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The student-run newspaper of Cleveland High School

Clarion

The student-run newspaper of Cleveland High School

Clarion

1989 Taylor’s Version Review

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1989_(album)
Clarion photo Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1989_(album)

On Friday, Oct. 27, Taylor Swift released the highly-anticipated re-recording of “1989,” the album that redefined Swift as an artist as she made the jump from country to pop. It catapulted her to new heights of fame as she and her music were everywhere. This is the fourth re-recording Swift has released to ensure the rights to her masters.
“1989” spent 11 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 after its release on Nov. 15, 2014. The single “Shake it Off” also went number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Swift’s fifth studio album was hailed as “pop perfection;” it won big at the Grammys, taking home Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Music Video for “Bad Blood.”
Such an iconic era in recent pop culture is hard to replicate. But “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” has already set a record as Spotify’s most streamed album in one day and debuted at number one on Billboard 200.
In the re-recordings, the original tracks aren’t changed much. The main difference in the release are the new vault tracks. The vault tracks on “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” include, “Slut!”, “Say Don’t Go,” “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Suburban Legends,” and “Is It Over Now?” Listeners have pointed out the similarities in the production of these vault songs to “Midnights,” Swift’s 10th studio album released in 2022. Midnights revisits sleepless nights throughout Swift’s life. It is speculated that there are similarities between the songs because of Jack Antanoff, Swift’s longtime friend and producer who worked on many of her projects.
The primary difference between the two albums – the production of the songs – is a factor that we have mixed feelings about.
Max Martin, credited as co-executive producer of the original 1989 album, did not return to help with Swift’s re-recordings. Martin, a songwriter Hall of Fame inductee, produced seven of the 13 original tracks, and one of those tracks, “Style (Taylor’s Version),” has upset Swifties. The “Style (Taylor’s Version)” intro is noticeably different from the original “Style.” The instrumental intro is an iconic beginning to one of Swift’s widely loved songs. Taylor’s Version sounds muffled and over-produced compared to the original, which builds to a crisp guitar riff. Although the production is different, Style is such a well-done pop song that it still accomplishes being a highlight of a critically acclaimed album.
Another detail noticed by fans is the lack of emotion in Swift’s voice on the re-recordings. How she felt during that period in her life is reflected in how it is performed on the original record, and that emotion is complex to replicate years later. Swift is nine years older than when “1989” was first released; her vocal skills have grown impressively. Therefore, the music is bound to sound different and more mature. The song’s overall mood doesn’t change, and a casual listener would probably not notice the difference, but to die-hard listeners, it can be hard to miss.
Although selected “Taylor’s Version” songs are disliked sonically by some, Swift made many of these re-recorded versions sound better than the original, which is a true testament to her vocal abilities. The aptitude to change her voice to adapt to the style of music at the time is an impressive skill.
One of the songs that has improved from being re-recorded is “Wonderland,” one of the songs written and produced by Max Martin along with Swift. It was one of the three songs that were released on the deluxe version of the original record. The maturity of Swift’s voice years later and the intensity she displays in the re-recording bring a new level of emotion and depth to the song. The production of the song doesn’t differ much from the original, which is received well by fans.
Although she faces scrutiny, Swift shakes it off and has accomplished something never done before by re-recording her albums. She continues to show her growth and strength as an artist as she unapologetically stands up for her art.

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About the Contributors
Lloy Bartolotti, Student Life Reporter
Hi! I am Lloy Bartolotti and I am Junior at Cleveland. This is my second year writing for the Clarion. My favorite sport is soccer and I enjoy hiking.
Kaya Otto, Student Life Reporter
My name is Kaya, and I'm a Junior at Cleveland. This is my first year on the Clarion, but my second year in journalism. I'm a reporter for the Student Life section.

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