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The Student News Site of Burke High School

The Burke Beat

The Student News Site of Burke High School

The Burke Beat

OPINION: 1989 (Taylor’s Version)

“Taylor Swift The Eras Tour 1989 Era Set (53109542801)” by Paolo Villanueva is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Almost ten years after the original album was released, “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” has graced us with its presence. As a fan of Taylor Swift, I stayed up to listen to her highly anticipated re-recording when it released at 11p.m. central time on Oct. 26.

This re-recorded album has been arguably the most anticipated out of all. Swift first announced the project at her concert on Aug. 9, when she wore all blue outfits and displayed the cover art on the screen during her acoustic set.

From the first song to the last, this album was a hit just like it’s twin. As we’ve seen in most of her re-recordings, the songs sounded extremely crisp and there was a major improvement production wise. “Welcome To New York” is a refreshing opening track that outdoes the original with Swift’s mature vocals.

In “Style,” the guitar tune is slightly different than the original. It’s extra edgy and the notes sound slightly shorter and have a cleaner cutoff. There’s debate on whether or not it outshines the original, but it does in all aspects. The same thing can be said for “I Wish You Would.”

In “Blank Space” and “Shake it Off,” it’s surprising to hear that the spoken parts in both of the songs sounded very similar to the original. “Shake it Off” was a great enhancement and sounds worlds better with the age in Swift’s voice.

In all of these songs, the background vocals are a lot more pronounced and add a lot of depth to the tracks that we didn’t see in the original record. Her voice has more rasp, and the sophistication it added made the album distinguishable from the original.

One song that’s an obvious improvement from the original is “I Know Places.” The original sounded rushed during the chorus, but the new version sounds more intentional and slowed down. “Clean” got beautiful instrumentals and breathy vocals.

However, “Wonderland” was a miss. In the beginning of the song when Swift sings “didn’t you flash your green eyes at me,” the entire pre-chorus sounds very rushed and her words sound like they were shortened. It put off the entire listening experience.

As for the vault tracks, “Say Don’t Go” was by far my favorite. The lyrics are heart wrenching while also managing to have an upbeat pop sound. “Is it Over Now?” is a very close second behind. Out of all the vault tracks she’s released, these are definitely the most cohesive yet and fit very well with the rest of the project.

Jack Antonoff, a longtime friend of Swift’s, helped produce the majority of this album. While his work with Swift has won several awards, I would like to see her branch out in this department. This record had a lot of the 80’s synth sounds that were heard on her 2022 album “Midnights,” especially on the vault tracks. Although it worked for the album overall, it’s definitely a sound we’ve seen from her before.

“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is the only re-record that had songs released prior to the actual album launch. Swift put out “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” and “This Love (Taylor’s Version)” both far before she even announced the record’s release date. This really helped set the expectations for what the rest of the album would sound like and got fans excited for the release.

No matter what people’s opinions are on Swift, she continues to break records left and right. According to Spotify, she broke her own previously set record for most streams in a single day for an artist, and “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” became the most streamed album in a single day so far in 2023. “Style (Taylor’s Version)” debuted with 11.6 million streams.

It’s widely expected for Swift to re-release her 2017 album “reputation” next, and it’s intriguing to see how she’ll differ the re-recording from the original considering it’s her most recent album that she’s recording again. She has an opportunity here to promote this album by releasing more vault tracks with it to draw listeners. We’ll have to wait and see what moves she’ll make in regards to the future.

Overall, Swift is still doing a great job of taking back ownership of her albums while simultaneously improving on them and even outselling the originals. “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is yet another success story she can add to the books.

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About the Contributor
Kaitlyn Lisko
Kaitlyn Lisko, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Kaitlyn Lisko is beginning her third year on the newspaper staff and second year as editor-in-chief. At school she's also involved in senior senate and African-American history challenge.

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  • R

    RenterDec 14, 2023 at 10:48 am

    As a fellow Swiftie, this article was amazing! Taylor Swift can do no wrong, but I do agree with some of your points and would love to hear something different from her on future albums!