STORY BY JASON GREEN, STAFF WRITER
PHOTO COURTESY OF BETH GARRABRANT
Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated re-release album “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” which included her vault tracks released on Oct. 27, but it has left me feeling like the vault tracks are misplaced as a Swiftie.
Swift’s initial “1989” album, released on Oct. 27, 2014, was considered to be her first pop album; her other albums were country.
The “1989” album was released with tremendous success becoming one of Swift’s most successful albums.
Nine years later, on the last night of her highly acclaimed and profitable “The Eras Tour” at SoFi Stadium, on Aug. 9, 2023 Swift announced “1989 (Taylor’s Version)”.
She announced that five tracks from the vault would be put on the album. Vault tracks are tracks that were not put on Swift’s original album and included: “Slut!” (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault); Say Don’t Go (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault); Now That We Don’t Talk (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault); Suburban Legends (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault); Is It Over Now? (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).
The album has now arrived with five new vault tracks, resulting in anticipating fans, including myself, crashing Spotify’s server the moment “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” was released.
Hours after its release, Taylor Swift unexpectedly announced “1989 (Taylor’s Version) [Deluxe]” which includes the remix, “Bad Blood (Feat. Kendrick Lamar) (Taylor’s Version)”.
While listening to the album, I was satisfied with most of the Taylor’s Version songs such as “All You Had To Do Was Stay (Taylor’s Version)” and “Out Of The Woods (Taylor’s Version)”, but once I reached one of the most iconic tracks, “New Romantics (Taylor’s Version)”, it felt like there was something wrong with the song. I felt the mixing of the song muffled Taylor’s voice near the climax of the song. Overall, the song is still listenable and iconic.
Listening to the vault tracks, I felt the songs weren’t meant to be on the album because they do not encapsulate the pop genre that the album falls into. Each song seems like they belong to another album like “Midnights”, which is of the synth-pop genre. There appears to be a gloomy feel to these tracks as well.
“”Slut!” (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)”: This song is essentially a love song that shows someone who doesn’t mind being called names by outsiders in their relationship. One of the lines from the song that captures the energy of it is, “But if I’m all dressed up / They might as well be lookin’ at us / And if they call me a slut / You know it might be worth it for once”. To me, it sounded like “Snow On The Beach (Feat. Lana Del Rey)” from the “Midnights” album because the song’s flow is similar to “”Slut!” (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)”.
“Say Don’t Go (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)”: In Taylor Swift fashion, there is always a song about a toxic relationship and this song fulfills that. Swift’s lyricism is direct and symbolic at the same time. With lyrics such as “Why’d you whisper in the dark / Just to leave me in the night? / Now your silence has me screamin’, screamin’”, the song brings potent impact and empathy.
“Now That We Don’t Talk (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)”: The song describes the aftermath of a breakup and many speculate the track is about Harry Styles, who Swift had dated around the time of the release of the original album. Taylor puts a lot of her emotions into her songs, but she tends to not expand on them, but she definitely has the talent to do so. I loved the lyrics, “And the only way back to my dignity was to turn into a shrouded mystery” and, “Just like I had been when you were chasing me”. These lyrics flow so well that I wished that the song was longer by 30 seconds to expand on her becoming a shrouded mystery, but the song seemingly ends abruptly.
“Suburban Legends (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)”: For some reason, this song, about remembering a painful past relationship and youthful love during a highschool reunion, reminds me of my favorite Swift album, “Fearless”. While the beat reminds me of “Fearless”, the lyrics are similar to those on her “Speak Now” album. While I won’t rank these songs, I will probably rank this one higher than the others.
“Is It Over Now? (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)”: There is a moment in this song that caused me to be taken aback. It was in the lyrics, “Oh, Lord, I think about jumpin’ / Off of very tall somethings”. Themes of suicidal ideation are rarely brought up in Taylor Swift’s songs, so I was surprised by her vulnerability. As another breakup song in this pop album, the lyrics bring aggression.
While I had some issues with Taylor Swift’s “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” album, I will probably blast the tracks in front of my friends.