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The student news site of Stroudsburg High School

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March Madness Basketball Tournament; see class president, Eric Card.
3x3 Basketball Tournament
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Stroudsburg High Schools promotional Flyer for the King of Hearts dance.
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If you need tutoring, please join the Google Classroom so we can match you up with someone to help you. (Logo credit: NHS)
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Hannah Helm, far right, second row, celebrates senior night with her teammates.  Photo courtesy of Stroudsburg High School Softball Facebook page.
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Jaden Harper, Staff Writer • May 31, 2024

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Stroudsburg celebrating during game against East Stroudsburg South
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Girls Varsity Basketball, 2023
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Ella Henritzy, 12, has been a standout athlete this year. Henritzy turned heads on the basketball court as a power forward. Now, she is stacking points for track and field...

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Taylor Swift’s New Album Creates Controversy Among Fans

The+image+features+a+collage+of+a+group+of+Taylor+Swifts+albums.
Delaney Burke
The image features a collage of a group of Taylor Swift’s albums.

Taylor Swift is an icon worldwide. Despite this, her fans are divided by her new album: “The Tortured Poets Department” (2024). 

This album is her 11th produced and was released on April 19, 2024. The release included 16 tracks. However, Swift put out a second version of the album only two hours later. At two a.m., “The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology” (2024) was published and it contained 31 songs, 15 more than the original release.

The majority of her songs dissected her six-year relationship with Joe Alwyn, Swift’s previous long term boyfriend and actor, but also included details from her previous relationship with Matty Healy, lead singer of the band, “1975”, that took place after the breakup with Alwyn. 

The Guardian reported, “‘The Tortured Poets Department’ depicts a manic phase in Swift’s life last year, the reality behind the perfect stagecraft of the Eras tour.” 

Her songs also included a diss of Kim Kardashian, in her song “thanK you aIMee”, that included lyrics directly aimed at her and Kayne West, her ex-husband, for their controversial drama at the VMA’s in 2009. 

Fans quickly realized that the capitalized letters of the song name spelled out “Kim” and her explicit lyrics were targeted. BuzzFeed News reported that Kardashian had already lost 120,000 followers, as of April 23, 2024.

Immediately after its initial release, “The Tortured Poets Department” was a success.

According to WFAE, “Swift beat her own single-day album streaming records with ‘Tortured Poets’ and now holds all three top spots for this record: Her newest project has only surpassed her 2022 album, ‘Midnights’, and ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’, released in 2023.”

Although the streams of her album are creating record numbers on the charts, fans are divided on their opinions of the release.

While some find it to be a lyrical masterpiece, other fans feel differently. Elijah Kerprich, 12, stated, “Few artists are able to consistently create inspiring and unique albums like Taylor Swift. However, the Tortured Poet’s Department’s songs are practically indiefferential from one another and lack the spark that made previous releases so recognizable.“

Some fans are also questioning Swift’s choice of lyrics in her song, “I hate it here,” where she sings, “My friends used to play a game where we would pick a decade, we wished we could live in instead of this / I’d say the 1830s but without all the racists and getting married off for the highest bid.” 

While this marks the singer’s first time mentioning race in a song, some people think that it highlights the fact that her albums only appeal to a specific demographic of people. 

A USA Today article talking about these lyrics reported a college professor asking her students who they thought Swift’s music was for. All her students said some variation of “this is white girl music” or believed that her music only appealed to girls who have lived the basic “white girl experience.” 

Other listeners believe that people are overreacting about the album and are only being so publicly critical due to Swift’s popularity. 

USA Today stated, “Swift’s words and sounds on this new album are good and important and meaningful to people who like her and also like her mouth-sounds and the accompanying music. Liking music is a great thing, so just enjoy it and don’t make a big deal out of an artist’s album if it doesn’t happen to be what you wanted it to be.

Many of Swift’s fans admire the lyricism in her music and see this album as more of a statement on Swift’s relationships and mental health. 

A fan of Swift, Emma Bialasiewicz, 12, stated, “The Tortured Poets Department, I believe is a very unique but strong album. It takes a lot of self awareness and confidence to release such a strong album, regarding not just her brutal breakup, but her inner demons. I enjoy the slower paced tracks to really listen to the lyrics.”

As Taylor Swift continues to break streaming records and sell out stadiums, of course people will judge her extra harshly. 

As Swift quotes in her hit single, “Shake it Off”, “The haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.”

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