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"1989 (Taylor's Version)" by Taylor Swift Review
Re-living classics songs as well as adding some unreleased spice in the mix
Lisa Mertz
5 min read

Taylor Swift's "1989 (Taylor’s Version)" offers listeners a unique blend of nostalgia and fresh insight, standing as a testament to her enduring artistry. This reimagined rendition of her 2014 pop masterpiece not only reinforces Swift’s musical prowess but also allows her to reclaim ownership of her work, weaving a tapestry of empowerment and creative resilience.

A Splash of the Past with a Dash of the Present

Swift's "1989 (Taylor's Version)" is a thrilling journey back in time, seamlessly intertwining the vibrant energy of her pop transition with the wisdom and polish of her current artistry. The album is a masterclass in balance, maintaining the infectious beats and catchy melodies that characterized the original, while introducing a depth and maturity that could only be cultivated with time. The vault tracks, in particular, act as hidden treasures, revealing a side of Swift that was perhaps not as evident in her 2014 release. They showcase her growth not just as a musician, but as a storyteller, capable of weaving intricate narratives that resonate on a personal level. This blend of old and new creates a listening experience that feels both familiar and refreshing, a musical journey that honors Swift's past while simultaneously embracing her future.

The Lustrous Sheen of Nostalgia

In "1989 (Taylor’s Version)," nostalgia acts as a guiding star, leading listeners through a labyrinth of synths, catchy hooks, and heartfelt lyrics. The album is steeped in the glitz and glamour of its original era, with tracks like “Style” and “I Wish You Would” exuding a timeless charm and infectious energy. Swift navigates these familiar waters with grace and precision, her voice a beacon of authenticity in a sea of recreated melodies. She doesn’t just sing the songs; she relives them, infusing each note with a palpable sense of passion and reverence for the music that helped define her career. This connection between artist and artistry transforms the listening experience, making each track not just a song, but a memory, a moment captured in time and preserved for future generations.

Vault Tracks: Unearthing Hidden Treasures

The vault tracks of "1989 (Taylor’s Version)" serve as a treasure trove of hidden gems, each song a piece of Swift’s musical mosaic that was left unseen until now. Tracks like “Say Don’t Go” and “Now That We Don’t Talk” are rich in emotional depth and lyrical complexity, offering a raw, unfiltered glimpse into Swift’s creative process. These songs, once locked away, now breathe with life, adding layers of nuance and vulnerability to the album’s narrative. Swift’s talent as a lyricist shines brightly here, her words painting vivid pictures of love, loss, and the bittersweet space in between. These vault tracks do not simply complement the original album; they enrich it, providing context and depth that elevate the entire listening experience.

A Delicate Balance: Hits and Misses

While "1989 (Taylor’s Version)" is a formidable homage to Swift’s pop evolution, it is not without its missteps. The vault tracks, though valuable in their contribution to the album’s narrative, occasionally disrupt the cohesive flow of the original tracks. Songs like “‘Slut!’” offer intriguing thematic exploration but ultimately lack the precision and impact of their counterparts. These moments highlight the challenges inherent in blending the old with the new, in balancing the desire to preserve the past with the impulse to inject fresh, contemporary elements. Despite these inconsistencies, the album stands as a testament to Swift’s enduring talent and her commitment to her craft, proving that even in moments of imperfection, there is beauty to be found.

The Highs and Lows of Reinvention

Swift’s reimagined version of "1989" doesn’t just rest on the laurels of its past successes; it strives to inject fresh vitality into each track, with varying degrees of success. The record’s standout moments, such as the pulsating energy of “Style” and the anthemic embrace of “I Wish You Would,” retain their original magic while benefiting from the sheen of hindsight and experience. Swift navigates these highs with an ease that speaks to her artistic maturity, ensuring that these tracks feel as relevant and captivating today as they did upon their initial release. However, the album also grapples with moments of excess sweetness, as in “How You Get the Girl,” where the saccharine melody teeters on the edge of being overly indulgent. These moments, while few, highlight the delicate balance required in revisiting and reimagining past work, reminding us that even pop anthems are not immune to the passage of time.

Unearthing the Album's True Essence

In its entirety, "1989 (Taylor's Version)" serves as both a nostalgic trip down memory lane and a bold statement of artistic integrity. The addition of the vault tracks offers a richer, more textured understanding of Swift's journey during this transformative period in her career, providing fans and newcomers alike with a comprehensive view of her musical evolution. The album's highs soar higher, its emotional beats hit harder, and its moments of vulnerability are laid bare, all culminating in a listening experience that is as educational as it is entertaining. Swift has managed to recapture the lightning-in-a-bottle magic of her pop transition, all while infusing the album with a wisdom and authenticity that can only be earned through time and experience. In "1989 (Taylor's Version)," Taylor Swift not only pays homage to her past, but she also lays the groundwork for her future, proving that her journey as an artist is far from over.

Taylor Swift, 1989 album cover, blue background, seagulls flying, clear skies


Lisa Mertz
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@music
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