Taylor Swift: The ‘Tortured’ Mailbag


“The Tortured Poets Department,” the new album from Taylor Swift, will have the biggest opening week of any album this year. Critical reaction to the release has been mixed, but fan interest has remained extremely high. And questions about Swift’s music and motivations abound.

On this week’s Popcast, a listener mailbag episode full of questions prompted by Swift’s latest turns, including

  • How does “TTPD” mark the return to an earlier, far more personal version of Swift’s music?

  • What are the pros and cons of turning “TTPD” into a sudden double album?

  • To what degree is Swift in dialogue with the leading indie-rock songwriters of the day?

  • How does Swift engage with criticism, and with fans who lash out on her behalf?

  • Could it be, despite the decidedly mixed response, that this album is Swift’s best?

  • Will Swift ever voluntarily step away from the spotlight?

Guests:

  • Caryn Ganz, The New York Times’s pop music editor

  • Tom Breihan, senior editor at Stereogum

Connect With Popcast. Become a part of the Popcast community: Join the show’s Facebook group and Discord channel. We want to hear from you! Tune in, and tell us what you think at popcast@nytimes.com. Follow our host, Jon Caramanica, on Twitter: @joncaramanica.





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