Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department – live updates: What critics and fans are saying

Taylor Swift teases ‘timetable’ for The Tortured Poets Department album in new video

Taylor Swift has released her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, revealing just three hours after it dropped that it is a surprise double album.

The pop titan’s latest record, announced earlier this year when she won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album (Midnights), was released overnight on Friday 19 April and reportedly caused a spike in Spotify outages.

Physical copies of the LP feature a prologue/poem written by legendary Fleetwood Mac star and solo singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks, a longtime champion of Swift, and an epilogue written by Swift herself.

In a five-star review of the album, The Independent’s critic Helen Brown praised the “playful narratives” and “hooks like anchors”.

“In keeping with the literary (if ungrammatical) album title, Swift is on her most piercingly polysyllabic form here,” she wrote.

Fans have been surprised that many songs on the album seem to take aim at Swift’s ex Matty Healy, whom she briefly dated last year, instead of her boyfriend of six years Joe Alwyn, whom she was reported to have parted ways with around April 2023.

Follow live updates for reactions, reviews and revelations from the album so far.


Michael J Fox says Taylor Swift ‘changes the way the world works’

Days before Taylor Swift broke the internet with her new album, Michael J Fox has praised her, saying that she “changes the world works”.

Speaking to People for the magazine’s 50th-anniversary issue, the Back to the Future star, 62, admitted that he “didn’t have an opinion about Taylor Swift when I first heard of Taylor Swift”.

“Now I have a wife and four kids who worship her,” he said. “I think she’s going to be a really important person. I think she moves economies, she changes the way the world works, and that’s amazing.”

Inga Parkel20 April 2024 00:00


Who are The Blue Nile, the Scottish band Taylor Swift references on Guilty as Sin?

On “Guilty as Sin?” she sings about “fatal fantasies” for someone from her past who sends her the 1989 song “The Downtown Lights”, by Scottish band The Blue Nile (she might have felt a particular affinity for the song as it was released the year she was born).

Song from new album ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ namedrops her ex Matty Healy’s favourite band

Kevin Perry19 April 2024 23:45


Taylor Swift breaks her own record (again)

Spotify have just announced that The Tortured Poets Department is already their most-streamed album in a single day, with Taylor Swift also becoming the most-streamed artist in a single day in the history of the platform.

It is the first album to ever exceed 200 million streams in a single day. The previous record was also held by Swift, who now has the top three most streamed albums in a single day, with The Tortured Poets Department followed by Midnights and 1989 (Taylor’s Version).

Kevin Perry19 April 2024 23:30


Why fans think Taylor Swift will perform at Coachella weekend two

Taylor Swift fans are speculating that she may perform at Coachella’s weekend two after releasing her new album The Tortured Poets Department.

The singer, 34, is rumoured to be performing with her friend and fellow Jack Antonoff collaborator Lana Del Rey this weekend.

It comes after she was spotted enjoying the festival’s first weekend with boyfriend Travis Kelce. Swift was last spotted attending the festival in 2016.

Swift was spotted enjoying the festival’s first weekend with boyfriend Travis Kelce

Inga Parkel19 April 2024 23:00


Travis Kelce’s ex asks trolls to ‘leave her alone’ as Taylor Swift releases new album

Hours before Taylor Swift released her new album, Travis Kelce’s ex, influencer Kayla Nicole, addressed some of the criticism she’s seen about her on social media.

“I’m unproblematic. Mind my business,” she tweeted on Thursday (18 April). “Never respond to the constant vitriol. Solid as they come & don’t expect a pat on the back for it either.”

However, she then hit back at the criticism, before asking her followers to put an end to it. “Just know everyone has a breaking point & would love for ‘yall’ (because you know exactly who you are) to leave me alone,” she concluded.

The American football star dated Nicole off-and-on from 2017 to 2022, before Kelce is believed to have started dating Swift in September 2023.

Travis Kelce and Kayla Nicole dated off-and-on from 2017 to 2022

Inga Parkel19 April 2024 22:30


Taylor Swift easter eggs: All the clues so far from The Tortured Poets Department

Ahead of the record’s release, Swift partnered with streaming service Spotify to create an open-air library at The Grove in Los Angeles.

The surprise pop-up led to fans scrambling to decipher clues left behind. She also shared a video teaser that follows the camera as it exits the Midnights room and enters the Tortured Poets Department, a stark office with bright white lights.

Pop star teased fans with clues ahead of her new album

Inga Parkel19 April 2024 22:00


All of the famous names dropped in Taylor Swift’s Tortured Poets album

Taylor Swift’s new record, The Tortured Poets Department, name-drops a handful of famous names, some expected and some (very much) not.

Swift does much of her name-checking in the album’s title track.

“I laughed in your face and said, ‘You’re not Dylan Thomas, I’m not Patti Smith,’” she sings, referring to the famous poets. “This ain’t the Chelsea Hotel, we’rе modern idiots.”

She then surprised fans when she celebrated fellow artist Charlie Puth, singing: “We declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist.”

Elsewhere in the song, she appears to mention her frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff and Boygenius’s Lucy Dacus.

“Sometimes I wonder if you’re gonna screw this up with me / But you told Lucy you’d kill yourself if I ever leave / And I had said that to Jack about you, so I felt seen,” she sings.

Finally, in her “Clara Bow” song, titled after the late Twenties actor, she also names singer Stevie Nicks. “You look like Stevie Nicks in ’75 / The hair and lips / The crowd goes wild at her fingertips / Half moonshinе, a full eclipse.”

Inga Parkel19 April 2024 21:30


Matt Healy ‘still thinks very highly’ of Taylor Swift even after new album release, source claims

Swift’s ex, The 1975 frontman Matt Healy, has reacted to her latest album, The Tortured Poets Department.

“Matty still thinks very highly of Taylor but we were all nervous about what she might have said on the album,” an insider told US Weekly. They also claimed that Healy “couldn’t be happier” with how Swift’s record turned out.

“Matty’s family knew about the relationship,” the insider said. “And they were worried that Taylor was going to rip him apart. Matty has struggled with life in the public eye, and he’s been doing really well, but the last thing that he needs is for every Swiftie in the world to think he’s a villain.”

Taylor Swift and Matt Healy (Getty Images)

Fans expecting a post-mortem of the musician’s six-year relationship with Joe Alwyn have been left surprised, as Swift seems to spend more time dissecting her brief fling with The 1975 frontman

Inga Parkel19 April 2024 21:00


The New York Times thinks Taylor Swift’s album could’ve done with an editor

“Over 16 songs (and a second LP), the pop superstar litigates her recent romances,” Zoladz writes. “But the themes, and familiar sonic backdrops, generate diminishing returns.”

Calling it a “curiously insular album”, she adds that it is “often cradled in the familiar, amniotic throb of Jack Antonoff’s production”.

“As the album goes on, Swift’s lyricism starts to feel unrestrained, imprecise and unnecessarily verbose.”

Inga Parkel19 April 2024 20:30


Taylor Swift fans sent into frenzy as new album The Tortured Poets Department ‘leaked’

Days before the release of Swift’s 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, it appeared to have been leaked online sparking a frenzy of debate among fans.

Swifties have branded the leak a ‘slap in the face’ to the artist’s hard work

Inga Parkel19 April 2024 20:00


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