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The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

“1989” never goes out of style

Photo courtesy of @taylorswift on Instagram
On October 27, 2023, Taylor Swift released a re-record of her most popular album “1989.” The album was received extremely well and sold over 1.6 million units in its debut week.

Arguably her most successful album, Taylor Swift’s fifth record “1989” was a synth-pop album and spent 11 weeks at the top of the Billboard 200, was certified platinum nine times, sold over 10 million copies and won three Grammys. Pop producers Max Martin, Jack Antonoff and Shellback were a large part of this success creating 1980s inspired production and catchy beats that got stuck in people’s heads for days. Coupling this production with Swift’s undeniable songwriting ability created an album that had the highest number of sales in its first week than any other album in the past decade.

Swift’s journey of rerecording her music began in April of 2021 with the release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version), followed by Red (Taylor’s Version) and Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). The next in line was 1989 and because of the success the album had on its first release, the pressure was on to recreate some of the biggest pop hits ever including “Shake it Off,” “Bad Blood” and “Style” along with five new, unreleased “Vault Tracks” that match the high quality of the original tracks of the album.

When the album’s tracklist was released on September 19, the track that caught the public’s attention was the first vault track, ‘“Slut!”’ Many theories were formed about what the content of the song could entail based on the shocking title. However when it actually was released, the song shocked everyone, it was a love song. Swift sings the song in a light, airy voice with a slow and calming melody as she describes the feeling of falling in love. She describes the love as so perfect and magical that she is tempted to just dive into it, despite the risks coming with it. One of the biggest effects of falling in love for Swift is how the media has shamed her for the number of relationships she has been in. Swift ties in the title of the song to show just how strong this attraction is saying that it would even be worth it for her to be called a “slut” if she gets to be with this person.

The next vault track, “Say Don’t Go” discusses the consequences of poor communication and holding back emotions within relationships. The song takes listeners through a journey of Swift’s relationship and how she considers leaving multiple times but would ultimately choose to stay in the relationship forever if her partner could be forthcoming and express that he wants her to stay. After multiple choruses echoing the plea for her partner to “say don’t go,” the song ends on an ominous note repeating the words, “but you won’t” to show that Swift’s partner never told her to stay and therefore implying that the relationship would come to an end.

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The third vault track is “Now That We Don’t Talk.” Just as the title implies, this song discusses how things change once two people stop communicating completely after a relationship. It covers the more negative aspects like having to wonder what that person is doing and feeling, but also the more positive and freeing aspects like not having the pressure of faking interests in your partner’s interests. Swift names a few of her own faked interests as “acid rock” and spending time on a “mega yacht” giving the song a cheeky and sarcastic tone.

The closing song of the album, “Is It Over Now?” uses a similar sarcastic tone as Swift alludes to possible infidelity in a past relationship with lyrics like “was it over when she laid down on your couch?” and “was it over when he unbuttoned my blouse?” The wordy, quick, catchy bridge makes the song addicting and has been on repeat for most fans since its release. The mixing of instruments and vocal layering compliments the lyrics perfectly and has quickly made the ending track a fan favorite.

With each of her re-released albums, Swift has continuously impressed fans with her ability to maintain the nostalgic and classic feel of her songs while still managing to level them up with improved production and vocals. This was no different with 1989 (Taylor’s Version). Known for its 80s pop synth sound, production was a key part of the album and Swift perfectly recreated those sounds and simultaneously made the mixing crisper and better.

The addition of the five vault tracks only added to the legacy and superiority of the record. Staying consistent with the rest of the album, the songs touch on different types of relationships and covers both falling in love as well as ending relationships as well as other topics such as the public’s perception of Swift. With over 365 million streams in a single week, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) has dismissed any worries that it may not live up to the previous version and Swift has once again delivered a five star album that will live on forever.

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About the Contributor
Claire Moylan
Claire Moylan, Photo Manager & Assistant Features Editor
Claire Moylan is a junior and a Photo Manager for the Observer. This is her second year taking journalism and she is super excited to continue working on the Observer. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer and lacrosse and spending time with friends.

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  • adviserNov 10, 2023 at 2:28 pm