Swiftie Central

Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ is here, and so are all the memes

Taylor Swift’s much-anticipated new album The Tortured Poets Department is here at last, and Swifties got even more than they bargained for. Not only was there a secret second half to the album, but what many assumed would be her big goodbye to her six-year relationship with Joe Alwyn was instead mostly about a month-long affair with Matty Healy.

There’s plenty to say about the music, but everyone on the internet has already said it. The album shows off Swift’s manic, delusional side, but also has some heaping helpings of self-reflection. The double-album has 31 songs altogether, so there’s room for every side of Swift’s repertoire, including both sweeping synth pop and folksier, acoustic-heavy tracks.

Swift’s lyricism is, as always, on full display — but they aren’t the easiest to pick up on first listen, as lots of folks pointed out. Diction, Taylor, diction!

One particularly infamous lyric comes from the title track, where she sings, “We declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist.” Why are we name-dropping Charlie Puth, of all people? But fans appreciated the opportunity to sub his name with their own favorite artists. Carly Rae Jepsen should be a bigger artist, thank you very much.

Fans were also sounding off about the various men the album is about, from Alwyn to Healy to Swift’s current boyfriend, Travis Kelce. How might they all feel about their place in the album? The consensus seems to be that Alwyn should be mortified, Healy should be flattered, and Kelce — bless his heart — probably has no idea what’s even going on.

But beyond all the boy drama, Swift found time to take a shot at Kim Kardashian with a track titled “thanK you aIMee.” Those out-of-place uppercase letters spell out — you guessed it — Kim. Kardashian famously edited a phone call with Swift that damaged her reputation back in 2016, so Swift clapping back is more than justified (particularly ahead of releasing Reputation (Taylor’s Version), which is heavily rumored to be her next re-recorded album).

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