1989 (Taylor's Version) | Album Review
A review of Taylor Swift's album 1989 (Taylor's Version) | Estella Hoye
The first time I heard “Welcome To New York” I was nine years old living in Brooklyn with my family. I remember loving the line “you can want who you want, boys and boys and girls and girls.” I loved the way it romanticized and celebrated my home town, and it changed how I felt about my city. Nine years later, I’m eighteen years old and I get to hear that song for the first time again. Listening to it now makes me nostalgic and, quite frankly, it makes me miss the place I’ve called home all my life. This album and I have grown up together.
1989 is an album we all know and love. I consider it a national treasure for those of us who love pop music. It manages to capture the hearts, ears, and attention of millions. At midnight on October 27th, 2023, people all over the world tuned into the re-release of the album that won three Grammys back in 2016, and changed everything for Taylor Swift, by bringing her into the pop world, and showing everybody that she wasn’t just some country girl. She can do it all.
1989 (Taylor’s Version) has twenty-one tracks, the deluxe album has twenty-two, including five never-heard-before vault tracks and a re-recording of “Bad Blood” featuring Kendrick Lamar. The songs on this album are all considered pop, but they have range. There is a song for everyone on 1989 and, with the vault tracks, it creates room for an even bigger audience. There are slow love songs, upbeat dance songs, and the occasional angry breakup song. Within the span of an hour, she covers it all.
It is hard to talk about an album that is already loved by so many, in the same way that I can assume it would be hard for Swift to re-record songs she knows people love, only hoping they will now listen to her version, the version she has complete ownership of. She has to somehow top her own album, especially when that album is one of her most successful, but she manages to do it. She revamped songs that even those of us who aren’t die-hard Swifties know and love, like “Shake It Off,” “Bad Blood,” and “Wildest Dreams.” She gives each of these a new more modern and mature tone without changing what the original sounded like. Her voice sounds much clearer, and generally better than it did nine years ago. She even makes some fan favorites even better, in my opinion, than their original counterparts. Songs like “Clean” and “This Love” are, by far, better than before from her vocals to the production.
She’s also included five new songs that she wrote back when she released the original sixteen songs in 2014. From “Slut!” to “Is It Over Now?,” she gives us additional insight into what her life was like nine years ago. These five songs also spark a lot of common truths for young women, talking about being cheated on, getting led on, and being slut-shamed by men. Taylor Swift manages to capture what it’s like to be a woman in a world full of men in songs as short as three minutes. These new vault tracks are reminiscent of the 1989 era, but they also remind listeners of her latest non re-recorded album, Midnights. They combine the pop energy of 1989 with the melancholy drama of Midnights to create five songs that anybody can love.
Taylor Swift’s career as a music artist is only going up. She is an inspiration to young people all over the world, and I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do with her next re-recording or album release.