The Tortured Poets Department

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The Tortured Poets Department
Black-and-white image of Swift lying on a bed. The album title is displayed on the image. The image is surrounded by a thick white border.
Standard cover
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 19, 2024 (2024-04-19)
Recorded2022–2023
LabelRepublic
Taylor Swift chronology
1989 (Taylor's Version)
(2023)
The Tortured Poets Department
(2024)

The Tortured Poets Department is the upcoming eleventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, set for release on April 19, 2024, through Republic Records. Swift announced the album at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards on February 4, 2024, after winning Best Pop Vocal Album for her tenth studio album, Midnights (2022).

Shortly after finishing work on Midnights, Swift conceived The Tortured Poets Department and developed it during the Eras Tour (2023–2024). She described the album as her "lifeline" record, a product of imperative songwriting. It consists of sixteen songs, featuring collaborations with the American rapper Post Malone and the English indie rock band Florence and the Machine; the physical formats of the album include bonus tracks.

Background and release[edit]

Taylor Swift released her tenth studio album, Midnights, on October 21, 2022, to widespread commercial and critical success.[1] In 2023, she released two re-recorded albums, Speak Now (Taylor's Version) and 1989 (Taylor's Version), as part of her re-recording project.[2] On February 4, 2024, the day of the 66th Annual Grammy Awards, Swift teased the release of a new album by changing her profile picture across all social media platforms to a black and white earlier that day. Fans had speculated online that she was preparing to release Reputation (Taylor's Version), a forthcoming re-recording of her sixth studio album, Reputation (2017).[3] Swift's website also appeared as if it had malfunctioned, reporting an unusual non-standard HTTP status code 321, as well as error code "hneriergrd", which fans deciphered to be an anagram spelling "red herring."[4] The source code of the website was found to contain foreign-language words.[5]

Swift won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album and Album of the Year for Midnights. In her acceptance speech for the former, she announced that a new studio album she had conceived over the past two years,[6] titled The Tortured Poets Department, would be released on April 19, 2024.[7][8] At the first Tokyo show of the Eras Tour, her sixth headlining concert tour, Swift revealed that she had planned to announce the album at the show if she had not won at the Grammy Awards.[9] The album cover artwork was posted to her social media accounts, along with a photograph of a handwritten note, which incorporated English translations of the words from the source code of her website:[5][10]

And so I enter into evidence / My tarnished coat of arms / My muses, acquired like bruises / My talismans and charms / The tick, tick, tick of love bombs / My veins of pitch black ink / All's fair in love and poetry...

Sincerely, The Chairman of the Tortured Poets Department.[11]

On February 6, 2024, Swift revealed the track list on her social media accounts; the American rapper Post Malone features on "Fortnight" and the English indie rock band Florence and the Machine on "Florida!!!".[12] Three physical editions of the album, each titled after and containing a bonus track, namely "The Manuscript", "The Bolter" or "The Albatross", are also available; Swift announced the latter two editions during the Australian leg of the Eras Tour.[13][14][15] A collector's edition deluxe CD of the album sold out on her website in two hours.[16][17]

Conception[edit]

Swift characterized The Tortured Poets Department as a "lifeline" album—one that she "really needed" to make.[14] She began conceiving the album immediately after submitting Midnights to her record label, Republic Records, and continued working on it in secret throughout the U.S. leg of the Eras Tour in 2023.[18] According to Swift, creating the album proved to her the integral role of songwriting in her life. She stated, "I have never had an album where I needed songwriting more than I needed it on Tortured Poets."[19]

Title and artwork[edit]

The album has an official logo featuring an abbreviation of the album's title

The lack of an apostrophe in the official title, as in The Tortured Poets' Department, was the subject of a debate over grammatical correctness. Scholars stated that Swift has employed Tortured Poets as an attributive noun, and not as a possessive noun which would warrant an apostrophe.[20]

The cover artwork, photographed by American photographer Beth Garrabrant, is a black-and-white glamour photo shot of Swift lying on a bed wearing black lingerie: a see-through top and high waist shorts.[21][22][23] According to Swift's stylist, Joseph Cassell, she was wearing garments from The Row and Yves Saint Laurent.[22][24] Both the artwork and title were parodied by numerous brands, organizations, sports teams, and franchises, and inspired numerous memes.[25][26][27]

Track listing[edit]

The Tortured Poets Department
No.TitleLength
1."Fortnight" (featuring Post Malone) 
2."The Tortured Poets Department" 
3."My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys" 
4."Down Bad" 
5."So Long, London" 
6."But Daddy I Love Him" 
7."Fresh Out the Slammer" 
8."Florida!!!" (featuring Florence and the Machine) 
9."Guilty as Sin?" 
10."Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?" 
11."I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)" 
12."Loml" 
13."I Can Do It with a Broken Heart" 
14."The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived" 
15."The Alchemy" 
16."Clara Bow" 
The Tortured Poets Department – The Manuscript Edition
No.TitleLength
17."The Manuscript" 
The Tortured Poets Department – The Bolter Edition
No.TitleLength
17."The Bolter" 
The Tortured Poets Department – The Albatross Edition
No.TitleLength
17."The Albatross" 

Release history[edit]

