After months of clowning and creating elaborate conspiracies, Swifties are finally getting what they’ve been waiting for — the long-awaited release of “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is finally here.
As a Swiftie myself — since 2008 to be exact — I was incredibly excited about all of the rerecordings. “1989” was an extremely exciting release when it originally came out in 2014. It was Swift’s first full foray into the pop sphere and earned her 10 Grammy nominations and 3 Grammy wins for Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album of the Year and Best Music Video for “Bad Blood.” Songs like “Blank Space” and “Style” were pinnacle parts of my middle school experience and soundtracked many memories that 13-year-old me thought were awesome — and which 21-year-old me finds mortifying. The discussion of lyrics — whether or not it was “got a long list of ex-lovers” or “got a lot of Starbucks lovers” on Swift’s iconic “Blank Space” — dominated the lunch table discourse.
Regardless, embarrassing moments from my middle school career are not the point of this article — Taylor Swift’s rerecording of her award-winning pop album, “1989,” is. In this release, we get rerecorded content in the form of 13 songs that were on the original release, 3 songs from the deluxe version and 5 previously unreleased, or “From The Vault,” songs.
Prior to the release, I was most looking forward to the rerecorded versions of “You Are In Love” and “New Romantics,” since those are two of my favorite Taylor Swift songs of all time. Of the vault songs, I was most excited for “Slut!” and “Suburban Legends.”
“Slut!” did not disappoint. I was expecting a more upbeat pop anthem similar to “Welcome to New York” with fun synth effects. “Slut!” takes on a different tone but is very on-point for a Swift creation. I enjoyed the lyricism and the symbolism she used in the song. “Suburban Legends” was also very fun, but doesn’t take the top spot for my favorite vault tracks. That spot was taken by the surprise bop, “Say Don’t Go.” I wasn’t expecting it to be one of my top songs on the rerecording, but I’ve been listening to it on repeat for the past three days. The song opens with Swift’s alto range — something we didn’t often see on the original recording of “1989.” I love it when she signs in a lower register, and I’m happy she included it in this song. When I was taking notes on my first listen for this article, I wrote in my notes app “Intro to ‘Say Don’t Go’ = slay!” which is an accurate assessment of my thoughts on this song. Furthermore, the harmonies on this song are phenomenal and send a little shiver down your spine. It’s also very reminiscent of songs I would dance around my room to in 2014.
“You Are In Love” and “New Romantics” continue to be some of my favorite Swift creations of all time. Those songs are attached to such profound memories for me and getting to have the versions Swift owns makes me truly happy. Other anthems like “Wonderland,” “I Know Places” and “I Wish You Would” also remain iconic and perfect for a summer road trip. The synth beats and background vocals are so fun and make it impossible to not sing and dance along. As I write this article, I’m listening to the album and dancing at my desk.
The hyper-pop experience of “1989” is cemented by the synth beats and lively opening of “Welcome to New York.” An oldie and a goodie, “Welcome to New York” fueled countless teenage girls’ dreams of moving to New York and experiencing the “kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats under coats.” Swift continues her album with other timeless bops like “Blank Space” and “Out of the Woods.” Listening to this album transported me back in time to seventh grade when I would play these songs with my friends and make Video Star videos with them. This album was always requested at every bat mitzvah, school dance and lunchroom Fridays when my school would play music in the cafeteria.
My one complaint was the absence of Kendrick Lamar’s feature on “Bad Blood” when the album was released at midnight on Friday. His role in that song became so iconic that it evolved into one of the famous crowd chants at Swift’s tours. Getting to scream out “You forgive, you forget, but you never let it go” with tens of thousands of Swifties at the Eras Tour in Santa Clara is one of my favorite memories of the concert. Being in a crowd of that many Swifties singing and dancing along took me back to being 13 and dancing along to these songs with my friends — especially because I got to go with my best friends from that era. Swift knows how iconic and beloved this version of “Bad Blood” is, so she resolved this by releasing the deluxe rerecorded version with Lamar’s feature.
This album epitomizes 2014. The bomber jacket and polaroids of the original album art were iconic and something every middle school girl had in her turquoise room. We all tried to recreate the album cover and used the iconic lyricism of “Blank Space” to create one of the most iconic Instagram captions of 2014: “Honey, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream.”
Furthermore, as someone who danced around their turquoise childhood bedroom to “Blank Space” in 2014, I can attest the danceability of “Blank Space” holds fast in the re-recording. Other songs like “Shake It Off” and “New Romantics” reinforce the album’s pop categorization as perfect songs to sing along to in the car with the windows down.
Swift’s rerecording of “1989” is a masterpiece that acts as a time machine back to 2014. So grab your skater skirts and Polaroid cameras and dance around your room like you are 13 again. Trust me, it’ll do wonders — especially for a burnt-out college student.