Taylor Swift continues to embark on her journey to reclaim her art, since her master recordings were sold to music manager Scooter Braun in 2019. Re-recorded “Taylor’s Version” albums of Swift’s discography are highly anticipated from fans with her developed vocals, altered production and additional “vault” songs.
“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” includes 21 songs, including five brand new songs “from the vault”.
“1989” originally released Oct. 27, 2014, named after the year the singer was born. This was a pivotal era for Swift, who was rebranding herself and entered pop music with essentially no references at the time.
Swift broke her own record for the most Spotify streams for one artist in one day on the day “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” came out, according to Variety.
Despite being re-recorded, this album sounds incredibly different from the original songs. The songs of “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” sound almost crisper, with a lower register from Swift and more of producer Jack Antonoff’s magic sprinked in.
The biggest takeaways from the album stem from the five vault tracks, which are songs Swift wrote back in 2014 that did not make the initial album tracklist.
‘”SL*T!” (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” is a multi-layered song, honing into the slur that the media has frequently used when referring to Swift’s dating life. The lyrics read “They might as well be lookin’ at us / And if they call me a sl*t / You know it might be worth it for once.”
“Say Don’t Go (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” paints a solemn, soft picture of heartbreak. Unpacking a failed relationship and the yearning for things to be different, Swift beautifully describes the animosity that accompanies this experience through the lyrics “Why’d you have to lead me on? / Why’d you have to twist the knife? / Walk away and leave me bleeding, bleeding?”
“Now That We Don’t Talk (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” describes the distance felt after a breakup. Once again, wonderfully conveying a relatable message into words for her listeners, Swift describes noticing updates on a previous partner and changes they may be facing without you. “You grew your hair long / You got new icons / And from the outside / It looks like you’re trying lives on.”
“Suburban Legends (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” is an upbeat song with a rather deep meaning that walks listeners through a timeline and clock-oriented perspective. “Tick tock on the clock / I pace down your block / I broke my own heart ’cause you were too polite to do it.”
“Is It Over Now? (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” the last song of the album, tells a story of shaky boundaries among partners. Devout fans often examine Swift’s lyrics and jump to conclusions regarding the hidden message within the song.
“Is It Over Now” has fans speculating Swift is alluding to her celebrity ex, Harry Styles as Swift once again references their snowmobile accident, synonymous to the song “Out Of The Woods (Taylor’s Version)”. The lyrics of “Is It Over Now (Taylor’s Versions)” read, “Whеn you lost control (ah-ha) / Red blood, white snow (ah-ha) / Blue dress on a boat (ah-ha) / Your new girl is my clone.”
These vault tracks felt more aligned with the sleepless, retro, vintage vibe of Swift’s album “Midnights” rather than 1989, but it seemed the lore and branding of 1989 changed through this re-recording.
Other than the vault songs, fans raved about other changes throughout the rest of the album. One of the most notable changes came from the pitch difference in “and we run’ from the song “I Know Places”.
Other differences can be heard in Taylor’s Version from the iconic “Welcome to New York” claps, the memorable “Shake It Off” bridge and the pureness of “You Are In Love”. Many fans will argue that “Clean” from the 2014 album felt more fragile and vulnerable than its re-record.
There is one bonus track on the album, exclusive only to Target’s Tangerine Edition Vinyl. “Sweeter Than Fiction (Taylor’s Version)” unfortunately did not hit streaming services, which is a frustrating facet to fans, synonymous to Swift’s track “You’re Losing Me” from “Midnights”.
Fans’ wildest dreams came true when the deluxe version of the album dropped the morning after the release. This included the remix of “Bad Blood (Taylor’s Version)” featuring rapper Kendrick Lamar. The pair collaborated in 2014, so fans were hopeful for this feature on the re-recording.
Swift is arguably at the peak of her career and is releasing albums routinely. 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is coming shortly after her release of “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” this past summer. Notably, both of these albums were announced by Swift onstage at The Eras Tour.
Fans have the opportunity to relive other iconic moments from the tour with The Eras Tour Film. This is a concert movie taking over theaters around the world.
With only two albums left to re-record, “Taylor Swift” and “reputation”, Swift now has nothing left to reclaim but her name and reputation.
“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is now ‘clean’ and owned by Swift. This release surpassed expectations and solidified the album’s relevance in the pop realm.