  23. ^ Keefe, Jonathan (April 22, 2024). "Taylor Swift The Tortured Poets Department Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  24. ^ Wilson, Carl (April 19, 2024). "The Problem With Taylor Swift's New Album". Slate. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  25. ^ Hudson, Alex (April 22, 2024). "Taylor Swift's The Tortured Poets Department Is Full of Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing". Exclaim!. Retrieved May 14, 2024.
  26. ^ a b "Taylor Swift Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 30, 2024.
  27. ^ a b "ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart". Australian Recording Industry Association. April 29, 2024. Archived from the original on May 9, 2024. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  28. ^ Gbogbo, Mawunyo (April 29, 2024). "Taylor Swift's New Album The Tortured Poets Department Smashes Chart Records in the US, UK and Australia". ABC News. Archived from the original on May 10, 2024. Retrieved May 10, 2024.
  29. ^ a b "Taylor Swift Chart History (Global 200)". Billboard. Retrieved April 30, 2024.
  30. ^ a b "Taylor Swift Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 30, 2024.
  31. ^ a b "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. April 29, 2024. Archived from the original on April 26, 2024. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  32. ^ a b "Taylor Swift – So High School". AFP Top 100 Singles. Retrieved May 1, 2024.
  33. ^ a b "Official Streaming Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on May 9, 2024. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  34. ^ a b "Official Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on April 26, 2024. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  35. ^ a b "Veckolista Heatseeker, vecka 17". Sverigetopplistan. Archived from the original on April 26, 2024. Retrieved April 26, 2024.
  36. ^ a b "IFPI Charts". www.ifpi.gr. Archived from the original on May 1, 2024. Retrieved May 1, 2024.