Pictured is Swift at the 66th Grammy Awards. Photo courtesy of GRAMMY.com
Kerry Kadel | Arts and Entertainment Editor
Picture this: you’re watching the 66th annual Grammys on the couch in your campus house. The next award to be given is Best Pop Vocal Album, and your favorite artist, Taylor Swift, is up for her album “Midnights,” released in 2022. You film your reaction, because there’s something else that you, among many fans, have been anxiously waiting for, and have speculated that it has to be what Swift is releasing next: the re-recording of Swift’s 2017 album, “reputation.” Swift has won the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal, her thirteenth Grammy overall, and you get so excited as you film the TV. In her speech she says, “I want to say ‘thank you’ to the fans by telling you a secret that I’ve been keeping from the last two years…”
This is where you are speaking out loud alone in your campus housing living room, chanting, “Shut up! Shut up!” because you think you know what’s coming. Swift continues, “Which is that my brand new album comes out April 19th, [and] it’s called…”
Yes! This is it! You guessed it right! She’s going to re-release “reputation!”
“…it’s called ‘The Tortured Poets Department.’”
And you keep repeating “WHAT?!” over and over again, waiting too long to realize you may have disturbed your roommate whose bedroom door is connected to the living room.
Obviously, this didn’t happen to you, it happened to me. I also imagine many other fans, the “Swifties” also having this same mind-exploding reaction.
This was Swift’s first win of the night, and upon her second win for the last award of the show, Album of the Year, there was not another surprise in store. Many fans suspected her re-release of “reputation,” which is Swift’s sixth studio album under her old record company, Big Machine Records. When Swifties thinks that Taylor is going to re-release an album, she usually makes hints to the build-up of the announcement, and it’s not only her that’s tied to dropping these hints. Her website hadn’t been working the day before and the day of the Grammys, but fans have seen this “problem” before, as they have decoded the website for hints before.
There were hints of specific words translated into other languages within the coding, which was revealed to be part of the album’s synopsis per Swift’s announcement post on Instagram. Fans also take into consideration the album’s release day, April 19th, which is Poetry and the Creative Mind Day. The day celebrates the power of poetry and self-expression. April is also National Poetry Month, and from the poetic praise Swift garnered from her eighth and ninth indie folk albums “folklore” and “evermore,” many have called Swift a true poet of our time. Interestingly, Swift has commented on the fact that if she hadn’t taken the singer career path, she would have considered becoming an English teacher. Many of her songs in the two albums have connections to some of the greatest books, such as The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre, and The Sun Also Rises; and poets such as William Wordsworth, Robert Frost, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Perhaps fans and curious listeners will be able to spot some new literary references within the new album, maybe some great similes and metaphors. Whatever the album holds, I am extremely excited, not just as a fan, but also as an English major to listen to sixteen brand-new songs for a tortured poet.