Writer, Lily Jung
In 2014, Taylor Swift released her forever iconic album, “1989,” a record playing on the radio for millions globally. Fast forward to 2019, tragedy struck when Taylor’s masters of her first six studio albums were sold to Scooter Braun, transferring ownership of her albums to him. She did not have the opportunity to buy the rights to her own songs.
Devastated but determined, Taylor embarked on a mission to reclaim her music. This led to the birth of “Taylor’s Version,” where Taylor Swift began re-recording her early albums so that she owned her own songs. As of November 2023, she has meticulously recreated four out of the six albums, creating a buzz among her dedicated fans who continuously anticipated each release.
The journey of Taylor’s re-recordings has been a rollercoaster ride for her fans, filled with excitement, anticipation, and a treasure trove of hidden gems. Alongside the re-recordings, Taylor gifted her fans with “vault tracks” – unreleased songs she originally wrote for the albums but weren’t included. These tracks allowed listeners to glimpse into the creative process, enhancing the overall experience of the reimagined albums.
“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” emerged as a game-changer and smashed records within a week of its release. This album became the most-streamed album in a single week in 2023, surpassing various artists. Taylor Swift, however, didn’t stop there; her album gained the title of the highest-selling vinyl record in a single week, previously held by her album, “Midnights” from October 2022.
Evidently, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is a masterclass in musical artistry. Here are the top five tracks that make this album a standout masterpiece:
5 .”Welcome to New York”
The album kicks off with the iconic track, “Welcome to New York,” featuring unforgettable lyrics like “It’s been waiting for you.” This song is the opening track for the album and has an electronic pop element. This is a technique she has been experimenting with since 2014. These elements capture the essence of New York City, setting the tone for the entire album.
4.”Bad Blood” featuring Kendrick Lamar
Contrary to fans’ fears, “Bad Blood” featuring Kendrick Lamar triumphantly returns in Taylor’s re-recorded album. This collaboration adds depth and intensity to the track and is a fan favourite for millions of listeners.
3. “Now That We Don’t Talk” (From the Vault)
A gem from the vault, “Now That We Don’t Talk,” strikes a sentimental feeling with listeners, narrating the tale of fading relationships. The relatable chorus, “I call my mom, she said it was for the best. Remind myself, the more I gave, you’d want me less,” illustrates the difficulties of growing apart.
2. “Suburban Legends” (From the Vault)
“Suburban Legends” delves into the complications of love, painting vivid imagery through its intricate lyrics. Lines like “I broke my own heart cause you were too polite to do it” resonate deeply, while descriptions of crashing waves enhance the emotional depth of the song.
The top spot belongs to “Wonderland”, a masterpiece not available in the original “1989” album, but found in her deluxe version. Taylor Swift’s skills shine brightly in this track, captivating listeners with its storytelling. The song lies not only in its compelling lyrics but also in mesmerizing vocals and production. The strategic pauses, such as when the bridge and instruments fade, allow Taylor Swift’s voice to stand alone, intensifying the song’s emotional impact. These points make “Wonderland” the crown jewel of “1989 (Taylor’s Version).”
In revisiting all of Taylor Swift’s new (and improved) albums, listeners are transported back to 2014 and treated to an incredible musical experience. Taylor Swift’s dedication to her work and sentimental lyrics caused all her albums to soar in popularity. 1989 (Taylor’s Version), symbolizes her resilience and creativity and solidifies Taylor Swift’s legacy as this century’s pop musical icon.