US singer Taylor Swift has re-recorded her hit album “1989”. Her breathy voice is even fuller on it than on the original.
Taylor Swift at a concert in the USA in August 2023 Photo: Chris Pizzello/ap
Imagine being able to travel back in time into the emotional world of your young adult life. Maybe a time of heartbreak. But perhaps also one in which you became more and more independent and independent of the opinions of others. Taylor Swift has now made exactly such a journey through time with “1989”.
The album, named after her year of birth, was released in 2014. Exactly nine years later, a new recording of her fifth studio album is coming out, marked “Taylor’s Version”. The album was originally released by Big Machine, once a small country label from Nashville. At that time, the rights to use her albums were sold several times without her knowledge. Swift argued unsuccessfully with Big Machine for years, eventually moved to Universal and decided to re-record all of her albums.
An act of empowerment. But of course also a PR coup. For years, Taylor Swift has managed to bring new things to market with a regularity that keeps her always in the conversation. Most recently, she delivered new headlines almost every day with her “The Era’s Tour”.
The rush to sell tickets was so great that it caused Ticketmaster to collapse, the stadiums were sold out, and the tour film not only turned cinema halls into concert halls, but also broke records. And the Swifties – as Taylor Swift’s fans call themselves – benevolently accept every sign of life from Swift with a kiss on the hand.
This time with synth pop
And that’s why “Taylor’s version” of “1989” will probably break some records again. This is remarkable because the recording from 2023 can hardly be distinguished from the original. The 16 songs have just become a little clearer in sound, and if you listen closely you will notice that Taylor Swift’s voice sounds a little fuller than in the originals.
Taylor Swift was already a star when it was first released in 2014, but the album was her first official pop album. In keeping with the final farewell to the country girl from Nashville, the album begins with the song “Welcome to New York,” in which she celebrates her new beginning: “It’s a new soundtrack, I could dance to this beat, beat forevermore.” In general, this album is despite Some ballads are much more danceable than their previous releases.
Their smash hit “Shake It Off” particularly stands out, which only consists of three chords and can quickly become an annoying earworm with its catchy chorus. The whole thing is a declaration of war to all their haters: “Players gonna play, play, play, play, play / And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate / Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, Shake, shake.”
While the album received little attention in the German press at the time, it was immediately declared a classic in the USA. This is probably also due to the timeless sound. While hip hop and RnB influences dominated pop music in 2014, Taylor Swift forgoes them completely and relies on synth pop that is reminiscent of the 80s.
Five previously unreleased songs
Whether in the soft rock ballad “This Love” or “Style”, which stands out with its funky beat, warm synths and dull vocals – Swift shows what she can do with her voice. She jumps between octaves and masters both the lighter and darker colors. This diversity becomes even more clearly audible in the new recording.
In addition to the well-known ones, Taylor Swift delivers five previously unreleased songs, all of which are marked “From the vault”. They adapt to the previous sound and enhance the album. In “Is It Over Now” and “Suburban Legends” you can hear the 80s synths and drums most clearly.
“Now That We Don’t Talk” features Swift’s oft-celebrated, breathy voice. “Slut!” has the greatest hit potential. In the song she discusses how she regularly experienced slut-shaming from the tabloids. The word “slut” carries through the song like an echo – once again a strong answer to the haters, which shows that Taylor Swift didn’t put up with anything even in her early 20s.
With “Taylor’s Version” of “1989,” the pop star now owns 80 percent of her music. There are no concrete release dates for “Reputation” and “Taylor Swift” yet, but it is certain that they will come. And when all the albums are re-recorded, Taylor Swift will come up with something new. The Swifties will definitely love it.