Taylor Swift surprises fans with secret ‘double album’ edition of new record

Taylor Swift fans knew a new album was coming, but the 'Swifties' were treated to an extra surprise this morning, ITV News Entertainment Reporter Rishi Davda reports

Taylor Swift has been praised for being “vulnerable in a way we’ve never heard before”, following the release of her new album The Tortured Poets Department.

The US singer-songwriter released her 11th studio album to critical acclaim on Friday, with fans speculating that a number of songs referenced her break-up with British actor Joe Alwyn and brief rumoured romance with The 1975 star Matty Healy.

Hours after dropping the 16-song edition of her 11th studio album, Swift announced an expanded version with an extra 15 songs, titled The Anthology.

Swift announced the news by sharing album artwork on social media, writing: “It’s a 2am surprise: The Tortured Poets Department is a secret DOUBLE album.

“I’d written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you, so here’s the second instalment of TTPD: The Anthology. 15 extra songs. And now the story isn’t mine anymore … it’s all yours.”

Cover image released by Republic Records shows "The Tortured Poets Department" by Taylor Swift. Credit: AP

Rob Sheffield from Rolling Stone magazine suggested the Tortured Poets Department, may be the “most personal” yet from Swift.

“It’s the cathartic confession of a woman who thought she had adulthood - and adult romance - all figured out, only to find herself realising she knows nothing,” he said.

“This is an album nobody saw coming, even though she gave so many signs.”

BBC music correspondent Mark Savage described the singer as “bereft and bewildered” on the new offering. He said: “Vulnerable in a way we’ve never heard before.

“The Tortured Poets Department is an uneven album, and one that lacks a slam-dunk radio anthem like Anti-Hero or Shake It Off – but Swift has pop music in a stranglehold for now, so it will sell by the bucketload, even though it leaked a day ahead of release.”

Meanwhile, Alexis Petridis from the Guardian awarded the album four out of five stars, criticising it as “a shade too long” while describing Swift as an “exceptionally talented writer”.

“There’s a depth and maturity to this album that makes her competitors look a little wan by comparison,” he said.

Dan Cairns from the Times gave a full five-star review of the album, which features collaborations from Post Malone and Florence + The Machine. The critic said he was “basking in the work of a writer at the very top of her game”.

“Tortured? Yes, by the sounds of it. For all the scars, though, the album’s message is this: healing, wisdom and art come at a price,” he added.

While her new album may be comprised of her breakups, Taylor Swift has been in a much documented romance with Travis Kelce. Credit: AP

The Telegraph music critic, Neil McCormick, described the album’s standout track as being the “icily vengeful” The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived.

“The Tortured Poets Department is effectively Swift’s break-up album,” he said.

“In terms of emotional insight and sheer singer-songwriter genius, it is not in the league of such heartbreak classics as Bob Dylan’s Blood On The Tracks and Joni Mitchell’s Blue, but at least it reaches for such heights.

“Swift knows her way around metaphors and similes, and delights in conjuring delicately cascading tranches of clever puns and dazzling wordplay rooted in real feelings.

“There are some welcome edges here, but I venture that when she is ready to stop feeding the American dream machine, that is when she will be ready to make her masterpiece.”

Swift will bring her Eras tour to the UK from June 7, when she kicks off with three shows in Edinburgh. The run of London shows begins on June 21.

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