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“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” proves to be a timeless album nine years after its original release

Ruby Jenkins
“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift debuted on Oct. 27, 2023. Almost all the songs on this album take place in New York City, with the opening track being titled “Welcome To New York.” Billboards and posters lined every corner of Times Square to commemorate such a big step in Swift’s career.

On Oct. 27, 2023, the re-recording of Taylor Swift’s beloved 2014 pop album “1989” was finally released. Since its announcement on Aug. 9, 2023, which was the last date on the U.S. leg of The Eras Tour, many Swifties anticipated this latest addition to her collection of re-recorded albums. They are released with the purpose of regaining ownership of her old music. Following “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” “Red (Taylor’s Version)” and “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is now the fourth re-record to join the group. As one of Swift’s most popular and beloved albums of her career, the anticipation for this release came with very high expectations.  

From the popular anthems such as “Blank Space” and “Shake It Off” to the lesser known ballads like “Clean” and “You Are In Love,” Swift reclaimed every “1989” track through this re-recording. Despite efforts to make the songs nearly identical to their original, fans with a keen ear for Swift’s voice have been quick to notice discrepancies among the tracks. While many have praised her increased vocal maturity over the past nine years, others have complained about the minor variations from the original tracks to the re-records, such as the guitar intro at the beginning of “Style” and the background vocals in “New Romantics.”  Despite these tracks receiving complaints from listeners, many have praised the five new tracks on the album labeled as “From The Vault.”

“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” has 21 tracks, ranging from slow to upbeat and sad to happy. The arrangement of ’80s style synth tracks hold a wide variety in terms of both sound and lyricism, with a song for everyone. (Julia Brossia)

Swift’s vault tracks, which were written for the original album but did not make the final cut, are one of the most highly anticipated aspects of her re-recorded albums. The newly released songs, “Slut!,” “Say Don’t Go,” “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Suburban Legends” and “Is It Over Now?” have gathered attention from listeners.

The first vault track on the album is “Slut!” This slow love song touches on the constant scrutiny and slut-shaming that Swift has admitted to experiencing at this stage of her career. As a rising star with a sudden genre shift from country to pop music, she was already under the public eye. As she garnered more and more fans, a comparable amount of hate came with it. After being deemed a boy-crazy “slut” by the media, Swift writes this tender synth-pop song about finding peace in this calamity, claiming that “if they call me a slut, you know it might be worth it for once.” Despite shocking many fans who anticipated this song to be an upbeat anthem, it still proved to be a well-liked song. 

Another vault track, “Is It Over Now?” is much more upbeat and quick despite being a breakup song. Many have speculated that this song may be about Harry Styles, whom Swift dated from late 2012 to early 2013. Due to multiple other songs from “1989” being allegedly written about Styles, such as “Out Of The Woods” and “Style,” it adds up for this synth-pop track about an uncertain and untrustworthy relationship to be a jab at this particular ex-boyfriend. She sheds light on their past relationship by addressing the uncertainty she felt about his loyalty. She writes, “You dream of my mouth before it called you a lying traitor, you search in every model’s bed for something greater.” By delivering line after line calling out Styles for his behavior, she clarifies her perspective of their break up. This song quickly became a hit, debuting #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. 

Overall, this re-recording, despite receiving some criticisms for not sounding similar enough to the original, has quickly become largely successful. As the beloved pop star whom we all know and love, Swift proved herself to be successful and talented yet again with this wonderful re-recording and the new tracks. Officially becoming a billionaire on the day of this album’s release, Swift’s success only wildly increases with each release with only more to come! 

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About the Contributors
Julia Brossia
Julia Brossia, Writer
Second-year writer, Swiftie and opossum lover.
Ruby Jenkins
Ruby Jenkins, Assignment Editor
"Jeopardy," “Red (Taylor’s Version)” and iced vanilla latte with oat milk enthusiast.

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