Taylor Swift’s The Five Stages of Heartbreak Playlists Breakdown

Summary notes created by Deciphr AI



Hosts Lisa and Cameron of the "Swiftly Spoken" podcast delve into Taylor Swift's five new Apple playlists, exploring the hidden messages and fan theories surrounding her upcoming 11th studio album. They reflect on their previous skepticism about the 'five stages of grief' theory, now seeing its influence on Taylor's curated song selections, which seem to align with the stages of heartbreak. The duo discusses the emotional resonance of the playlists, noting how each one highlights a dominant album and encapsulates various facets of Taylor's songwriting—from denial with "Lavender Haze" to acceptance with "Evermore." They also touch on the absence of songs from "Reputation" and "Debut" due to the lack of 'Taylor's Version' releases, and the impact this has on the playlists' dynamics. The episode concludes with Lisa and Cameron sharing their personal favorite playlists, 'Anger' and 'Acceptance,' revealing how the exercise has led them to re-evaluate their relationship with the songs and their own emotions.

Summary Notes

Introduction to Swiftly Spoken Podcast

  • Lisa and Cameron host the fan-made Taylor Swift podcast, Swiftly Spoken.
  • They analyze Taylor Swift's lyrics, conduct full album retrospectives, and speculate on her future projects.
  • The upcoming episode focuses on Taylor Swift's five new Apple playlists as a promotional lead-up to her 11th studio album, "Tortured Poets Department."

"Welcome to Swiftly Spoken, a fan-made Taylor Swift podcast in which we break down her lyrics, deep dive into full album retrospectives, and theorize about what may be coming next."

The quote introduces the podcast and its purpose, which is to analyze and discuss Taylor Swift's musical work in depth.

Taylor Swift's Collaboration with Apple Music

  • Taylor Swift released five Apple playlists that align with fan theories and interactions.
  • These playlists are considered to be promotional material for her upcoming album.
  • The playlists reflect the conversation between fans and Taylor's response to their theories.

"Last week, Taylor decided to collaborate with Apple Music in order to do something very similar to be honest with you, she released five carefully crafted playlists that act as promotional material for the Tortured Poets Department basically."

The quote explains Taylor Swift's recent collaboration with Apple Music, which resulted in the creation of five thematic playlists related to her upcoming album.

Fan Theories and Their Influence

  • Lisa and Cameron previously refuted the "Five Stages of Grief" theory but acknowledge its influence on Taylor's playlists.
  • The theory has now become "canon," indicating that Taylor Swift has embraced fan speculation in her work.
  • Taylor's engagement with fan theories is seen as a collaborative effort between her and her fans.

"But it is fun to see how Taylor does kind of like... it's a cool theory she's been inspired by."

The quote reflects on how Taylor Swift has been inspired by fan theories, particularly the "Five Stages of Grief," and has incorporated them into her latest promotional strategy.

Exclusion of 'Reputation' and 'Debut' Albums

  • The playlists do not include songs from 'Reputation' and 'Debut' because Taylor Swift's versions of these albums have not been released.
  • Taylor likely avoids promoting the original versions of these albums due to ownership issues.
  • The absence of these albums is regrettable as they could have provided interesting playlist additions.

"These playlists do not include anything from Reputation and Debut because Taylor's version doesn't exist for these two albums, so she doesn't really want people streaming them."

The quote explains why songs from the 'Reputation' and 'Debut' albums are omitted from the playlists, as Taylor Swift encourages streaming of her own versions of her albums.

Analysis of the 'Denial' Playlist

  • The 'Denial' playlist is associated with the lyric "I love you is ruining my life."
  • It contains songs about being caught up in the idea of love, leading to denial and delusion.
  • The playlist primarily features songs from the 'Midnights' album.

"Taylor basically mentioned that this is a list of songs about getting so caught up in the idea of something that you have a hard time seeing the red flags possibly resulting in moments of denial and maybe a little bit of delusion."

The quote describes the theme of the 'Denial' playlist, which revolves around the difficulty of recognizing warning signs in a relationship due to being overly invested in the idea of love.

Recontextualization of Songs

  • Songs from the 'Lover' album, such as "Cruel Summer" and "Lover," have been reinterpreted in the context of the 'Denial' playlist.
  • Fans have had varied reactions to the recontextualization, with some feeling offended.
  • The playlists suggest that past feelings about a situation can change over time, and this is normal.

