Taylor Swift slams ex Matty Healy on her new album ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

HomeEntertainmentTaylor Swift slams ex Matty Healy on her new album 'The Tortured...

Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated 11th studio album “The Tortured Poets Department” landed today, leaving her fervent following of Swifties both enraptured and bewildered. While many expected the songstress to mine creative inspiration from her six-year relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn, Swift has taken a surprising detour, unloading a lyrical onslaught aimed squarely at her fleeting dalliance with Matty Healy, frontman of the band The 1975.

The romantic entanglement between Swift and Healy was first hinted at in April 2023, just a month after news broke of the singer’s split from long-term partner Alwyn. However, the pairing was short-lived, reportedly fizzling out after just a few weeks. Swift has since moved on, now involved with NFL star Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Swift and Healy’s brief romantic escapade raised more than a few eyebrows given Healy’s penchant for sparking controversy. In a podcast last year, the rocker engaged in a series of derogatory remarks targeting rapper Ice Spice, as well as offensive comments about women and the Japanese community. Healy did issue an apology to Ice Spice in April 2023, stating he didn’t wish to be “perceived as, like, kind of mean-hearted.”

On the heels of that mea culpa, Swift announced an unexpected collaboration with Ice Spice for a remix of her single “Karma” – a move some critics and fans regarded as little more than a feeble attempt at “damage control” for Healy’s offensive outbursts.

With the release of “The Tortured Poets Department,” the Swiftie fandom has launched into an all-out lyrical exegesis, meticulously dissecting each line for hints and innuendos about the singer’s whirlwind romance with the controversial British rocker. The album’s titular track, along with songs like “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived,” “But Daddy I Love Him,” “Fresh Out the Slammer,” and “My Boy Only Breaks His Favourite Toys” are all being widely interpreted as targeting Healy. Swift even appears to make an oblique reference to him on the extended version’s “The Black Dog.”

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In a message to fans on social media, Swift hinted at the album’s overarching theme, writing: “This period of the author’s life is now over, the chapter closed and boarded up. There is nothing to avenge, no scores to settle once wounds have healed. And upon further reflection, a good number of them turned out to be self-inflicted. This writer is of the firm belief that our tears become holy in the form of ink on a page. Once we have spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it.”

So what are the smoking guns Swifties are pointing to as evidence of Healy’s lyrical evisceration?

On “Guilty as Sin?,” Swift sings about “fatal fantasies” for someone from her past who sends her the 1989 song “The Downtown Lights” by the Scottish band The Blue Nile. Healy has previously cited The Blue Nile as his “favorite band of all time,” revealing that their song “The Downtown Lights” served as inspiration for The 1975’s hit “Love It If We Made It.”

Fans also penned an open letter in April urging Swift to “reflect on the impact of your own and your associates’ behavior” – a plea the singer seems to respond to on the scathing track “But Daddy I Love Him.” Swift sings: “I’d rather burn my whole life down / Than listen to one more second of all this bitchin’ and moanin’ / I’ll tell you something ’bout my good name / It’s mine along with all the disgrace / I don’t cater to all these vipers dressed in empath’s clothing.”

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On “I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can),” Swift appears to acknowledge Healy’s penchant for telling off-color jokes, crooning: “The jokes that he told across the bar were revolting and far too loud / They shake their heads, saying, ‘God help her’ when I tell ’em he’s my man / But your good Lord doesn’t need to lift a finger I can fix him, no really I can.”

The accusations continue on “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived,” where Swift seems to suggest Healy ghosted her, lamenting: “Was any of it true? / Gazing at me starry-eyed / In your Jehovah’s Witness suit / Who the f*** was that guy? / You tried to buy some pills / From a friend of friends of mine / They just ghosted you / Now you know what it feels like.”

She delivers the coup de grace with the lyrics: “And I don’t even want you back I just want to know / If rusting my sparkling summer was the goal / And I don’t miss what we had but could someone give / A message to the smallest man who ever lived.”

Referencing Healy’s penchant for donning black suits during The 1975’s recent tour, Swift twists the knife with the Jehovah’s Witness fashion critique.

On the extended album cut “The Black Dog,” the songstress gives a shoutout to another of Healy’s favorite bands, the pop-punk group The Starting Line. Just days before Swift and Healy were spotted hand-in-hand last year, The 1975 covered The Starting Line’s 2002 hit “The Best of Me” during their tour.

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Swift reminisces: “I just don’t understand how you don’t miss me / In The Black Dog when someone plays The Starting Line / And you jump up, but she’s too young / To know this song / That was intertwined in the magic fabric of our dreaming.”

While early reviews of “The Tortured Poets Department” have been largely positive from both critics and fans, some Swifties have voiced displeasure with the overt focus on her fleeting Healy tryst as opposed to her six-year relationship with Alwyn.

A line in the title track about a “tattooed golden retriever” – seemingly a reference to Healy’s extensive body ink – has been met with more than a few eye-rolls and online jibes. “All that for an album about Matty Healy,” lamented one disgruntled fan on Swift’s Instagram.

For those scouring the lyrics for hints about her former long-term beau Alwyn, there may be a kernel of consolation in the melancholic “So Long, London,” where Swift seems to bid adieu to their British romance: “I died on the altar waiting for the proof / You sacrificed us to the gods of your bluest days.”

Only time will tell if “The Tortured Poets Department” joins the canon of Swift’s legendary musical missives about troubled lovers. But one thing is clear – the bygone Matty Healy saga has provided ample raw material for theprodigiously talented lyricist to channel her latest romantic woes into resonant new art.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a seasoned basketball journalist with a passion for the WNBA and NBA. His insightful writing combines commentary and stats, providing comprehensive coverage. Alee sheds light on the overlooked WNBA while championing its players. He also delivers in-depth NBA analysis, offering unique perspectives on trades, drafts, and league dynamics. With exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes access, Alee gives readers an unparalleled look into the lives of basketball's biggest stars.

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