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Taylor Swift takes fans back to ‘1989’ on her own terms

Paolo Villanueva | Wikimedia Commons

Taylor Swift rereleased her 2014 album “1989” on Oct. 27. The project is Swift’s fourth rerecorded to date and was the most challenging album to rerecord on account of the success of the original. The original 2014 album won a total of one hundred and fifty-eight awards.

“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” features the original’s 16 tracks, as well as five previously unreleased material from the vault. Swift also released a deluxe version that includes a reworking of “Bad Blood” featuring Kendrick Lamar.

The greater portion of the rerecorded versions of the original songs sounds mainly similar to the originals. Jack Antonoff, Swift’s producer, worked on the rerecorded versions as well as the originals. Max Martin co-produced the original versions of some songs, including “Style,” “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space,” “New Romantics,” and “Bad Blood.” However, the producer has not returned to work on the rerecordings. Those songs have apparent differences in production.

The new version of “Style” is more echoey, which is especially noticeable in the chorus. In the original song, Swift’s voice was more monophonic and clearer.

In “New Romantics,” the end of the chorus is quieter. She brought the sound of her singing “ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah” to the back of the track instead of leaving it in the front, where it took you into the chorus with more intensity. 

There are notable vocal improvements throughout the album, like in “Shake It Off.” Swift’s voice is more mature and sounds like she’s hitting the high notes rather than chasing it. She sings “Out of The Woods” and “Wonderland” with more intensity, which heightens the song’s emotion, considering the strength of the production. 

Out of all the previously unreleased songs, “Slut!” was the most jarring. Despite what the title suggests, it’s a sweet love song rather than a sultry callout track. It is similar to “Blank Space” in the sense that it plays on the media’s portrayal of Swift from 2012 to 2014 for a satirical take on her own love life. 

The second vault track, “Say Don’t Go,” is Swift’s weakest of the five tracks. It’s a long and sad song about unrequited love that overstays its welcome. After three and a half minutes, it starts to sound repetitive. The song’s duration could be cut down without much impact, which is ultimately not a good quality.

“Now That We Don’t Talk” was initially written when Swift was a teen. It’s a very lighthearted and fun song that very much depicts Swift’s mentality and worries at the time. She references asking her mom for advice and pretending to like something for a boyfriend’s approval. The track is fun and upbeat, and unlike the previous track, this one should be longer.

“Suburban Legends” really highlights the strength of Swift’s songwriting and has an overall light and airy feel. 

The final vault track, which seems to be the fan favorite, is “Is It Over Now?” The peppy closing track has more exciting and clever lyrics than “Now That We Don’t Talk.” 

It is more mature while keeping the youthful energy that is maintained throughout the album. The song also talks about Swift’s past relationship with Harry Styles, which is causing a lot of conversation surrounding this song.  

Overall, “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is a worthwhile rendition of the original release and stays true to the pop bible’s perfection.

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