"So yes, lover is still a love song, however from this perspective things have changed."

The quote emphasizes that songs can take on new meanings over time, and their inclusion in the 'Denial' playlist suggests a shift in how Taylor Swift may currently view the sentiments expressed in her 'Lover' album.

  • The 'Denial' playlist includes songs such as "Lavender Haze," "Sweet Nothing," and "Cruel Summer."
  • These songs paint a vivid picture of the denial stage, with intense emotions and complex feelings.
  • The playlist is seen as a strong thematic collection, well thought out by Taylor Swift.

"The songs that we have on this playlist are lavender haze, snow on the beach, Sweet Nothing, glitch, Betty, Willow, Cruel Summer, lover..."

The quote lists some of the songs featured in the 'Denial' playlist, highlighting the thematic coherence and emotional depth of the selection.

Security and False Gods

  • The speakers discuss the illusion of security and the concept of "false gods."
  • They mention the feeling of things being "sketchy" and the denial of whether one was truly secure from the start.
  • False gods are equated with the idea of being delusional about safety or security.

"Denial of was I actually secure and safe from the start or were things you know a bit sketchy sketchy than they may have seen definitely false God we might get away with it."

This quote expresses doubt about past feelings of security and introduces the concept of "false gods" as something that might mislead one into believing they were safe when they were not.

Taylor Swift's Musical Evolution

  • The speakers analyze Taylor Swift's music, contrasting her earlier works with her post-"Lover" albums.
  • They note that while the pre-"Lover" songs are less telling, they still fit her style, specifically citing "Wildest Dreams."
  • The inclusion of older songs in new contexts is seen as effective, with "Style" highlighted as a particularly good choice.

"I think the kind of pre-lover ones are also really interesting. and I think they're really good um maybe not as like telling. but just I think they do fit like style definitely Wildest Dreams. 100%."

The quote reflects the speaker's opinion that Taylor Swift's earlier songs, although not as revealing, still align with her overall musical style and thematic evolution.

Interpretations of Re-recorded Songs

  • The speakers discuss the re-recorded versions of Taylor Swift's songs and their fit within her narrative.
  • They explore the theme of needing space in relationships through the song "That's When."
  • The song "Ours" is mentioned as a juxtaposition of love against the backdrop of delusion.

"But I'm kind of having to you know. so I think that's when was really good inclusion ours I think was kind of hit a bit hard again as I was like a like that is also a bit of a kind of you know what I mean that's like the lover of Speak Now isn't it it is it is a bit like all these love songs."

This quote discusses the emotional nuance in Taylor Swift's song "That's When" and "Ours," where the theme of love is complicated by the need for space and the potential for self-deception.

Delusion and Acceptance

  • The speakers touch on the theme of delusion, particularly in the context of love and relationships.
  • They mention the song "Superman" as an example of romantic delusion.
  • The concept of loss and gain is discussed with reference to the song "Jord," with a focus on the balance between missing someone and accepting reality.

"Like Superman. it's so romantic and so don't forget about me. but it is a bit delusional. like. yeah. no he's not coming back for you love no move on."

This quote highlights the romantic yet delusional aspect of the song "Superman," indicating a need to move on from unrealistic expectations of a lover's return.

Anger Playlist

  • Taylor Swift's "Anger" playlist is discussed, with an emphasis on the therapeutic aspect of songwriting in dealing with anger.
  • The album "Red" is noted for its frequent appearance on the playlist, tying the color red to feelings of anger and passion.
  • The playlist features a range of songs that explore different facets of anger, from heartbreak to teenage angst.

"She said about these songs that she wrote them all while feeling anger over the years she said that she learned that anger can manifest itself in a lot of different ways but the healthiest way that she can manifest it in her life was when she could write a song about it because often times that helped her to get past it."

The quote explains Taylor Swift's approach to anger, where songwriting serves as a constructive outlet for her emotions, aiding in the healing process.

Bargaining Playlist

  • The "Bargaining" playlist is analyzed, with songs that reflect the desperation and deals made during the bargaining stage of grief.
  • The album "Lover" is mentioned as a significant presence in this playlist.
  • The inclusion of "Renegade" is highlighted as evidence of careful consideration in the playlist's creation, representing the precise emotion of bargaining.

