Magazine Publishes Anonymous Taylor Swift Album Review Citing Safety Concerns

Paste Magazine has taken the unusual step of publishing a review of Taylor Swift’s latest album “The Tortured Poets Department” without a byline to protect the writer from potential threats. The decision was made after a previous review of Swift’s 2019 album “Lover” resulted in the writer receiving “threats of violence from readers who disagreed with the work” according to a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The anonymous writer argued that Swift’s title labeling her next ‘era’ as ‘tortured’ is “impossible to really buy into” given her immense popularity and success.

“In terms of popularity—certainly not always in terms of quality—no musician has been bigger this century than Swift which makes it impossible to really buy into the ‘torture’ of it all” the writer claimed.

The review took aim at the lyrics of Swift’s new songs describing them as filled with “simplicity empty language [and] commodification” that is “propped up against the most dog-water uninspired synth arrangement you could possibly imagine.”

Despite the harsh criticism from Paste Magazine most other outlets offered positive reviews of Swift’s album. However a few including the New York Times and New Musical Express (NME) did include some milder criticism.

The New York Times argued that Swift’s songs included too much filler stating that the “sharpest moments” of the album “would be even more piercing in the absence of excess but instead the clutter lingers while Swift holds an unlit match.”

NME’s review suggested that Swift’s new album is subpar compared to her previous work writing “Ultimately this record lacks the genuinely interesting shifts that have punctuated Swift’s career so far from the lyrical excellence on her superior breakup album ‘Red’ to ‘1989”s pivot to high-octane pop.”

Regardless of the mixed reviews Swift’s 11th studio album quickly broke several records on Spotify. In addition to racking up the platform’s highest number of single-day streams it was the first to exceed 300 million streams in one day.

The decision by Paste Magazine to publish an anonymous review highlights the intense devotion of Swift’s fanbase known as “Swifties” and the potential backlash critics may face for expressing negative opinions about the artist’s work. As the anonymous writer noted “Women can’t critique Swift because they’ll run the risk of being labeled a ‘gender traitor’ for doing so. Men can’t critique her because they’ll be touted as ‘sexist.'”