Enter the Tortured Swift Fatigue Department

'NYT' describes complaints 'unlike any Swift has faced' recently
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2024 8:56 AM CDT
Enter the Era of Taylor Swift Fatigue
This cover image released by Republic Records show "The Tortured Poets Department" by Taylor Swift.   (Republic Records via AP)

Taylor Swift has been on everyone's lips for months. That hasn't changed with the release of The Tortured Poets Department, her 31-song 11th studio album and the fifth new release in five years (not to mention those four rereleases). But what people are saying has changed. Indeed, as the New York Times reports, Swift fatigue appears to have set in.

  • Criticism: It's a "previously unthinkable" feeling that has "solidified online" in recent days, not just with critics, but Swifties as well, per the Times. Online can now be found "a sliver of space for a wider round of complaint unlike any Swift has faced over her prolific and world-conquering recent run."
  • Overload: Even self-described Swiftie Callie Ahlgrim finds the album too "bloated" at more than 2 hours and 31 songs. "It's too much to process" with the belated release of 15 extra tracks—"the would-be scraps"—likely there only because "the more songs you have, the more streams you get," Ahlgrim writes at Business Insider.
  • Anonymous bad review: A review at Paste Magazine suggests a tide has turned against Swift, whose latest album features some of her "worst lyricism to-date" and "is going to set the art of poetry back another decade." The outlet said it did not include the author's byline due to "threats of violence" against a reviewer of Swift's 2019 album Lover. "We care more about the safety of our staff than a name attached to an article," Paste said.

  • More of the same: Many reviews claim this is far from Swift's best work. Some have observed that "the tracks on this latest album—many of them breakup songs—sounded a whole lot like others she has already put out," per the Times. And for Paste's reviewer, it's "impossible to really buy into the 'torture' of it all" given that "no musician has been bigger this century than Swift."
  • Media coverage: That said, the fatigue might not be entirely Swift's fault. Maybe we're so overwhelmed because of articles like the Daily Mail's "The 10 WORST lyrics in Taylor Swift's new album—ranked!" and Slate's breakdown of every noun mentioned in Poets, helpfully clarifying that the mention of "Central Park Lake" refers to "the lake within New York's Central Park."
(More Taylor Swift stories.)

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