The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

Review: The Tortured Poets Department
Review: "The Tortured Poets Department"
by Kyle Werner, Managing Editor & Social Media Manager • April 19, 2024

Well, hello there, fellow tortured poets. I’m glad you’re here. At least “here” on The Simpsonian website. This is my final review of...

SCTV 4/18/24 Final Episode of Semester
by Aaron Wilkins and Sam HyingApril 18, 2024

Jay Byers
Byers reflects on his first year as Simpson's president
by Kenzie Van Haaften, Staff Writer • April 17, 2024

“I remember the first time I stepped foot on campus, and I thought, ‘wow, what a beautiful place. This looks like what a college is supposed...

Review: 1989 (Taylor’s Version)

Review%3A+1989+%28Taylors+Version%29

   Are we back in 2014, when “1989” (stolen version) was released? No, it’s nine years later, and Taylor Swift added “(Taylor’s Version)” to another album. 

   This time, it’s 1989, featuring 16 reclaimed songs, five songs from the vault and one song redone with a feature, for a total of 22 songs added to the list of music actually owned by Taylor. 

   In the midst of the Travis Kelce x Taylor Swift drama (it’s not really “drama”, but just ask a Chief’s fan what it is, and that’s what they’ll tell you it is. No hard feelings. Respectfully, I feel the same way about football), Swift released “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” on Oct. 27, exactly nine years after she released the original album. 

   (Also notable: it had been 112 days since the release of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) on July 7. Two re-records in one year, bonkers!)

   In case you don’t know what the whole deal is with Taylor Swift re-recording (do you live under a rock?), Swift used to be under Big Machine Records, which took ownership of her songs after she left the label in 2018.  Then, they sold her songs to a different company, Shamrock Holdings, for $300 million. In retaliation, she decided she was going to re-record her first six studio albums so she could actually own her songs. 

   Since then, she has re-recorded “Fearless”, “Red”, “Speak Now” and, now, “1989”. Her albums “Lover”, “Folklore”, “Evermore” and “Midnights” are all owned by Swift, not anyone else. 

   In addition to the re-recordings of these albums, she also includes songs that were written at the time of production but didn’t make the cut (at least according to Big Machine Records).

   But let’s go back to 1989, the year Taylor Swift was born. Wait, no, I mean the album. 

   Originally, if you think of the 1989 album, which was released in 2014, you think of what that year was: YouTubers, Bath & Body Works hand sanitizers and Starbucks. And, for the most part, that is what I always considered the album to be. 

   I’ll be the first to admit, although I was wrong, I wasn’t always a big fan of 1989. I wasn’t able to connect with the songs produced like I could in “Fearless” when I was younger. 

   Now, nine years later and nine years older, I think I’m starting to get it. It’s an emotionally vulnerable album disguised by 2014 pop and overly complex metaphors and other literary devices that I was not able to comprehend as an 11-year-old. 

   Of the original 16 songs, you get the classic break-up songs mixed with songs about standing up to societal standards and emotional recovery. I think the vault songs give some much-needed context. 

   In the stolen version of 1989, the whole picture wasn’t there. In Taylor’s Version, the idea is finally complete, and it tells a whole story: 

  • I’m successful! 
  • But people hate me… 
  • But I’m in a good relationship!
  • Oh wait… it’s not as good as we thought
  • Oh, it’s actually bad… we broke up
  • Here’s why it didn’t work
  • Here’s how it could work
  • Well… I’m finally clean

   And, then, there’s the vault songs: 

  • I never did as well as everyone thought 
  • It was actually really hard for me
  • I hate you! But I’m doing so much better now! 

   The production is always something in question when Taylor re-records her albums. Fans either hate it to begin with, or love it. You can blame Jack Antonoff for that one, but whether we like it or not, she at least actually owns these songs. 

   I am absolutely in love with the polished production value of 1989 (Taylor’s version) because it shows her in her new element, but the original emotion is still all there. 

   My top recorded songs are “Out of The Woods”, “Clean” and “You Are In Love”.

   While some of the raw emotion in her voice is no longer there, we have to realize these are songs from nine years ago, and she definitely feels differently than she did back then. 

   I can’t personally connect to a lot of the songs because I’ve never gone through a nasty breakup that was on the cover of every magazine (sorry to the Harry-stans, but I’m pretty sure them going no-contact was and is for the best), but I can see the whole idea of the world being against you. 

   My top songs from the vault are “Slut!” (because of the juxtaposition of the title; it’s not a girly-pop anthem, but rather the soft and vulnerable love song I think we needed even more) and “Now That We Don’t Talk” (you can’t NOT like this song, sorry not sorry).

   Obviously, I can’t connect in the same way, but her words are so emotionally evocative that I understand what she was going through, and I can see how I can relate to that (even if it is just a sliver of relation).

   1989 (Taylor’s Version) is yet another masterpiece added to the list of “(Taylor’s Version)”.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Kyle Werner
Kyle Werner, Managing Editor & Social Media Manager

Comments (0)

All The Simpsonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest