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  • Summary: Released at 2AM, the double album version of THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT adds the bonus track from the four special editions releases plus 11 additional tracks for a total of 31 songs.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Apr 22, 2024
    The Tortured Poets Department is a complex album to even perceive because there is an oversaturation of surrounding context. If you whittle it straight down to what matters, however – the music and the lyrics – it’s an excellent record despite its tremendous length and monotonous tempo (discounting ‘I Can Do It With a Broken Heart' here, which is an absolute bop). There are beautiful instrumental accents and interesting production flourishes throughout, and Swift continues to illustrate lyrical growth even though it has always been her strong suit.
  2. Apr 22, 2024
    Like the Midnights 3 A.M., the second half of Tortured Poets: The Anthology is more acoustic, more delicate, more Quill Pen, much more Aaron Dessner. If you preferred 3 A.M. to the proper Midnights (“The Great War,” “Bigger Than The Whole Sky”) you might also prefer the second hour of the Anthology.
  3. Apr 22, 2024
    While it is less commercially focused, there is no discernible drop of quality on the expanded Anthology, crammed to bursting with beautifully worked songs that add different shades and angles to her essential premise of a woman working out why her love life has left her in such emotional tatters.
  4. Apr 25, 2024
    In sound, it sits somewhere between the sparse nature of ‘folklore’ and the overt pop of ‘Midnights’, across its two hours settling into a steady pace that forgoes massive fan favourites in favour of a continuous pull on the heartstrings. The issue with a two-hour album is that you’re not going to hit the mark on every track (no song should have three exclamation marks in the title), and it’s tricky to keep momentum when the name of the game is introspective storytelling.
  5. Apr 22, 2024
    The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology, maximally bloated with 15 (15!) additional songs. Those that stand out mostly do so for the wrong reasons.
  6. Apr 22, 2024
    Taylor opts for interchangeable melodies that never really threaten to take attention away from the lyrics, which function more as tabloid clarification than earnest poetry. I struggle to hum a single melody but, against my will, I can make an educated guess as to what song is a Matty Song or a Travis Song or a Joe song.