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FHHS Today

The Students News Site of Francis Howell High School

FHHS Today

The Students News Site of Francis Howell High School

FHHS Today

‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’ is Swift’s best release yet


Taylor Swift released her fourth re-recorded album, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) on Oct. 27, 2023. The 21-track album, including five previously unreleased songs, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. The album spent two weeks at #1 with 1.653 million units sold in the first week, making it Swift’s biggest release of her career and the biggest release of any album since Adele’s 25 in November 2015.

All 21 tracks on the album charted on the Billboard Hot 100, with seven simultaneously in the top 10, along with her song Cruel Summer, which placed at No. 6 after spending two weeks at No. 1.

Swift started re-releasing her music made under her past label, Big Machine, after Scooter Braun purchased the label and denied Swift ownership of her past work. The first “Taylor’s Version” was Fearless, re-released in 2021, followed by Red and Speak Now. In order to keep ownership of these works, Swift has made slight edits to beats, lyrics and vocal styles.

In 1989 (Taylor’s Version), Swift shows her vocal development by creating a mature sound that is more consistent with her album, Midnights, while still staying faithful to the 2014 pop stylings of the original album. Dropping the majority of the heavy vocal cries and synth-based mixing techniques used in the original release, Swift has added a deeper quality to her vocals that demonstrates her vocal growth and continued voice training throughout her career. This rough feel is especially prevalent in the re-recorded tracks Style and I Know Places, where Swift has replaced vocal cries with cleaner high-notes that now sit comfortably within her vocal range and has added yells and growls to her lower notes for emphasis. 

Swift also has had a shift in backing track style in the re-record, using more drum beats and deep piano tracks instead of the heavy synthesizer present in the original tracks. 

While this change in style does shift the emotional feel of the album away from the original innocence and young love themes, it also helps the album grow in style with Swift, allowing her to perform her songs in a way conducive to her current vocals that sound consistent with the recorded tracks. Her vocals in this re-release sound much more mature and curated to her voice, instead of following the style of what is currently common in popular music. This also makes the tracks more sustainable for Swift to perform live on her 151 show Eras Tour, as well as future tours.

If the five vault tracks weren’t enough for you, Swift also released an extra version of the album and a Target-exclusive tangerine orange vinyl with a re-record of her track Sweeter Than Fiction, which featured in the film One Chance in 2013. She also released multi-color CDs that include lyric posters.. 

Overall, this re-record really showed off Swift’s vocal growth and her own personal style that she’s grown into since the original release in 2014.

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Evren Collins
Evren Collins, Staff Writer/Photographer

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