taylor swift with her head in her hands and posing for the tortured poets department

Taylor Swift ‘Tortured Poets Department Anthology’ Tracks Should Have Been the Main Album

Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department has been all I’ve been able to think about lately, mainly because I don’t think the actual album is worth it. The Anthology though? That is a different story. Every song that was on the second half of the drop was amazing to listen to.

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Maybe that was the point, to make this feel like Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, where a lot of the songs that mean a lot to fans are on the bigger version of the album, but the more I listen to The Tortured Poets Department, the more I start it at “The Black Dog” and go from there. Do I think that Swift should have swapped the releases completely? Not necessarily but I do think that there could have been a happy medium between the two.

The problem with the first release for The Tortured Poets Department stems from the fact that a lot of the songs have a similar tone to them. So, I end up wondering how they differ from each other. If The Tortured Poets Department had been broken up by songs featured on The Anthology, I think my feelings overall would change about the album.

That’s not to say I don’t love what she did with The Tortured Poets Department, but I do think it is worth noting that I haven’t really gone back to even listen to the songs on it but instead focused my time and energy on only The Anthology.

Is that the point? That she wanted us to move on from her recent breakups and focus on her new music? Is that the reason for a double album? What about whatever this third thing is? Will that change how I feel again? What this all comes down to is that The Anthology is better.

The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology has better songs!

With any good Swift release, the internet will connect with songs and talk about them non-stop. From what I can tell, it is songs like “Peter” or “The Black Dog” that are taking over our thoughts. We have a renewed obsession with “The Manuscript” and its obvious ties to “All Too Well.”

I don’t necessarily think that if the albums were reversed, it would make the tracks on The Tortured Poets Department more memorable, but I do think that there is a very clear divide between the albums and they could have, instead, had a better flow. “thanK you aIMee” is an absolute banger of a song but is left on The Anthology and I have to know why. Are we supposed to see The Anthology as its own thing? Because if so, I’d rank it above The Tortured Poets Department.

Maybe my solution is just to put the entire thing on shuffle and experience everything mixed together, because I think that is the only way to really do it and not wish I was listening to “The Albatross” instead of whatever song is playing from the first release of The Tortured Poets Department. I am sorry that “The Black Dog” is that good!

(featured image: Taylor Swift)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.