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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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Taylor Swift never goes out of style

‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’ is as big of a success as the original
Fair use from Republic Records

Announced at her Era’s Tour, Taylor Swift recently re-recorded yet another one of her albums, called “1989 (Taylor’s Version).” As Swift’s debatably biggest album, the anticipation for this release was monumental. The album includes the re-recordings of all of the original album’s songs, including “Bad Blood (featuring Kendrick Lamar) (Taylor’s Version),” as well as four vault tracks that Swift wrote for the album but never saw the light of day. 

The original “1989” left some big shoes to fill. The album was Swift’s first fully non-country project, and it won the 2015 Grammy award for ‘Album of the Year.’ Prior to the new version’s release, some Swifties were worried that their favorite songs would be changed for the worse; others were excited for them to be made even better. On “We Are Never Getting Back Together (Taylor’s Version)” from Swift’s re-record of “Red,” the Swiftie community had a shared dislike for the new backing vocals. This is an example of what people were hoping wouldn’t happen. Although opinions on social media are mixed, I think the re-recording of “1989” only made the album better.

From the classic hits like “Blank Space” and “Shake It Off” to the more underrated songs like “Wonderland,” “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” maintains its reputation as a top pop album containing banger after banger. Although the original album came out in 2014, many of the songs on the re-recording sound very similar to their counterparts. This is unlike “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” where Swift’s voice had matured so much in the re-recordings that nearly all the songs sounded different. One song that notably sounded different was my personal favorite, “I Know Places.” For starters, the intro in the new version includes vocals that are more distorted. Swift’s vocals throughout the song also feel stronger and more confident, as she has had another nine years of singing under her belt for this version. Probably my favorite update is at the second of the pre chorus, when Swift sings, “They are the hunters, we are the foxes, and we run.” The way Swift snarl-sings the line “we run” is so powerful; it takes the song from a 10 to an 11. 

“1989” is obviously a smash hit album, but it’s the ‘From the Vault’ tracks that were the most exciting part of the release. The five new songs are called “Slut!,” “Say Don’t Go,” “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Suburban Legends” and “Is It Over Now?” The first of the group is definitely my favorite, as it’s a beautiful song about all-consuming love. With the line, “Got love-struck, went straight to my head, Got lovesick all over my bed,” she uses various play on words to express just how in love she is. The main line that really drew me into the song is when Swift sings, “But if I’m all dressed up, They might as well be lookin’ at us, And if they call me a slut, You know it might be worth it for once.” In a voice recording talking about the song, she commented on this line, saying that she had written “Slut!” and “Blank Space” to play on the comments the media had been making about her love life. Although they had similar themes, she had more time to work on the latter, so that’s the one that made it into the album. Swift, just like me and many Swifties, are happy that “Slut!” is finally seeing the light of day.

Like in some of the originals, there are many allusions to Taylor Swift and Harry Styles’ relationship in the vault tracks. In “Now That We Don’t Talk,” Swift sings, “You grew your hair long, You got new icons,” referring to Styles’ long hair and new tattoos at the time of writing the song. She references the couple’s infamous snowmobile accident in “Is It Over Now?” with the line, “Whеn you lost control (Uh-huh) Red blood, white snow (Uh-huh).” The following line, “Blue dress on a boat (Uh-huh)” is talking about how after their breakup, there is a picture of Swift left alone on a boat in a blue dress. Based on the evidence Swift provided from songs like “Style” and “Out of the Woods,” it seemed that Harry Styles was one of her nicer exes. However, after hearing the lyrics of these vault tracks, it looks like he might be just like the rest.

Overall, the biggest change between “1989” and “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is that the production on every song of the re-record is improved, making an already incredible album somehow even more groundbreaking. If you were a fan of the original album, the re-recording will not disappoint. 

“1989 (Taylor’s Version)”: ★★★★★

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About the Contributor
Modesty Manion, Multimedia Editor
Hi there! My name is Modesty, I’m a senior and it’s my third year on Echo. This year I'm Echo's Multimedia Editor, and I am so excited to grow Echo's digital impact! I'm on the varsity nordic ski team, as well as the cross country team, and I love coffee, Gilmore Girls, pop culture, hiking, camping and thrifting. 

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