The Random Bibliophile

by Renee Alexis

Renee Alexis
20-something Filipina, an introvert who loves young adult fiction, brush pens, Taylor Swift, and BTS. Coffee runs in my bloodstream.


Buy Me a Coffee at

2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Renee Alexis has read 0 books toward her goal of 30 books.

The Tortured Poets Department 4.19 I Love You, It's Ruining My Life

The Tortured Poets Department by Taylor Swift

The Tortured Poets Department. An anthology of new works that reflect events, opinions and sentiments from a fleeting and fatalistic moment in time - one that was both sensational and sorrowful in equal measure. This period of the author’s life is now over, the chapter closed and boarded up. There is nothing to avenge, no scores to settle once wounds have healed. And upon further reflection, a good number of them turned out to be self-inflicted. This writer is of the firm belief that our tears become holy in the form of ink on a page. Once we have spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it.

And then all that’s left behind is the tortured poetry.

Taylor's 11th studio album came out today, so I am here once again to share my first impressions and thoughts of the tracks of this brand-new album. (I might have broken my streak because I haven't blogged anything about Speak Now TV and 1989 TV but that doesn't mean I love those albums less). Now let me just preface this: I have so much respect for Mother Taylor. Between promoting her Midnights album, going on a 3-hour-long concert every night for her world tour, and releasing her re-records, I can't even imagine how she manages her time to get all that done and write & produce a new album simultaneously. That is the kind of work ethic people would be so jealous about, and I'm people. How does she do it? The kind of grit and perseverance she has is something I strive to have. 

Anyway, The Tortured Poets Department. It's such a different album from all the ones she had released. It's powerful yet her most vulnerable. The sadness is palpable in certain tracks and there's just the right amount of humor in them, too. It's so different and nothing could have prepared me for it. This album was nothing like what I expected yet exceeded all my expectations. There are plenty of metaphors to dissect. Screaming and swearing is the norm here. Truly this album holds everything that Taylor went through in the last 2 years of her life and it's gripping and gave me that sinking feeling. Some songs are just so depressing to listen to that it's almost like being there at her side as that moment was happening. Taylor is at her prime and this album is where her songwriting shines the brightest—glitter gel pens are nowhere to be found.

What's more amazing is that this was a double album, which means we got twice as many tracks. It shocked me. The first 16 songs were already so much to digest, and then two hours later, Taylor dropped another 15. Today was so exciting and so here's what I have to say about The Tortured Poets Department and TTPD: The Anthology tracks: UNREAL, UNHINGED, UNBELIEVABLY REMARKABLE.

I was at a loss for words like I always am but after listening to the 31 tracks twice, I then remembered Taylor saying that making this album was a need for her. That this was a lifeline, that she never needed songwriting more than when she made The Tortured Poets Department. And that thought alone made this whole album make sense. This was a work of someone who needed an outlet for her frustrations and fears and sadness and anger and perplexing thoughts. Taylor shares her deepest, most vulnerable soul with us with this album and it's uncanny how she can put all those feelings into lyrics and melodies. 

This was a collection of fractured trauma, hurt, mania, depression, dark humor, and unhinged emotions all mashed up into songs she likes to call poetry. And I get it. I kinda understand why these songs are in this album. I get the unexpected lyrics and the way she utilizes her lower range to sing the most excruciating lines. Everything in this album is intentional—even the insane lyrics, and we may never know what everything is all about but as Taylor said, these songs are no longer just hers, but also ours now that she has released them. 

What this album shows me is how complex it is the emotions one can have as a mature 30+ woman juggling being a world-famous pop star, daughter, friend, colleague, and partner. It's a commemoration of Taylor's deepest feelings and thoughts as she went through the highs and lows of her life in the last 2 years. How she stayed afloat after ending a 6-year relationship, how she sought solace from someone whom she thought she could trust, how certain things just can't be simply forgotten, how she is thankful to the people around her who brought her where she is now but also felt a little resentment towards them for making her who she is now (such a contradiction but I can't blame her), and how she became triumphant in the end by surviving those tumultuous times when she knew her sanity was hanging by a thread. And for her to be this brave to share this piece with us makes me so damn proud of her.

I don't think everyone can appreciate and handle the playfulness of this incredibly vulnerable and sad yet brimming-with-life album because, unlike Midnights, this was not created to wow us yet it did. This album wasn't created to be sensational yet it is. I just hope that TTPD will not be reduced to an album about Taylor's ex. While it's fun to assume which ex is which song is about, it is not the end all be all. This album is not a ratty or a toe album. This is a Taylor Swift album. It's about her experience. It's about how she coped with the hurts and the heartbreak. It's about her introspection, about her being critical of herself, and maybe at times about her regretting things she did and didn't do. It's about catharsis and how she healed and moved on. It's Taylor Swift and her rattled self, writing out all her frustrations and jubilations into bite-size pieces. And it's one heck of a record.

Initial favorite tracks: 

  • The Tortured Poets Departments
  • Down Bad
  • Guilty as Sin?
  • Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?
  • I Can Do It With a Broken Heart
  • The Black Dog
  • imgonnagetyouback
  • So High School
  • The Prophecy
  • Peter
  • The Bolter


Contact Form