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The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

REVIEW: “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” will never go out of “Style”

Photo obtained from Apple Music
“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” allows Swift to reclaim her 2014 hit album.

Taylor Swift first released “1989” on Oct. 27, 2014, an album that eventually transformed the popular country singer into a world renowned pop sensation. Hits like “Shake It Off,” “Wildest Dreams” and “Style” constantly rotated across radio stations. This album is known by many as the collection that skyrocketed Swift to the success that she commands today. “1989” had its moment in 2015, earning Swift three Grammy Awards, including her second Album of the Year win. And now, nine years, two Grammys and 8 albums later, Swift has finally re-recorded the hit album. 

“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is a way for Swift to reclaim her master recordings. Fourth in her journey of re-recording and re-releasing her first six albums, “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” was available to eager fans on Oct. 27, 2023. With five new vault tracks previously unheard by the public accompanying the original 17, this re-recording maintains Swift’s original style and lyricism. 

The collection contains an emotional depth that was lacking in her previous re-recorded albums, being that she is so separated from the events that drove the lyrics years ago. This is not a problem, though, in “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” with songs like “This Love (Taylor’s Version)” and “Clean (Taylor’s Version)” showcasing Swift’s love and hurt even more than in the 2014 version.

The re-recordings of the 17 tracks from the original album sound very similar, if not exactly the same, to their 2014 counterparts. With slight differences such as the inclusion of extra harmonies and Swift’s more advanced, mature vocals, these changes elevate the collection as a whole. 

Along with the original releases, five new tracks were added, all written along with the others in 2014, but never released until now. “Slut!,” “Say Don’t Go,” “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Suburban Legends” and “Is It Over Now?” are all upbeat features with catchy lyrics and groovy beats. While the speed of “Say Don’t Go” and “Now That We Don’t Talk” progress as the songs continue, “Is It Over Now?” is an upbeat melody from the start. “Slut!” and “Suburban Legends” display lust in a previous relationship, through slower but still pop-like production. 

It becomes obvious, however, that these songs were produced by modern-day Taylor Swift rather than by her 9 years in the past. Although the album does contain the 80’s inspired sounds that the 2014 version has, the newer vault tracks have clearly been produced around a similar time to Swift’s 2022 “Midnights.” Both the “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” vault tracks and many singles from “Midnights” contain high pitch instrumentals and other production similarities. Still, the album epitomizes 2014. 

Taylor Swift is at a popularity peak in 2023, with her record-breaking “The Eras Tour” and in the midst of her re-recording process. If you didn’t know her name in 2014, you certainly do now. Nearly a decade later, Swift commands the music industry, with the radio and pop-culture world under her control in 2014 during the release of “1989” and once again in 2023. The success of “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” goes to prove that Swift and her “1989” album “will never go out of style.” 

Behind the Byline
Molly Wolf
Molly Wolf, Managing Editor
Molly Wolf is a 2023-2024 Managing Editor for the Wessex Wire. When she is not spending time with her friends and family, she is usually scrolling through TikTok or listening to music. Her favorite singer is Taylor Swift and her favorite TV show is "Gilmore Girls." 
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