The Tortured Poets Department release history
Region Date Format(s) Label Ref.
Various April 19, 2024 Republic [28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bugel, Safi (October 28, 2022). "Taylor Swift: Midnights becomes biggest album of 2022 after one week". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on November 23, 2023. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  2. ^ Wickman, Kase (February 4, 2024). "Taylor Swift Arrives at the Grammys 2024". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on February 5, 2024. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  3. ^ Smyth, Tom (February 4, 2023). "The Ties Were Black, the Lies Were White...and Now So Is Taylor Swift's Profile Picture". Variety. Archived from the original on February 5, 2024. Retrieved February 4, 2023.
  4. ^ West, Bryan (February 4, 2024). "'Error 321' Taylor Swift website crashes, sending fans on frantic hunt for 'red herring'". USA Today. Archived from the original on February 4, 2024. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  5. ^ a b West, Bryan (February 4, 2024). "Taylor Swift announces brand-new album at Grammys: 'Tortured Poets Department'". The Tennessean. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  6. ^ West, Bryan (February 4, 2024). "Taylor Swift announces brand-new album at Grammys: 'Tortured Poets Department'". USA Today. Archived from the original on February 5, 2024. Retrieved February 6, 2024.
  7. ^ Kuo, Christopher (February 4, 2024). "Taylor Swift announces new album during Grammy win". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 5, 2024. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  8. ^ Singh, Surej (February 5, 2024). "Taylor Swift announces new album, 'The Tortured Poets Department'". NME. Archived from the original on February 10, 2024. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  9. ^ Kaplan, Ilana (February 7, 2024). "Taylor Swift Reveals She Wasn't Planning to Announce New 'The Tortured Poets Department' Album at Grammys". People. Archived from the original on February 7, 2024. Retrieved February 7, 2024.
  10. ^ Mendez, Moises (February 6, 2024). "What to Know About Taylor Swift's New Album". Time. Archived from the original on February 6, 2024. Retrieved February 6, 2024.
  11. ^ Shanfeld, Ethan (February 4, 2024). "Taylor Swift Announces New Album 'The Tortured Poets Department' During Grammys Acceptance Speech". Variety. Archived from the original on February 5, 2024. Retrieved February 4, 2024.
  12. ^ Garcia, Thania (February 5, 2024). "Taylor Swift Shares Tracklist for 'The Tortured Poets Department,' Featuring Post Malone and Florence + Machine". Variety. Archived from the original on February 6, 2024. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  13. ^ Lynch, Joe (February 5, 2024). "Taylor Swift Shocks Fans By Revealing Brand New Album 'The Tortured Poets Department' at Grammys". Billboard. Archived from the original on February 5, 2024. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  14. ^ a b Bonner, Mehera (February 16, 2024). "Taylor Swift Reveals Bonus Track Title and New Album Cover for 'The Tortured Poets Department'". Cosmopolitan. Archived from the original on February 16, 2024. Retrieved February 16, 2024.
  15. ^ Chiu, Melody; Haward, Jenny (February 23, 2024). "Taylor Swift Announces New Version of 'The Tortured Poets Society,' Duets with Sabrina Carpenter in Sydney". People. Retrieved February 23, 2024.
  16. ^ Lustig, Hanna (February 6, 2024). "Taylor Swift Released the Track List for 'The Tortured Poets Department'—And It's So Telling". Glamour. Archived from the original on February 6, 2024. Retrieved February 6, 2024.
  17. ^ Gibson, Kelsie (February 6, 2024). "Everything to Know About Taylor Swift's New Album, The Tortured Poets Department". People. Archived from the original on February 5, 2024. Retrieved February 6, 2024.
  18. ^ 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 February 7, 2024.
  19. ^ Dailey, Hannah (February 16, 2024). "Taylor Swift Unveils 'The Bolter' Edition of 'Tortured Poets Department' With Exclusive Bonus Track". Billboard. Archived from the original on February 16, 2024. Retrieved February 16, 2024.
  20. ^ Sources on the apostrophe:
    1. Mather, Victor (February 7, 2024). "Tortured Poets' or Poets? Taylor Swift Meets the Apostrophe Police". The New York Times. Retrieved February 19, 2024.
    2. Rutigliano, Olivia (February 6, 2024). "Is the phrase The Tortured Poets Department grammatically correct?". Literary Hub. Retrieved February 19, 2024.
    3. Chang, Joshua (February 8, 2024). "Why Taylor Swift's new album name is (probably) grammatically correct". National Post. Retrieved February 19, 2024.
    4. Menon, Vinay (February 8, 2024). "The apostrophe debate over Taylor Swift's 'The Tortured Poets Department' proves why we must never defund the grammar police". Toronto Star. Retrieved February 19, 2024.
  21. ^ Sen, Mallika (February 4, 2024). "Taylor Swift announces new album: The Tortured Poets Department". Associated Press. Archived from the original on February 5, 2024. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  22. ^ a b Morin, Alyssa (February 5, 2024). "How Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Played a Role in Taylor Swift's Tortured Poets Department Cover". E!. Archived from the original on February 5, 2024. Retrieved February 6, 2024.
  23. ^ Vasquez, Ingrid. "Taylor Swift Shares the Sexy Cover of New Album 'The Tortured Poets Department': 'All's Fair in Love and Poetry'". People. Archived from the original on February 10, 2024. Retrieved February 6, 2024.
  24. ^ Dailey, Hannah (February 6, 2024). "Everything We Know About Taylor Swift's New Album 'The Tortured Poets Department' So Far". Billboard. Archived from the original on February 6, 2024. Retrieved February 6, 2024.
  25. ^ Ahlgrim, Callie. "All the best reactions to Taylor Swift's surprise album announcement at the Grammys". Business Insider. Archived from the original on February 7, 2024. Retrieved February 7, 2024.
  26. ^ Leishman, Rachel (February 5, 2024). "Did Taylor Swift Know Her New Album Name Would Inspire This Many Memes?". The Mary Sue. Archived from the original on February 7, 2024. Retrieved February 7, 2024.
  27. ^ Follett, Gillian (February 7, 2023). "See How Brands Recreated Taylor Swift's New Album Cover". Ad Age. Archived from the original on February 7, 2024. Retrieved February 7, 2023.
  28. ^ The Tortured Poets Department release formats: