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The Tortured Poets Department (stylized as THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT)[1] is the eleventh studio album by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, released on April 19, 2024, through Republic Records.

Background[]

Soon before the 66th Annual Grammy Awards, her website appeared to crash, with the fake error code 321. There was also a string of nonsense letters that were an anagram of the phrase “Red Herring”. Many fans believed Swift was hinting at the release of Reputation (Taylor's Version), but she was in fact hinting to the release of this album instead. Below that was text saying DPT:321, which was alluding to the album title, with the initials DPT being in the order of 321 compared to the album title. Words in foreign languages were also found in the website, with most of the words being featured in the prelude shared alongside the album.

During her acceptance speech at for the 66th Grammy Awards for Best Pop Vocal Album for her tenth studio album, Midnights (2022), Swift informed the audience she had been concealing a secret for "2 years" and that she was ready to reveal, leading to the announcement of the album and its release date. Minutes later, she posted on Instagram, revealing the cover art accompanied by the message:

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

On February 5, 2024, Swift revealed the album's track list and back cover via her social media accounts.[2] However, the title and tracklist were leaked on January 26 by a TikTok user, who has since deleted their account. Many fans believe this event led Swift to announce the tracklist earlier than originally planned.

Once the album was announced, the album was made available with a 2 LP 'Ghosted White' vinyl, a cassette, a CD including a poster, a digital download and a limited edition deluxe CD that were all made available for pre-order.

The back covers each feature a different phrase, being "I love you, it's ruining my life", "you don't get to tell me about sad", "am I allowed to cry?", and "old habits die screaming". These are lyrics from the songs "Fortnight", "Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?", "Guilty as Sin?", and "The Black Dog".

On February 16, at The Eras Tour show in Melbourne, Australia, Swift announced a second version of the album featuring a new bonus track "The Bolter." The album variant was sold on 'Parchment Beige' vinyl, cassette, and deluxe CD.[3]

On February 23, at The Eras Tour show in Sydney, Australia, Swift announced a third version of the album featuring a new bonus track "The Albatross." The variant was sold on 'Smoke Grey' vinyl, cassette, and deluxe CD.[4]

On March 2, Taylor went on Instagram Live and many suspected an announcement, however no announcement came. Soon after, her website appeared to crash, and hidden code was found in the website saying '2 months from now', alluding to an announcement or release scheduled May 2nd.

On March 3, at The Eras Tour show in Singapore, Swift announced a fourth version of the album featuring a new bonus track "The Black Dog." This variant was sold on 'Ink Black' vinyl, cassette, and deluxe CD.[5]

A supposed snippet of "Fortnight" has been spread around social media and been received positively by fans. Other supposed snippets have also been spread of songs such as "So Long, London" and "The Tortured Poets Department". However, these snippets were AI-generated.

On March 18, the album became available for pre-save on Apple Music. A short clip titled "All's Fair In Love And Poetry" (alluding to the prelude posted to social media alongside the announcement) was attached to the album which featured 8 seconds of pure silence soon went #1 on iTunes. Many fans compared this to the Track 3 debacle, in which during the release of 1989 in 2014 Swift's team uploaded a song titled 'Track 3' which was just 7 seconds of white noise and went #1 in Canada that week.

On April 8, 2024, Swift teased possible song lyrics for the album, "Crowd goes wild at her fingertips / Half moonshine / Full eclipse," in a video featuring a typewriter on her Instagram Stories.[6] This lyric turned out to be from the song "Clara Bow".

The track lengths for each song were released to streaming services on April 11, 2024.[7]

On April 13, 2024, signed vinyl and CDs were added to Swift's online store. On the same day, Taylor Nation announced that Apple Music would hide one word per day in the lyrics of one of Taylor's songs until the album released on April 19th. The first hidden word, on April 13th, was "hereby", hidden in the lyrics of the song "Glitch".

A new lyric was teased on April 14th by Swift herself in her promotional transparent vinyl tweet, which was "I wish I could un-recall how we almost had it all.", a lyric from the song "loml".[8][9] That same day, the next Apple Music hidden word was revealed to be "conduct", hidden in the lyrics of the song "peace". On April 15th, the next hidden word was revealed to be "this", hidden in the lyrics of the song "Better Than Revenge (Taylor's Version)".

The songwriting credits for the album were released on Apple Music on April 15th.

On April 16, Spotify organized a pop-up library installation in Los Angeles to promote the album. There, lyrics from the album were teased such as "Even statues crumble when they're made to wait", from "The Prophecy" and "One less temptress, one less dagger to sharpen", a lyric from the song "The Albatross". On the same day, the next word hidden in Apple Music lyrics was revealed to be "post", found in the lyrics to the song "Clean (Taylor's Version)".

On April 17, QR codes in different cities around the world led fans to YouTube shorts in which one letter was typed on a typewriter in each. Fans quickly realized that when put together, the "Letters from the Department", as Swift called them, spelled out a message, later revealed to be "for a fortnight", which Swift used to announce the lead single of the album. Also on that day, the penultimate Apple Music secret word was "we" found in the song "We Were Happy (Taylor's Version) (From the Vault)".

On April 18, the final Apple Music hidden word was "mortem", found in the lyrics to the song "Begin Again (Taylor's Version)", making the full sentence say "We hereby conduct this post-mortem", later revealed to be a lyric from the song "How Did It End?". On the same day, Swift announced that the first single would be "Fortnight", featuring Post Malone. Swift teased the music video for "Fortnight" on social media a few hours before the album dropped, and a merch collection became available on Swift's official website.

At 2am on April 19, a deluxe double edition of the album titled The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology was released. Swift announced this on social media by saying "It’s a 2am surprise: The Tortured Poets Department is a secret DOUBLE album. I’d written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you, so here’s the second installment of TTPD: The Anthology. 15 extra songs. And now the story isn’t mine anymore… it’s all yours. 🤍"[10] At 8pm, the music video for "Fortnight" would premiere. After the premiere ended all the lyric videos for every song on the album would release.

The Anthology[]

Throughout the time between announcement and release of the album, many fans noticed how Taylor had been putting a large emphasis on the number two, like holding up two fingers when announcing the album at the Grammy Awards[11], and Taylor Nation announcing when there were 2 days, 22 hours or 2 hours left to pre-order an edition of the album. This lead many fans to theorize about a double release of the album.

On April 19 at 2:00 a.m., two hours following the release of the album, Taylor announced The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology, which was a double album. This edition of the album contained 15 new songs, including the four physical bonus tracks: "The Manuscript", "The Bolter", "The Albatross" and "The Black Dog".

Singles[]

"Fortnight" remixes[]

Track listing[]

Standard edition
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Fortnight" (featuring Post Malone)Taylor Swift • Jack Antonoff • Austin PostSwift • Antonoff3:48
2."The Tortured Poets Department"Swift • AntonoffSwift • Antonoff4:53
3."My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys"SwiftSwift • Antonoff3:23
4."Down Bad"Swift • AntonoffSwift • Antonoff4:21
5."So Long, London"Swift • Aaron DessnerSwift • Dessner4:22
6."But Daddy I Love Him"Swift • DessnerSwift • Dessner • Antonoff5:40
7."Fresh Out The Slammer"Swift • AntonoffSwift • Antonoff3:30
8."Florida!!!" (featuring Florence + The Machine)Swift • Florence WelchSwift • Antonoff3:35
9."Guilty as Sin?"Swift • AntonoffSwift • Antonoff4:14
10."Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?"SwiftSwift • Antonoff5:34
11."I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)"Swift • AntonoffSwift • Antonoff2:36
12."loml"Swift • DessnerSwift • Dessner4:37
13."I Can Do It With a Broken Heart"Swift • AntonoffSwift • Antonoff3:38
14."The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived"Swift • DessnerSwift • Dessner4:05
15."The Alchemy"Swift • AntonoffSwift • Antonoff3:16
16."Clara Bow"Swift • DessnerSwift • Dessner3:36
Total length:65:08
The Anthology
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
17."The Black Dog"SwiftSwift · Antonoff3:58
18."imgonnagetyouback"Swift · AntonoffSwift · Antonoff3:42
19."The Albatross"Swift · DessnerSwift · Dessner3:03
20."Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus"Swift · DessnerSwift · Dessner3:33
21."How Did It End?"Swift · DessnerSwift · Dessner3:58
22."So High School"Swift · DessnerSwift · Dessner3:48
23."I Hate It Here"Swift · DessnerSwift · Dessner4:03
24."thanK you aIMee"Swift · DessnerSwift · Dessner · Antonoff4:23
25."I Look in People's Windows"Swift · Antonoff · Patrik BergerSwift · Antonoff · Berger2:11
26."The Prophecy"Swift · DessnerSwift · Dessner4:09
27."Cassandra"Swift · DessnerSwift · Dessner4:00
28."Peter"SwiftSwift · Dessner4:43
29."The Bolter"Swift · DessnerSwift · Dessner3:58
30."Robin"Swift · DessnerSwift · Dessner4:00
31."The Manuscript"SwiftSwift · Dessner3:44
Total length:122:25
"The Manuscript" Deluxe edition (bonus track)
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
17."The Manuscript"SwiftSwift · Dessner3:44
Total length:68:52
"The Bolter" Deluxe edition (bonus track)
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
17."The Bolter"Swift · DessnerSwift · Dessner3:58
Total length:69:06
"The Albatross" Deluxe edition (bonus track)
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
17."The Albatross"Swift · DessnerSwift · Dessner3:03
Total length:68:11
"The Black Dog" Deluxe edition (bonus track)
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
17."The Black Dog"SwiftSwift · Antonoff3:58
Total length:69:06
"But Daddy I Love Him (acoustic version)" Deluxe edition (bonus track)
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
17."But Daddy I Love Him" (acoustic version)Swift · DessnerSwift · Dessner · Antonoff5:38
Total length:70:46
Standard Digital Album + "Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?" (First Draft Phone Memo)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?" (First Draft Phone Memo)Swift5:36
Total length:70:44
Standard Digital Album + "Cassandra" (First Draft Phone Memo)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."Cassandra" (First Draft Phone Memo)Swift · Dessner4:38
Total length:69:46
Standard Digital Album + "The Black Dog" (First Draft Phone Memo)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."The Black Dog" (First Draft Phone Memo)Swift4:11
Total length:69:19
Standard Digital Album + "loml" (Live From Paris)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."loml" (Live From Paris)Swift · Dessner5:36
Total length:70:44
Standard Digital Album + "The Alchemy X Treacherous Mashup" (Live From Paris)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."The Alchemy X Treacherous Mashup" (Live From Paris)Swift · Antonoff · Dan Wilson5:44
Total length:70:52
Standard Digital Album + "My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys" (Live From Paris)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys" (Live From Paris)Swift4:51
Total length:69:59
"Down Bad (acoustic version)" Deluxe edition (bonus track)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."Down Bad" (acoustic version)Swift • Antonoff4:18
Total length:69:26
"Guilty as Sin? (acoustic version)" Deluxe edition (bonus track)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."Guilty as Sin?" (acoustic version)Swift • Antonoff4:11
Total length:69:19
"Fortnight (acoustic version)" Deluxe edition (bonus track)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."Fortnight" (acoustic version)Swift • Antonoff · Post3:49
Total length:68:57
"Fresh Out The Slammer (acoustic version)" Deluxe edition (bonus track)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."Fresh Out The Slammer" (acoustic version)Swift • Antonoff3:22
Total length:68:30
Standard Digital Album + "How Did It End?" (Live From Stockholm)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."How Did It End?" (Live From Stockholm)Swift4:07
Total length:69:15
Standard Digital Album + "Guilty as Sin?" (Live From Stockholm)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."Guilty as Sin?" (Live From Stockholm)Swift4:26
Total length:69:34
Standard Digital Album + "Peter" (Live From Stockholm)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
17."Peter" (Live From Stockholm)Swift4:34
Total length:69:42

Outtakes[]

Each outtake listed is speculation based on sightings of the artists with Swift at Electric Lady Studios in New York City, New York. There is no evidence for these songs existing other than these sightings.

