Taylor Swift’s “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” album cover. Courtesy of Beth Garrabrant
Taylor Swift has officially reclaimed her 2014 hit album “1989.” After losing the rights to her masters in 2019, Swift began re-recording her first six studio albums in 2021, while simultaneously adding tracks “From The Vault” that were scrapped upon the album’s initial release.
“1989” is the epitome of a perfect pop album. Upon its first release, it spawned three Billboard Hot 100 number-one hits, including “Shake It Off,” “Blank Space” and “Bad Blood.” Fans were shocked at Swift’s shift in genres with “1989,” following her heavy presence in the country music scene. If anyone can switch genres entirely and curate one of the most iconic bodies of work, it’s Taylor Swift.
Having grown up with “1989,” this album holds a special place in my heart. When I think of “1989,” I think “anthem.” Almost ten years later, the re-release of this record floods my mind with an immeasurable amount of nostalgia.
The album opens with “Welcome To New York,” which sets the tone for the entire body of work. Swift has mentioned in interviews that this is a “New York” album, and this glamorous yet chaotic aura can be felt all the way through.
The next three tracks, “Blank Space,” “Style” and “Out Of The Woods,” create the perfect flow of three iconic pop hits. Although there aren’t many changes in the re-recordings, there are some new beautiful harmonies that can be heard on “Out Of The Woods,” the song famously written about a snowmobiling accident with Swift’s ex-boyfriend Harry Styles. This same accident is also alluded briefly in one of the brand new tracks “From The Vault” in “Is It Over Now?,” saying “When you lost control / Red blood, white now.”
That brings us swiftly (ahem!) into the five new tracks “From The Vault.” that were not included during the release of “1989” in 2014. My favorite by far is “Now That We Don’t Talk.” There is no doubt in my mind that if this was included in the first release, it would’ve been a major hit. The lyrics, along with the catchy melody, create the perfect pop song, which has been stuck in my head since I first listened to it.
Swift ends the re-recording with “Is It Over Now?,” which I find so clever. The song itself is also perfect. It’s catchy and upbeat, but also serves as a great album closer, though it is an open-ended question. Fans have been speculating that this could mean something, and that the album is not actually over. This could mean anything really; more songs, music videos, potential collaborations? Only time will tell!
“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is out now and available on all streaming platforms.