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Taylor Swift revisits past with fresh lyrics and unreleased songs on “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)”

Screenshot from ‘I Can See You (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)’ | Universal Music Group

Drop everything now, “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” has been released!

Swift originally wrote this album between the ages of 18-20 years old, and it was likely surreal for her to revisit her prior thoughts and experiences. “I recorded this album when I was 32 (and still growing up, now) and the memories it brought back filled me with nostalgia and appreciation. For life, for you, for the fact that I get to reclaim my work,” Swift said in an Instagram post.

“Speak Now” is the fourth album Taylor has re-recorded. Taylor’s old label, Big Machine Label Group, was sold to producer Scooter Braun on June 30, 2019, for $330 million. This gave Braun, the man who’s notorious for disrespecting and dehumanizing Swift,  the ownership of her original six albums. Swift had no idea about the deal until the news went public. She was devastated, but there’s nothing she does “Better Than Revenge”.

Swift’s re-recordings are so important because they allow her to own the masters, or original recordings, of her own work (meaning when the songs are streamed or bought, she receives the profits).

The first major change to “Speak Now”, was the addition of six previously unreleased tracks .These include “Electric Touch (feat. Fall Out Boy,” “When Emma Falls in Love,” “I Can See You,” “Castles Crumbling (feat. Hayley Williams),” “Foolish One” and “Timeless.”

Another major change is a rewritten lyric in “Better Than Revenge.”  The lyric “She’s better known for the things that she does/ On the mattress” was changed to “He was a moth to the flame/ She was holding the matches.” The musician’s fans, also known as swifties commended her for the clever lyric change and conveying a similar idea found in both versions, but with a less appalling delivery. Anyone could understand Taylor’s frustration for having her ex-boyfriend dating a controversial, dishonest person, but commenting on her sexual experiences was in poor taste. This lyric change doesn’t take away from the flow of the song and gives listeners the same idea that this girl was seen as irresistible.

All the vault tracks are polarizing from the original “Speak Now”  track listing, giving the storyline of the album more depth and dimension. “Electric Touch” is an upbeat, energetic song that makes you feel like taking risks or going out to the club. I Can See You” is a groovy, sensual song that makes you feel as if you’re in a secretive affair. However, the rest of the vault tracks add a dose of reality to this whimsical, youthful album that feels like a fairytale.

When Emma Falls in Love” is still lighthearted and charming, but the message of the song is bittersweet. Allegedly about Emma Stone’s relationship with Andrew Garfield, this song describes how Emma is everyone’s dream girl, and that the other boys tend to fall in love so easily with her.

Whereas Swift is wonderstruck how it all unfolds for Emma when she’s the “Foolish One.”  

The song describes a boyfriend that was never emotionally invested in the relationship, and only used Swift for gratification. She feels foolish for waiting around for him and wishing he would confess his love for her, or put a label on the relationship, when it was never real to him.

Castles Crumbling” is mystifying, hauntingly beautiful, and one of the hardest hitting songs on the album. It describes Swift’s feelings if she had simply lost everything she’s ever worked for and could possibly tie back to how she felt when she originally lost her masters.

Timeless” is a touching track that compares her lover’s relationship to her grandparents’ marriage.. It’s such a beautiful description of being soulmates with someone.

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Nicole Bryk
Nicole Bryk, News Editor
Nicole Bryk is the News Editor for The Ticker.
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