"Bargaining is a moment where as she puts it herself basically you make deals with yourself yourself or someone you care about you're trying to make things better you're often times feeling really desperate because often times we have a sort of gut intuition that tells us things are not going to go the way that we hope which make us more desperate so which makes us bargain more searching for Solutions where sometimes there just isn't any."

This quote delves into the nature of bargaining as a response to desperation and the futile search for solutions when intuitively knowing that the desired outcome may not be possible.

Personal Reflections and Emotions in Songwriting

  • Lisa discusses the personal nature of songwriting, touching on themes like vulnerability and the act of revealing inner emotions through lyrics.
  • The mention of "tearing the banners down" signifies a readiness to be open and honest, setting aside distractions to communicate true feelings.
  • The "cat and mouse" metaphor illustrates the back-and-forth dynamic often present in relationships and the games people play.
  • The reference to a "rental place on Cornelio street" signifies the casual dropping of significant topics, testing the waters for reactions.
  • The discussion moves towards the expression of desperation and the desire for reciprocated affection, as seen in the lyrics "say don't go," "I say I love you," and "you say nothing back."

"It's okay. I'll tear the banners down and this is me trying. Okay. I'll put whatever aside and tell you what I need to tell you instead of having a drink or whatever in Cornelio street."

This quote encapsulates the idea of stripping away defenses or distractions to communicate something important, an act of vulnerability that is often necessary for genuine connection.

"It's cat and mouse, is the story of cat and mouse and finally reaching playing games like."

The quote refers to the complex dynamics in relationships where individuals may engage in a metaphorical game of cat and mouse, hinting at the push and pull of trying to connect with someone.

"Desperation as she puts it say don't go. I say I love you you say nothing back."

The quote speaks to the theme of unrequited love or the emotional struggle when one's feelings are not openly reciprocated, a common topic in many songs.

Exploration of Depression through Music

  • Cameron discusses how Taylor Swift explores themes of depression in her music, noting that her songs often deal with feelings of loneliness and hopelessness.
  • The act of songwriting is presented as a method for processing intense emotions.
  • The playlist discussed has a tie between the albums "folklore" and "midnights" for featuring songs that deal with depression.
  • Songs like "hoax" and "maroon" are highlighted for their intricate storytelling and emotional depth.
  • The playlist is described as intense and heavy, reflecting the various types of sadness and loneliness expressed in the songs.

"Taylor said that she was kind of exploring the feelings of depression that often lace their way through her songs."

This quote highlights the artist's intention to delve into the complex emotions associated with depression and use music as a way to navigate these feelings.

"Hoax being here is also very interesting. I think hoax is an extremely intricate song."

The quote reflects on the complexity of the song "hoax" and its inclusion in the playlist, suggesting that it captures a multitude of emotions and situations.

Acceptance and Moving Forward

  • The theme of acceptance is discussed in relation to the process of moving on from loss or heartbreak.
  • Taylor Swift's choice to include songs that represent making room for good in one's life is highlighted.
  • The album "Evermore" is noted for having the most songs featured on this playlist, which aligns with the idea of closing chapters and moving on.
  • The playlist is described as gratifying and solid, with songs like "you're on your own kid" and "midnight rain" exemplifying the journey from loss to gain.
  • Some song choices surprise the speakers, such as "Invisible String," which they thought might fit better under a different emotional theme.

"We finally find acceptance and can start moving forward from loss or heartbreak."

This quote summarizes the essence of the acceptance theme, indicating a turning point where individuals choose to make space for positive experiences after enduring negative ones.

"Evermore is the it's kind of closing the chapter isn't it it's looking at the endings and kind of moving on from them."

The quote suggests that the album "Evermore" symbolizes the conclusion of certain life chapters and the beginning of new ones, which is reflected in the songs chosen for the playlist.

Album and Song Analysis

  • The speakers analyze specific songs and discuss how they resonate with the themes of the playlists.
  • They explore the emotional layers within the songs, examining the various feelings of love, anger, and mistreatment that are interwoven.
  • The inclusion of "Carolina" in the playlist is debated, with the speakers expressing surprise but ultimately understanding its thematic relevance to feelings of isolation.
  • The discussion of "All Too Well" focuses on the evolution of the song's emotional impact, particularly with the added lyrics in the 10-minute version.
  • The speakers note that many of the songs on the acceptance playlist are album closers, which they find interesting as these songs often wrap up both the story within the song and the album as a whole.

