Rating Taylor Swift’s New Album by Hikeability

Taylor Swift’s albums have defined the stages, or “eras”, of her life – almost as much as they have defined mine.

After my birthday in 2006 I had a gift card to spend at Fred Meyer’s (local grocery chain), so off we went to do some shopping in the CD section. I really wanted to buy the soundtrack from the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, but my mother (wisely) vetoed that choice.

My mother and I at my first concert – Taylor Swift’s Fearless Tour in 2009.

My second choice was the new Taylor Swift (debut) album. I think she just barely had a couple songs on the country radio stations at that point. That album became my first love as I listened to it on repeat on my portable CD player. Obviously none of us could foresee the career she would end up with now, or the obsession that was sparked in me at that time.

My Guiding Light

Taylor is 9 years older than me, which means she has guided me into and through each next chapter of my life. Fifteen (Fearless) came out just ahead of me entering high school. 1989 came out when I was in high school and I realized I didn’t only like to listen to country music, it was ok to branch out just like Taylor did. We all were saved from our Covid boredom thanks to 2 separate albums released just 5 months apart from one another.

Lover came out on the first day of a 2 week road trip around New Zealand with my girlfriends, Sav and Natalie. Safe to say there wasn’t much else we listened to. To this day, I have a hard time picking my favorite Taylor Swift album because I think it’s “Lover” – but I’m not sure if that’s because it’s my favorite music, or if it just reminds me of a favorite time in my life.

Sav, Natalie, and I ready to hit the road for 2 weeks and jam to Taylor Swift’s newest album at the time, Lover.

I have been excitedly awaiting this release of The Tortured Poets Department since she announced it, and I knew I would be on the PCT for it. In the same way that Lover will always remind me of roadtripping around New Zealand with my girlfriends, I am anticipating TTPD to ignite similar flashbacks to this grand adventure I am on right now.

Writing for the purpose of hiking?

I highly doubt Taylor has ever written an album, or even a single song, with the intent to be a hiking song. Obviously there is some crossover as many of her songs are upbeat – meant for dancing, or the radio, or a girls night.

In my opinion, all of her albums can be hiking albums – because I have listened to all of them many times while hiking. But I can accept that this is mainly because I love all of her music so deeply, not because the beat or messaging necessarily gets me hyped to crush miles.

Since I knew I would be hiking while listening to her album the first couple times through, I decided to attempt to rate each song on its hike-ability. I tried to give my final rating for each song on just my first or second listen through, because that seems more objectively about hike-ability and doesn’t give me the chance to emotionally attach to the lyrics yet.

Sav, Gemma, and I at Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour this summer

So, below you will find my rating for each song on how well suited it is to hiking. Once again, it is not how much I liked each song personally – just how I felt while hiking to it. Fellow Swifties, please don’t take any of this too seriously, I’m just having fun 🙂

Grandma, please forgive the F bombs in my notes, I’m just quoting from the songs.

 

My Ratings! 

1. Fortnight (feat. Post Malone) 5.5/10

Needs more Post Malone. Sassiness in the lyrics is good tho.

2. The Tortured Poets Department 6.5/10

Nobody, no fucking body, nobody.

3. My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys 8.5/10

Good consistent angsty beat.

4. Down Bad 7.5/10

Starts out a little slow but then the beat picks up. Multiple “fuck it’s” and “crying at the gym” are relatable for hiking. I’m down bad for the PCT.

5. So Long, London 7.5/10

A bit louder, good beat. So long, Campo. Get through the first 15 seconds then there’s a constant heartbeat in the background that is a good pace.

6. But Daddy I Love Him 8.5/10

Goes from rage, to sassiness, to happy – love it all. I think it’s about people judging you for what you love. First 2 verses maybe a 5/10 but the last couple minutes 10/10. This has to be the longest song on the album?

7. Fresh Out The Slammer 7/10

First chord sounds like Orville Peck. Gets me hyped. Goes back and forth from fast to slow too often.

8. Florida!!! (Feat. Florence + The Machine) 10/10

Fuck me up, Florida !!! This is excellent as a song and for hiking.

9. Guilty as Sin? 7/10

The bridge slows down quite a bit but the pick up at the last chorus is a rush of energy. Am I allowed to cry? At the end might make you break down if you’re nearing the brink.

10. Who’s Afraid of Little Old Me? 7.5/10

Haunting. I feel like a wolf stalking prey.

11. I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can) 6/10

Good bomb drop at the end.