Spotify streams[]

Standard edition
No. Song Streams
1. Fortnight 496,881,713
2. The Tortured Poets Department 173,755,177
3. My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys 192,747,484
4. Down Bad 253,683,705
5. So Long, London 207,639,141
6. But Daddy I Love Him 185,470,612
7. Fresh Out The Slammer 121,061,783
8. Florida!!! 164,636,966
9. Guilty as Sin? 209,292,748
10. Who's Afraid of Little Old Me? 203,181,418
11. I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can) 105,009,161
12. loml 139,606,100
13. I Can Do It With a Broken Heart 318,124,425
14. The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived 150,665,812
15. The Alchemy 124,692,176
16. Clara Bow 95,785,041
The Anthology
No. Song Streams
17. The Black Dog 97,053,807
18. imgonnagetyouback 108,083,895
19. The Albatross 76,964,823
20. Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus 73,679,987
21. How Did It End? 87,764,030
22. So High School 124,541,057
23. I Hate It Here 77,807,844
24. thanK you aIMee 75,895,151
25. I Look in People's Windows 66,489,825
26. The Prophecy 99,835,055
27. Cassandra 62,721,070
28. Peter 71,372,498
29. The Bolter 68,023,324
30. Robin 47,577,468
31. The Manuscript 51,803,092
* Total streams 4,331,846,388

Gallery[]

Photoshoot[]

Recording[]

Booklet[]

Physical booklet ("The Manuscript" Collector's Edition Deluxe)[]

Physical booklet ("The Bolter" Collector's Edition Deluxe)[]

Physical booklet ("The Albatross" Collector's Edition Deluxe)[]

Physical booklet ("The Black Dog" Collector's Edition Deluxe)[]

Digital booklet ("But Daddy I Love Him" Acoustic Version)[]

Digital booklet ("Down Bad" Acoustic Version)[]

Digital booklet ("Guilty as Sin?" Acoustic Version)[]

Digital booklet ("Fortnight" Acoustic Version)[]

Digital booklet ("Fresh Out The Slammer" Acoustic Version)[]

Promotional[]

Physical copies[]

>

Trivia[]

  • The Tortured Poets Department is Taylor's longest album title, with every other album title being one or two words, as well as the first album stylized in all caps on streaming.[7][15] The album debuted with 313 million first-day streams on Spotify, and it once again occupied the #1 to #14 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart like Midnights.
  • This is Swift's fifth explicit album, following folklore, evermore, Red (Taylor's Version), and Midnights, with eleven songs being marked explicit: "The Tortured Poets Department", "Down Bad", "But Daddy I Love Him", "Florida!!!", "loml", "I Can Do It With a Broken Heart", "The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived", "The Black Dog", "thanK you aIMee", "Cassandra", and "The Bolter".[15]
  • Travis Kelce, Taylor's boyfriend, stated during Super Bowl Media Day in Las Vegas that he has listened to some songs from the album and thinks it's amazing.[16]
  • Taylor has referred to this album as simply "Tortured Poets".
  • "But Daddy I Love Him" is the longest track on the album, at 5 minutes and 40 seconds long.
  • "I Look in People's Windows" is the shortest track on the album, and is Taylor’s shortest song to date, at 2 minutes and 11 seconds long.
  • The full standard edition of album, including the bonus track "The Black Dog", leaked on April 17th.
  • The Anthology edition is Swift's album with the most tracks, at 31, and the second longest album after Red (Taylor's Version), at two hours and two minutes long.
  • TikTok made a Tortured Poets Department profile frame along with a animation that appears when searching topics related to Taylor Swift for a limited time.
  • The Tortured Poets Department is the album with the most names mentioned in the song titles and lyrics, with them all being: Jack (Antonoff), Lucy (Dacus), Ken, Sarah, Hannah, Dylan Thomas, Patti Smith, Charlie Puth, Clara Bow, Stevie Nicks, Taylor Swift, Chloe, Sam, Sophia, Marcus, Peter, Aimee, Cassandra, Robin, Peter, and Aristotle.

References[]

THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT
"Fortnight" • "The Tortured Poets Department" • "My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys" • "Down Bad" • "So Long, London" • "But Daddy I Love Him" • "Fresh Out The Slammer" • "Florida!!!" • "Guilty as Sin?" • "Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?" • "I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)" • "loml" • "I Can Do It With a Broken Heart" • "The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived" • "The Alchemy" • "Clara Bow"
THE ANTHOLOGY
"The Black Dog" • "imgonnagetyouback" • "The Albatross" • "Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus" • "How Did It End?" • "So High School" • "I Hate It Here" • "thanK you aIMee" • "I Look in People's Windows" • "The Prophecy" • "Cassandra" • "Peter" • "The Bolter" • "Robin" • "The Manuscript"
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