"It's interesting how she added this one. And I think the only way that I can really explain it is that if we go back to when she released it she did kind of describe it as she was able to resonate with the feeling of loneliness."

This quote discusses the inclusion of the song "Carolina" in the playlist, suggesting that despite initial surprise, the song's thematic connection to loneliness justifies its presence.

"The crown and Jewel of all too well in here the Heartbreak song."

The quote refers to "All Too Well" as a standout song on the playlist, emphasizing its significance as a song that captures the depth of heartbreak.

Emotional Connection to Music

  • The speakers, Lisa and Cameron, discuss the emotional resonance of song lyrics and how they relate to personal experiences.
  • They express how certain lyrics from a playlist evoke feelings of necessity and loss, akin to the phrase "I can't breathe without you."

"I think all of these pics there's generally not one that I don't think maybe breathe. but then I suppose it's like I can't breathe without you. but I have to."

This quote highlights the emotional depth and personal connection the speakers feel towards the music, as it touches on themes of necessity and loss, invoking a sense of having to endure despite difficulty.

Analysis of Playlists

  • The speakers analyze curated playlists, noting the thoughtful song selection and the thematic cohesion of each playlist.
  • They appreciate the solid construction of the playlists and how they promote the album effectively.
  • The discussion includes how the playlists are not just for streaming numbers but show a deeper level of consideration.

"But this one honestly these five playlists are so solid and if you want to explore them there are I think they're a perfect way for promotion for this album this album is it lends itself so well to this type of social."

The quote emphasizes the speakers' admiration for the careful curation of the playlists, suggesting that they do more than just promote the album—they offer a meaningful way to engage with its themes.

Personal Favorites and Audience Engagement

  • Lisa and Cameron share their personal favorite playlists, discussing the emotional themes that resonate with them.
  • They invite audience interaction by asking listeners to comment on their own favorite playlists and any changes they would make.

"So now that we've gone through all of these playlists I guess it's time to discuss our favorites and also let us know in the comments which one of these playlists is your favorite and why."

The speakers are encouraging audience participation, asking listeners to reflect on their own preferences and engage in the conversation about the music.

Emotional Impact of Music

  • Cameron shares her preference for songs that evoke anger and triumph, while Lisa prefers songs of acceptance and hope.
  • They note how the playlists have made them re-evaluate their relationship with the songs and their own emotional identities.

"Yes, clearly that's the kind of songs maybe maybe I'm not a depressive person. maybe I'm an angry person maybe I need to re-evaluate you know how I view myself."

This quote illustrates a moment of self-reflection, showing how the emotional themes of the playlists can lead to a deeper understanding of one's emotional responses and preferences in music.

Anticipation for New Music

  • The speakers express excitement for upcoming album releases and the teasing of new lyrics.
  • They speculate on the potential meanings behind the lyrics and how they might fit into the album's narrative.

"So it looks like Taylor's going to be giving us new Snippets of lyrics every other day perhaps we don't know quite yet cuz we've just got the first one which is Crowd Goes Wild at her fingertips half moonshine full eclipse."

The anticipation for new music is palpable in this quote, as the speakers discuss the thrill of analyzing and interpreting new lyrics in the context of an upcoming album.

Music Promotion and Marketing

  • The speakers commend the strategy of using playlists to promote an album, highlighting the effectiveness of this approach.
  • They discuss the potential for the playlists to facilitate a deeper exploration of the artist's discography and emotional themes.

"It's so intelligent to promote your own album with your own songs amazing 10 I can't what can I say it's iconic Behavior."

This quote praises the marketing strategy of using artist-curated playlists to promote an album, recognizing it as a clever and impactful way to engage listeners.

Re-evaluation Through Playlists

  • The discussion includes how the curated playlists prompt a re-evaluation of songwriting and the emotional impact of music.
  • They note how the playlists have led to surprising revelations about their personal connections to the songs.

"It's interesting to see how these playlists have made us also re-evaluate our relationship to some of these songs yes which also shows their kind of just quality I think definitely them."

Here, the speakers acknowledge the power of the playlists to make them reconsider their feelings towards certain songs, underscoring the quality of the playlists in facilitating emotional discovery.

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