12. loml 3/10

Far too slow and beautiful for hiking.

13. I Can Do It With a Broken Heart 10/10

“I cry a lot, but I am so productive” “smile even when you’re dying inside” “in stillettos for miles” This is so catchy and perfect for hiking.

14. The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived 4/10

First half way too slow second half ok.

15. The Alchemy 6.5/10

“Call the amateurs and kick them off the team” so clearly about Travis so we love that.

16. Clara Bow 6/10

Nice cool down I guess. Love the message but I’m not sure about it for hiking.

 

Overall Rating (first half) 

Florida!!! 10

I can do it with a broken heart 10

But daddy I love him 8.5

My boy only breaks his favorite toys 8.5

Down bad 7.5

So long, London 7.5

Who’s afraid of little old me? 7.5

Fresh out the slammer 7

Guilty as sin 7

The tortured poets department 6.5

The alchemy 6.5

I can fix him (no really I can) 6

Clara Bow 6

Fortnight 5.5

The smallest man who ever lived 4

Loml 3

Listening to The Tortured Poets Department while hiking the PCT

Surprise Double Album???

I wrote all of the above ratings and notes the day the album came out, April 19th (I’m just really behind on blogging oops). I actually was super fortunate the night the album was coming out that I had a campsite with cell service!

The album came out at 9 pm which is considered “hiker midnight” on the PCT. I would usually be in my sleeping bag and fast asleep by then. But I waited up and downloaded the album promptly at 9 pm. I then put my phone on airplane mode and went to sleep.

The next morning I got up and was eager to start hiking so I could listen to the album. My friends on trail knew I would be headphones in, no chatting for the next few hours so they left me alone.

It was also a busy day as I had 15 miles until I made town where I needed to hitch, pick up a package, resupply, and do all the town chores. Between my focus on that and not having much service all day, I wasn’t even aware that the album was a double album!!

Long story short, it wasn’t until late that evening that I was chatting about the album with a fellow hiker and she said “all 31 songs” and I said “what????”

So, in my mind these are basically 2 separate albums. I also choose to believe that Taylor intended it that way. Once I got back on trail again I was able to rate the second half of the album:

 

Second Half Ratings 

17. The Black Dog 6/10

A little slow but also steady beat.

18. imgonnagetyouback 7.5/10

Solid beat, could build a little more. Love the revenge vibe.

19. The Albatross 6.5/10

Whimsical

20. Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus 4/10

Too peaceful for hiking.

21. How did it end? 5/10

Piano is a nice change but it’s still too slow. “D-y-I-n-g” I can already tell this will be stuck in my head.

22. So High School 9/10

It’s just so cute omg.

23. I Hate It Here 6/10

I actually love it here.

24. thanK you aIMee 8/10

Yeah, fuck you Aimee. Love the buildup.

25. I Look in People’s Windows 4.5/10

“Northbound, I got carried away” great lyric but not much else there for hiking purposes.

26. The Prophecy 7.5/10

Picking up a little bit. I think the way the words string together without breaks makes it more hikeable.

27. Cassandra 5.5/10

A bit haunting. Picks up a bit toward the end.

28. Peter 7/10

More upbeat.

29. The Bolter 8.5/10

Off to the races.

30. Robin 4/10

“Way to go, Tiger” Is encouraging but the rest is too slow.

31. The Manuscript 4.5/10

Almost tries to pick up but still too slow

 

Second Half Rankings 

So high school 9/10

The Bolter 8.5/10

Thank you aIMee 8/10

imgonnagetyouback 7.5/10

The prophecy 7.5/10

Peter 7/10

The Albatross 6.5/10

The Black Dog 6/10

I hate it here 6/10

Cassandra 5.5/10

How did it end? 5/10

I look in people’s windows 4.5/10

The manuscript 4.5/10

Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus 4/10

Robin 4/10

Hike-able? 

Overall, I would say this may not be the best album for hiking, especially if you’re not already a Taylor Swift fan. But, like I said before, when you are a fan, then every album is hike-able.

In finally posting this to my blog almost 3 weeks later, I will admit that many of my ratings and feelings about these songs have already changed. I have now listened to the album over a dozen times and find it very hike-able.

Songs like Fortnight and I Look in People’s Windows have hugely grown on me. But in an effort to be true to my mission, I have left their ratings the same.

If you made it this far, thanks for playing along! I hope you take the time to put in your headphones and go for a hike to the soundtrack of The Tortured Poets Department.

Friends and I at Fearless Tour in 2009!

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?