What are Taylor Swift's variants for The Tortured Poets Department and are they worth it?

New York, New York - Taylor Swift has released several variants for her highly anticipated new album, The Tortured Poets Department, but what makes these special editions so unique?

Taylor Swift has unveiled four different editions of her upcoming album, The Tortured Poets Department.
Taylor Swift has unveiled four different editions of her upcoming album, The Tortured Poets Department.  © REUTERS

The 34-year-old pop star is no stranger to extensive record roll-outs, and her 11th studio album is no exception.

Since first announcing The Tortured Poets Department at the 2024 Grammys, Taylor has unveiled four different physical editions of the album for fans to purchase.

The standard edition of The Tortured Poets Department, made available for preorder on February 5, features 16 regular tracks and one bonus song titled The Manuscript.

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This version will be a permanent purchase option on Taylor's website, unlike the limited variant editions.

So what do each of these special variant editions have, and are they worth buying?

The Bolter

The Bolter was the first variant of The Tortured Poets Department to be revealed.
The Bolter was the first variant of The Tortured Poets Department to be revealed.  © Screenshot/Instagram/taylorswift

The first variant edition of The Tortured Poets Department to be unveiled was The Bolter.

Featuring a warm-hued cover, the edition adds the titular bonus song to the main 16-song tracklist and bears the tagline "You don't get to tell me about sad."

Taylor announced the variant at her stop in Melbourne on The Eras Tour on February 16, and the exclusive edition was then made available on her website for a limited time as a CD, vinyl, and cassette.

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The reveal marked the first of the "meetings" of The Tortured Poets Department, which have been streamed live by Taylor Nation.

The Albatross

Taylor Swift announced The Albatross on February 23 at The Eras Tour in Sydney, Australia.
Taylor Swift announced The Albatross on February 23 at The Eras Tour in Sydney, Australia.  © Screenshot/Instagram/taylorswift

The Albatross was the second variant to be announced, with Taylor doing so on stage in Sydney, Australia, on February 23.

The edition has a folklore-esque gray cover featuring the Grammy winner posing in front of the ocean. "Am I allowed to cry?" the back cover reads.

Along with the standard 16 tracks, this edition adds a bonus song, also named The Albatross.

Like The Bolter, the variant was available as a CD, vinyl, and cassette for a limited time on Taylor's website.

The Black Dog

Taylor Swift's final variant for The Tortured Poets Department is called The Black Dog.
Taylor Swift's final variant for The Tortured Poets Department is called The Black Dog.  © Screenshot/Instagram/taylorswift

This final variant was unveiled during a performance in Singapore on March 3.

Completing the color gradient of the era, the cover features a black border and a shot of Taylor with one hand on her hand and the other under her chin.

It bears the tagline: "Old habits die screaming..."

The Black Dog variant is available for purchase on her website through Wednesday, March 6, while supplies last.

While Taylor is likely to release all the bonus tracks on streaming at some point, as of right now, buying all four editions is the only way to guarantee access to each of the additional songs.

The Tortured Poets Department variants are expected to ship on or around the album's release on April 19.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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