Taylor Swift Recorded ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ Track-By-Track Commentary For Amazon Music

Now that you’ve spent the entire weekend obsessively poring over all the lyrics on Taylor Swift‘s sprawling, 31-track The Tortured Poets Department, the singer has graciously stepped forward to offer Swifties some additional context.


On Monday morning (April 22), Amazon Music launched a track-by-track album experience featuring Swift providing commentary on the songs interspersed throughout the album’s tracks; Swifties can also listen to the album with Taylor’s full commentary by saying, “Alexa, I’m a member of The Tortured Poets Department” or in the Amazon Music app.

Describing the first single, “Fortnight,” which features Post Malone, Swift says, “‘Fortnight’ is a song that exhibits a lot of the common themes that run throughout this album. One of which being fatalism — longing, pining away, lost dreams. I think that it’s a very fatalistic album in that there are lots of very dramatic lines about life or death. ‘I love you, it’s ruining my life.’ These are very hyperbolic, dramatic things to say. It’s that kind of album.”

Speaking of another song fans have cued in on, “Clara Bow,” Swift says it was inspired by her experiences in the entertainment industry and the tendency to pit female artists against each other. “‘Clara Bow’ is a song that I wrote as a commentary on what I’ve seen in the industry that I’ve been in over time,” Swift says. “I used to sit in record labels trying to get a record deal when I was a little kid. And they’d say, ‘you know, you remind us of’ and then they’d name an artist, and then they’d kind of say something disparaging about her, ‘but you’re this, you’re so much better in this way or that way.’ And that’s how we teach women to see themselves, as like you could be the new replacement for this woman who’s done something great before you.”

Her collaboration with Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine, “Florida!!!,” is described as being inspired by true crime. “I’m always watching Dateline. People have these crimes that they commit; where do they immediately skip town and go to? They go to Florida,” Swift says. “They try to reinvent themselves, have a new identity, blend in. I think when you go through a heartbreak, there’s a part of you that thinks, ‘I want a new name. I want a new life. I don’t want anyone to know where I’ve been or know me at all.’ And so that was the jumping off point. Where would you go to reinvent yourself and blend in? Florida!”

The singer’s 11th studio album instantly became the most-streamed album in its first day on Amazon Music on Friday on its way to selling 1.4 million copies in its first day of release in the U.S.

Other bits of insight Swift shares include the origin of “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys,” which she says is a metaphor woven from the perspective of a child’s toy. “Being somebody’s favorite toy until they break you and then don’t want to play with you anymore. Which is how a lot of us are in relationships where we are so valued by a person in the beginning, and then all of the sudden, they break us or they devalue us in their mind,” she says “We’re still clinging on to ‘No no, no. You should’ve seen them the first time they saw me. They’ll come back to that. They’ll get back to that.’”

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