The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Eagle Eye News

Breaking News
  • April 16School Board of Broward County moves to separate with Dr. Peter Licata and hire Deputy Superintendent Dr. Howard Hepburn for three-year contract
  • April 16Broward Superintendent Dr. Peter Licata announces resignation
  • April 6MSD FEA chapter wins 1st place for most creative fundraiser and 3rd place for membership motivation project and scrapbook competition at county convention
  • April 6WMSD TV Program wins five awards at national STN competition
  • April 3Modified schedule tomorrow, April 4 due to PSD and BEST testing for freshmen and sophomores
The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Eagle Eye News

The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Eagle Eye News

Tribune News Service
Taylor Swift attends “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” concert movie world premiere at AMC The Grove 14 on Oct. 11, 2023, in Los Angeles. Photo permission from Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images/TNS.

[Review] ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’ dives into Taylor Swift’s deepest thoughts and memories from the past

The music industry is lacking something in 2023: pop music. Reviving her Grammy award-winning debut pop album, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift saves the year with the re-recording of her fifth album, “1989 (Taylor’s Version).” As internet fan theories predicted, Swift announced on Aug. 9 that the album would be released on Oct. 27.

The album includes the original 16 tracks of “1989” and five “From the Vault” tracks. On the morning of her release on Oct. 27, Swift announced a surprise via Instagram for her fans: a re-recording of her 2015 remix “Bad Blood (ft. Kendrick Lamar).” On her Target Exclusive vinyl, she re-recorded “Sweeter Than Fiction (Taylor’s Version),” a track written for the film “One Chance.”

In a typical Swift fashion, the vault track titles were released via Google word puzzles; 33 million puzzles had to be solved in order to “unlock” the vault and release the titles of the vault tracks. According to data released by Google after the event, it took Swift’s fans, dubbed “Swifties,” about 19 hours to solve the 33 million puzzles.

The five tracks are “Slut!”, “Say Don’t Go,” “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Suburban Legends” and “Is It Over Now?” All speculated to be about Harry Styles, with whom she was rumored to be in an on-and-off relationship from late 2012 to early 2013, the vault tracks evoke the nostalgia of their romance and hint at specific moments shared between them.

Story continues below advertisement

Though the lyrics in the vault are clearly references to the “1989” era, the sounds are reminiscent of her most recent album, 2022’s “Midnights,” and stray from the bubblegum-pop sounds of other “1989” songs. This is likely a product of Jack Antonoff, Swift’s long-time best friend and producer, who produced 13 tracks on “Midnights.” It is most clearly seen in “Suburban Legends,” which has electropop features and layered vocals similar to “Mastermind.”

While many fans expected an upbeat, scathing pop song that responded to the chronic slut-shaming Swift experienced during 2013–2014, “Slut” is a whimsical love song. Swift leans into the title and declares that being called a slut “might be worth it for once” if she is dating the subject of the song. Sonically, the song is slower than expected and, as Swift describes it, “dreamy.”

Co-written by Diane Warren, “Say Don’t Go” is one of the standouts of the “1989” vault. On this track, Swift begs the song’s subject to say, “Don’t go.” With both a scream-able chorus and a true “1989” pop feel, “Say Don’t Go” shares similarities with “How You Get The Girl” and “Clean” from the original 16 tracks of “1989.”

“Now That We Don’t Talk” beat out “Glitch” as Swift’s shortest song at two minutes and 27 seconds, but managed to pack a punch. It explores Swift’s feelings about the ending of her relationship and her partner moving on. The song is already viral on TikTok, as fans relate the lyrics to their past friendships and how mother’s always know best when it comes to friends.

The ending is the best part of the song, where Swift realizes, “maybe I am better off now that we don’t talk” because she no longer has to pretend to “like to be on a megayacht / with important men who think important thoughts.” Styles, the song’s likely subject, has frequently been pictured on yachts around the time the pair dated. The angsty and freeing lyrics make for a perfect pop-breakup song.

The final vault track, “Is It Over Now?”, does not pull swing punches at Styles and, in particular, his relationships during their tumultuous on-and-off relationship. Swift expresses her disapproval for his openness with his relationships in the public eye, singing, “At least I had the decency to keep my nights out of sight.” She also insulted Styles’ girlfriend at the time, arguing that “Your new girl is my clone.” Fans speculate that Styles himself agreed on this statement on his 2017 track “From the Dining Table”: “Woke up the girl who looked just like you / I almost said your name.”

The song also includes a rare reference to the two’s snowmobile accident while they were dating: “When you lost control / Red blood, white snow.” The accident was only mentioned once more on the album, during the “Out Of The Woods” bridge. “Is It Over Now?” is also the first time Swift has ever publicly acknowledged the viral photo of her on a boat leaving the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Styles and Swift are rumored to have broken up.

In regards to the re-recording of the original 16 tracks, it was undoubtedly difficult to recreate some of the most iconic pop sounds of the 2010s. The absence of producer Max Martin, who did not return for the re-records, was felt and he was replaced by Christoper Rowe. This was most notable on “Style (Taylor’s Version),” which sorely missed Martin’s touch in the production. It strays from the original sound by adding high-pitched pop-synth sounds that distract from the iconic sound of one of Swift’s best pop songs.

However, there were tracks that far surpassed the originals. Antonoff’s production shines in “Out of the Woods (Taylor’s Version),” re-producing it in a way superior to the original. Additionally, “I Know Places (Taylor’s Version)” adds more depth and emotion; the growl on “And we run” is reminiscent of “I Know Places” from her “1989 World Tour” and adds the perfect touch for the song.

“1989” will forever be one of the biggest albums of 2014, but “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” introduces new sounds to the bright and punchy album. In her series of re-recordings, this fourth entry is ranked at number two, right below “Red (Taylor’s Version).” Before one could even thoroughly enjoy the new album, fans already anticipated that the release of “Reputation (Taylor’s Version)” would be very soon.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Jessie Gesund
Jessie Gesund, Associate Editor-In-Chief
Jessie Gesund is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is the Associate Editor-In-Chief for the Arts & Leisure, Opinion, and Feature sections. She is also the VP of Quill & Scroll, Key Club Class Representative, and a member of DECA. She enjoys reading and listening to music in her free time.
Brynn Schwartz
Brynn Schwartz, Associate Editor-in-Chief
Brynn Schwartz is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Associate Editor-in-Chief for news, sports and politics. She is the Newspaper Representative for Quill and Scroll and a member of National Honor Society. She enjoys discussing politics, listening to music and hanging out with her friends.
Donate to Eagle Eye News
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Donate to Eagle Eye News
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Eagle Eye News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *