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All is fair in love and poetry…

All is fair in love and poetry…

         All truly is fair in love, poetry and sadly war. Taylor Swift proved once again that this is her house and she makes the rules. And she gave me an idea to start a new segment here, on Twin Peaks Café – Musical Archives (previously known as „Music„).

I love you, it’s ruining my life

         I had an entirely different post in mind for today (a review of Perfect Days and Past Lives), but I am beyond excited to do this instead – especially because there are so many great albums I want to tell you all about! 

But there is only one queen of the castle here that is worthy of being the first one in my Archives. I fell in love with Taylor’s music ever since she released folklore and evermore because as a writer, I appreciate the insane storytelling. 

all
so long, london…

These two albums are pure, subtle and core storytelling – if you listen to them in particular order, there is a breathtaking story behind them. And it is an unusual break from Taylor’s regular – life as she knows it.

Who uses typewriters anyway?

         That does not mean I don’t like her other albums, no. I was just a late bloomer, so to speak. But I grew to love them, appreciate them and cherish the emotions her lyrics stir within my tortured heart. After all, Taylor became my artist of the year in 2023! 

Her lyrics, often deemed controversial by people who think that she shouldn’t write so much about her exes… Well, frankly, dear haters, I don’t see you winning Grammys, planting Easter Eggs and creating such a multidimensional experience for anyone, so there’s the door. 

all
longing spring

In my Archives, I will not be digging deep into the Easter Eggs, because there are Swifties out there unpacking these delicious surprises with bigger experience, so I will leave it to all the experts out there. 

Fuck it if I can’t have him
I might just die, it would make no difference

         The Tortured Poets Department came as a double album – at midnight, Tay released 16 songs and then at 2 am, from her desk came another note: 15 new songs, The Anthology. And believe me, that was not on my bingo card for 2024!!! 

I listened to the entire album first thing in the morning, making sure no one is disturbing me. To properly (well, that might be a strong word, but please bear with me) experience this album, you cannot be distracted. Because trust me, the lyrics are everything.

POST MALONE APPRECIATION PIC

Because musically, this album for me is a blend of folklore Tay and Midnights Tay. But lyrically, it is a whole new level of going through all stages of “breakup grief”: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

         Yours truly was obviously drawn more into the saddest parts and tunes, but damn, do I appreciate the entire album? Hell yes. You know this rare feeling you have when you listen to an album and you DON’T SKIP A SINGLE SONG? The Tortured Poets Department joined this elite club of mine. 

How much sad did you think I had
Did you think I had in me?

         So, how do we do this? I will write a few words about each song on the album, the double album of course. Now, on my phone I started taking notes with short emoji-mood visual representations of how each song felt to me – pictures posted below! The bolded, underlined and italics-ed titles are my absolutely favorite.

Just a disclaimer – the list of my favorites, ultimate favorites and everything will probably change throughout the year, but hey – isn’t that the beauty of music? 

  1. Fortnight ft. Post Malone – this tune sneaked up on me. After the first listen, I liked it of course, but now I am absolutely in love. Post Malone planted a sunflower seed in my soul a while back and each time I hear his delicateness in this song, the sunflower blooms. And I think his presence in the song, though slightly limited, was just exactly what it needed. 
  2. The Tortured Poets Department – title track with a subtle “shot fired” toward a certain someone, but I liked it. You can feel the anger, disguised as a broken love letter. 
  3. My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys – was she the toy, the favorite toy? It hit me hard, to be honest, because… As we know, all is fair in love and poetry, and that said poetry (songs) was Taylor’s only defense. 
  4. Down Bad – this was instant love for me. I could relate to it so easily, it physically hurts. That part: “For a moment I knew cosmic love”? Oh God! Perfection. This is exactly what I mean when I am talking about her storytelling skills.  
  5. So Long, London – peculiar for sure, but lyrically soul-destroying. Took me two listens to fall in love, with the tempo, lyrics and the acceptance, the letting go. At some point, you just have to let go. 
  6. But Daddy I Love Him – Little Mermaid, anyone? 😉 This, for now, is probably one of my least liked tunes, but I will not skip it anyway. I like that Taylor was not afraid to show a little unhinged side of being blindly in love with someone. 
  7. Fresh Out the Slammer – this song has a kind of “sun behind the clouds” vibe for me, like still holding on to the idea of him, the idea of them. Despite the harsh truth. 
  8. Florida!!! ft. Florence and The Machine – oh I love it so much; it is very Florence-like and she was perfect in it. There is a certain empowerment in this tune, even though the lyrics are quite dark and… Worrying. Second duet on this album and Taylor just doesn’t miss. And as I am writing it, I realized I no longer have a TOP 5. It’s TOP 6 now. 
  9. Guilty as Sin? – took me a few listens to warm up, but I really liked it. This song sounds a bit like a confession. But it makes me sympathize with the author, regardless. 
  10. Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me? – EMPOWERMENT in the purest form! I really love the tune and lyrics are just like a slow knife under your ribs. Twisting knife, might I add. Perfect. 
  11. I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can) – some of us have been there more than once, right? I heard recently that women always think men will change (they don’t) and men think women won’t ever leave (they do). Sadly though, it’s one of my least fav songs on the album, but I won’t skip it. Least favorite for now, probably… 
  12. loml – and here we go, with the second tortured poetry that will break your heart. How to go from the love of someone’s life straight to loss of that someone’s life. 
  13. Can Do It With a Broken Heart – so many of us can and have to do it with a broken heart and yet Taylor managed to put it in words, seemingly so unhinged yet so completely true… It’s art. Sad, torturing, but still art… 
  14. The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived – like in size or character…? 😉 Another “not one of my favorites”, but it is certainly interesting. A vital part of the story, if you will. 
  15. The Alchemy – I absolutely love the melody, making me feel like I am in a movie, just falling in love with my soulmate. Beautiful, delicate and… Who are we to fight the alchemy? 
  16. Clara Bow – so many great references to Clara Bow, obviously, but also Stivie Nicks? YAS QUEEN. Reflective, painful and very poetry-like. Kind of tragic, but disguised in a somewhat cheerful melody. 
this is me, losing it to Florida!!! after cardio and before yoga

