Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ Songs Ranked

One of the constants of Taylor Swift’s storied career has been the chances she’s taken at the precise moment when taking a chance wasn’t necessary. She was a country superstar who didn’t need to go pop; she was less than a year removed from a major pop album and didn’t need to take an indie-folk detour; she was in the middle of a blockbuster run of new albums and didn’t need to re-record her old ones. Time and again, Swift has identified artistic opportunities that other stars would have blanched at (or at the very least, set aside for a different time, so as to not muck up any professional momentum), and she has leapt into them fearlessly, always coming out on top.

So right now — in the middle of a mega-selling stadium tour, after a record-breaking fourth album of the year Grammy win, in a high-profile new romance and at the commercial zenith of an already all-time career — is, naturally, the time Swift has chosen to release a knowingly messy, wildly unguarded breakup album.

She didn’t have to do this! But then again, making an album like The Tortured Poets Department is exactly what separates Swift from her more careful peers. Challenging herself to shape-shift, to accomplish something new at the moment anyone else would rest on their laurels, is what makes her so fascinating.

Click here for a full review of The Tortured Poets Department. And while there are no skippable tracks on the new album, there are a few standouts out of the 18 on the deluxe edition. Here is a humble, preliminary opinion on the best songs on Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department.

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