Entertainment

Taylor Swift responds to reviews of latest album amid mixed reception

Taylor Swift responds to reviews of latest album amid mixed reception
Taylor Swift, ยฉ PA Archive/PA Images

Taylor Swift has responded to reviews of her latest album with lyrics from her own songs.

The music superstar has received mixed verdicts on her latest offering, the surprise double album The Tortured Poets Department.

The 34-year-old launched the 16-song album on Friday morning and then, just two hours later, revealed it is a double album with 15 more songs available on The Anthology edition.

While many critics have praised the album, with Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield declaring it a “cathartic confession” and suggesting it may be “the most personal” yet from Swift, others have been more cutting.

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A withering review of the album in Paste magazine describes the lyrics as “the worst to date”.

It adds: “You get something like The Tortured Poets Department when the artist making it no longer feels challenged, where she strikes out looking.”

The review was posted without a byline because of concerns about “threats of violence”, according to an editor’s note on the publication’s account on X, formerly Twitter.

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The statement said: “There is no byline on this review due to how, in 2019 when Paste reviewed ‘Lover’, the writer was sent threats of violence from readers who disagreed with the work.

“We care more about the safety of our staff than a name attached to an article.”

A review in the New York Times is also decidedly mixed, with the newspaper’s critic saying the sharpest moments of this new album “would be even more piercing in the absence of excess, but instead the clutter lingers”.

Swift appears to either be focusing on the positive reviews or responding to the more negative ones by sharing some of her favourites on Instagram, accompanied by lyrics from the album.

Sharing the review from Rolling Stone, she wrote: “And that’s the closest I’ve come to my heart exploding” – from the title track, The Tortured Poets Department.

 

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A post shared by Taylor Swift (@taylorswift)

Sharing a review from Dan Cairns in The Times, in which he compares her album to a “rich and concise” short story collection, she wrote: “These chemicals hit me whiiiiite wiiiiine” – from The Alchemy – while she accompanied a review from Helen Brown in The Independent with: “Everyone we know understands why it’s meant to be” – also from the title track.

In her review, Brown praises the album for drawing “powerfully on Swift’s country roots, spooling out longer narratives and tassel-flicking out the witty wordplay”.

Regardless of the reviews, Swift’s album is already a huge hit and became the first album in Spotify history to reach more than 300 million streams in a single day.

Swift also became the most-streamed artist in a single day on the platform when her record was released on April 19th, according to the streaming service.

By Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

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