Well, me and my ghosts, wе had a hell of a time
Yes, I’m hauntеd, but I’m feeling just fine

  1. The Black Dog – this is where The Anthology starts, in a London pub. It kind of gives a good premise of what The Anthology will be – dramatic, desperate and tortured. Yet, we stayed for the poetry, right…? 
  2. imgonnagetyouback – the third of my least favorites, but will be good for those treadmill workouts 😉 Maybe I need a few more listens to warm up properly to this one, who knows. Actually, just as I was writing it, I started feeling that warm feeling. 
  3. The Albatross – okay, BASTILLE VIBES MUCH? (for those of you who don’t know, my boy Dan has this song called Weight of Living, Pt. I and there is this lyric: There’s an albatross around your neck/All the things you’ve said and the things you’ve done). This is for sure one of the best songs on the album, lyrically. Dangerous and very deep. 
  4. Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus – after listening to this one more, I find it more heartbreaking than it seemed. It’s actually very cold and… Full of hurt, when you get deep into the lyrics. 
  5. How Did It End? –  do you understand what I meant when I say that The Anthology is much more depressing and heartbreaking? Spoiler alert, it didn’t end well. 
  6. So High School – initially I thought “ew, what” but I ended up linking this one, it seem goofier and more carefree. And actually has this 2010s vibe, very high school. 
  7. I Hate It Here –  oh, how quickly I related to this song, I cannot. The feeling of running away to the secret gardens in my mind, when I feel trapped in reality? That’s a little too close to home, Tay. Nonetheless, it’s beautiful, because I totally understand that feeling. The one difference between me and Taylor, in my life, a few people have access to my gardens. And thanks to them, the flowers are blooming more beautifully. 
  8. thanK you aIMee –  it takes time and courage to finally admit that people who wronged us horribly, healed us in a way. And maybe, just maybe, if it wasn’t for the hurt… Our success wouldn’t be so grand. It’s all a matter of “if”, but one thing is sure –  Taylor is on top here.
  9. I Look in People’s Windows – if longing were a song, it would be this one. Longing for that particular someone, because…
  10. The Prophecy –  this song is the plea, the beg, the ultimate longing for a soulmate. I am not Taylor, but I do relate completely to the feeling of just wanting someone who genuinely wants my company. Let it once be me… 
  11. Cassandra –  oh, the folklore / evermore vibe of this song! I feel like it belongs on one of these, but then again, it’s perfectly tortured poetry. 
  12. Peter – another folklore / evermore vibe, but with a tortured twist. It feels heavy, even though it doesn’t necessarily sound this way. 
  13. The Bolter – I love the tempo and lyrics here, but still need a longer warm up for this one… So, yes. I kind of struggle with this one.
  14. Robin – I fell in love with the delicateness and softness of the dagger hidden in the lyrics… Feels like a final blow.
  15. The Manuscript – the beautiful send-off, the farewell and closing all the chapters. Acceptance, the final stage. Beautiful, fitting closure. And it truly is just that: a closure. 

TOP 6 in no particular order: The Prophecy, Fortnight, Hate it Here, Down Bad, The Manuscript, Florida!!!

Quick, quick, tell me something awful
Like you are a poet trapped inside the body of a finance guy

         The Tortured Poets Department will spark polarized opinions and reviews, but let me ask you this: is it because the album is confusing or is it because it is Taylor’s album? For me, it’s really, really good. I can relate to the pain, the heartache and longing. 

And it is doing the most important justice for me – boosting my creativity to explore, endure and use my experiences to my own, selfishly torturing purpose. Which is always appreciated! 

Anyway, give it a listen and let me know what you think!!! 

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