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The student news site of Centennial High School - Frisco, Texas

Cen10 News

The student news site of Centennial High School - Frisco, Texas

Cen10 News

1989 From The Vault: Album Review

Taylor+Swifts+opening+number+at+The+Eras+Tour+in+Arlington.+
(Photo/Lilly Treat)
Taylor Swift’s opening number at The Eras Tour in Arlington.

Frisco, Texas- On October 27, 2023, Taylor Swift released the much anticipated timeless masterpiece, 1989 (Taylor’s Version).

 

The album was originally released on the same day, October 27, in 2014, a day that would forever shape the linear trajectory of the music industry. Swift started her musical journey in the country industry, but the unveiling of 1989 quickly established that she, and other artists, were not limited to one genre. 

 

In November 2020, Taylor Swift, the beloved pop sensation, declared that she would be re-recording all of her albums that had been released before her seventh studio album, Lover (2019), an announcement that shook hardcore Swifties worldwide. 

 

This all came as the result of the unfortunate sale of Swift’s music to a private company without her consent, eliminating any opportunity for her to profit off of and have the rights to her own work. Swift’s solution to this predicament was to re-record the entirety of all of the albums owned by the private company.

 

To appease the insatiable Swiftie community, Taylor Swift has been releasing never-been-heard songs with the album, called “vault tracks” that were crafted at the same time as which the original 1989 was. 1989 (Taylor’s Version) has 5 vault tracks: “S***!,” “Say Don’t Go,” “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Suburban Legends,” and “Is It Over Now?”

 

All of these songs are brilliant, solidifying this vault, in my opinion, as one of the best. When listening to the album, I rarely skip a single vault track. Yet within this unparalleled track list, some songs outshine the others. Here’s my ranking for the five vault songs.

 

  1. Suburban Legends

 

“Suburban Legends” is the fourth vault track on the album. This song intricately unfolds a narrative about a magnetic attraction between Swift and her lover. At the time, she felt as though they were destined to be together. However, the outro of the song introduces an entirely new feeling. Taylor’s idealism is shattered and the relationship comes to a heartbreaking end. While this song is incredible and has a captivating story, it falls last on my list due to its lack of cohesion to the rest of the album. 

 

Sonically, the song bears a striking resemblance to Swift’s most recent original album, Midnights (2022) and while Midnights is a stunning album, the unexpected similarities don’t fit into the distinct era of 1989, so for that reason, I rank “Suburban Legends” last place for the vault tracks.

 

  1. Say Don’t Go

 

The second vault track, “Say Don’t Go,” captures the pain of being fallen out of love with, and endlessly yearning for the feeling of being wanted. Swift’s lyricism perfectly blends personal experience with universal feelings.

 

This song has a brisk pace at 110 beats per minute, similar to well-known songs such as “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani or “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. This song doesn’t top my rankings due to the discrepancy between lyrical depth and the sound of the song. Nevertheless, it serves as a testament to Swift’s ability to touch millions, despite having only lived one life.

 

  1. S***!

 

This song is getting into all-timer territory. It dives into Swift’s reputation at the time, when she was scrutinized for her romantic life and the public remained fixated on her every move. She fearlessly embraces it in this song, with lyrics such as “they might as well be lookin’ at us” and “you know it might be worth it for once.” 

 

When the track titles were announced, the internet was reeling with what each song would sound like, however the sound of this song was completely unprecedented, adding another thrilling layer of intrigue. Being placed as the first vault track, its impact is strengthened further, captivating listeners for the next four songs to come.

 

  1. Now That We Don’t Talk

 

Claiming the spot as my second favorite vault track, and one of my favorites on the whole album, is “Now That We Don’t Talk.” With its upbeat tempo, catchy lyrics, and the quintessential 1989 flair, this song emerges as one of the best. It highlights the growth and self-discovery that is born from silence between two people who were once romantically intertwined.

 

This song has already sparked a viral trend on TikTok, where people take the lyric “I don’t have to pretend I like acid rock” and share intimate experiences of theirs where they once pretended to tolerate something when in a relationship. This again shows how versatile Taylor’s lyrics are. Though many of her listeners have not dated someone like Harry Styles, her lyrics transcend individual circumstances, providing a clear explanation for her popularity.

 

  1. Is It Over Now?

 

Taking the coveted title of my favorite song on the vault, and second favorite on the album, is the incredible “Is It Over Now?” Swift alludes to popular controversies surrounding her relationship with Harry Styles. A prime example of this is the lyric “blue dress on a boat,” which alludes to the photo captured of her alone on a boat in the Virgin Islands while on a getaway with Styles, a moment that is said to have been the end of their relationship.

 

This song has also made its way to TikTok, with a dance becoming quickly popular. Its popularity extends beyond my personal preference, as evident by the song’s quick rise to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, beating out another Swift original, “Cruel Summer.”

 

1989 (Taylor’s Version) is nothing short of a musical masterpiece. This album revisits the past while masterfully unveiling hidden gems from that bygone era. As someone deeply entrenched in the Taylor Swift sphere, I consider this album to be a pop staple, and the re-recording only solidifies its place in the pop world. 

 

Swift’s decision to re-record her music has set a precedent in the music industry for not only artistic autonomy but has also quenched the desires of her fans. The magic of this album is far from fleeting, even 9 years later.

 

Beyond her music, Swift has literally shaken the globe with her concerts. Seismic activity at The Eras Tour aside, there is a distinct culture at her concerts. Her ever-growing fan base trades friendship bracelets at her shows, taking her messages about acceptance and warmth to heart.

As I reflect on 1989 (Taylor’s Version), I feel compelled to give it a score of 10/10. Although not every song is my favorite, the cultural impact and reclamation of her own narrative gives me no other option. It’s far more than a simple re-record, it’s a manifestation of Swift’s reluctance to confine to industry norms, making this album significant to both Swifties and the small minority of people that know nothing about her alike.



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About the Contributor
Lillian Treat, Reporter
Hi everybody! My name is Lilly and I am a junior at Centennial High School. I am vice president of Titan Theatre and love to be involved in various theatre productions at our school. I am so excited to be a part of the Titan Times and I'm looking forward to a great year!