Austin/ Fun & Entertainment
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Published on April 22, 2024
Swift's "Poetry in Pop" Album 'The Tortured Poets Department' Rocks the Charts with Texas Twang & Record Streams!Source: Ronald Woan from Redmond, WA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Taylor Swift's latest music escapade has been breaking the internet, with her double album "The Tortured Poets Department" pouring out track after track of what some fans are to read like poetry set to pop melodies. Swifties can't seem to get enough, especially given the Texas-sized references sprinkled throughout her 31-track anthology, which have caught the attention of both die-hard fans and casual listeners alike, as reported by KXAN.

Swift, who is now a 14-time Grammy winner, managed to indefinitely etch her name in the record books, often signals an end to secrecy with releases that rake in massive streaming numbers. "TPPD" apparently amassed a whopping 300 million streams in just 24 hours on Spotify, as per KXAN. From Swift's explanation on Amazon Music, her tune "Florida!!!" captures the whimsical longing to escape, to skip town post-crime—because where else but the Sunshine State to start afresh? And let's not downplay her Lone Star State references, with direct mentions of Texas in the same song, and the laughably relatable Texas highway experience narrated in "I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)," according to Swift's lyrical prowess.

What truly grabs the headlines is the tie-in of rapper and singer Post Malone in the album's lead single "Fortnight," an artist synonymous with Texas who's also recently graced Beyoncé's debut country album, as KXAN noted. Swift's latest project is as much a map of emotional landscapes as it is a literal cartography of her past and present musical footprints across the U.S.

Indeed, the "The Tortured Poets Department" album itself has sparked a hot topic among academics—with Elizabeth Scala, a professor at the University of Texas who teaches a course on Swift, publicly dubbing the pop artist's work as "poetical." "There is something poetical about the way she writes,” Scala told KVUE, adding that the album throws it back to a time before print, when poems were not just read, but sung. Scala sees Swift as employing techniques reminiscent of Sylvia Plath's work, and her track "Fortnight" particularly stands out with its enjambed lines and tension between lyrics and musical smoothness, which Scala argues are "literary."