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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

1989 (Taylor’s Version) rekindled the flame I’ve missed for nine years

@PopCrave on X
The cover photo for 1989 (Taylor’s Version), which I absolutely adore.

The night of Aug. 18, 2015, was, to this day, one of the best nights of my life.

For my ninth birthday, my parents got me tickets to see Taylor Swift in concert during her 1989 World Tour in Chicago. I went with two of my closest friends on night one. We were five rows from the very top, but that didn’t stop us from dancing and singing as if we were only inches away from our idol. 

Albeit, I was a slightly bigger fan of Shawn Mendes at the time, and he was opening for her that night, but that was the concert that changed everything for me. My love for Swift since that lively night has never wavered, and neither has my love for 1989.

On the night of Aug. 9, 2023, I was transported back to that concert from eight years ago where the only thought running through my mind was how incredibly happy I was.

By now, it is a known fact that Swift is re-recording and releasing her first six albums whose rights were bought by Scooter Braun. This summer, she announced her fourth re-release, 1989 (Taylor’s Version). I stayed up until 2:30 a.m. and watched the announcement on a spotty TikTok livestream, and I was screaming into my pillow in excitement and calling all of my friends to indulge in their similar enthusiasm. 

I can feel Swift’s emotions bleeding through her voice; “Say Don’t Go” is nothing short of ethereal.

After what felt like years of waiting, Oct. 27—the nine-year anniversary since the stolen version was released—finally came along, and 1989 (Taylor’s Version) was finally ours.

For the most part, the original 16 tracks sound incredibly similar, which is expected. Of course, Swift’s voice has matured over the past nine years, and some pieces of the music have been altered, but that does not taint how much I absolutely love this album. 

Unfortunately, many people on the internet were complaining about how some of the songs were changed, specifically “New Romantics” and “Style.” They were saying that the two songs sound completely different and that they would strictly stream the stolen version of those two tracks. Personally, I don’t see the reason for all the fuss. The point of Swift re-recording her music was to take back the rights to her music and produce the songs how she wanted them to sound. Plus, it has been nine years; things are going to be different. To me, “Style” and “New Romantics” sound just as perfect as they did when they were first released in 2014.

Some of her tracks somehow got even better—if that is possible, since every song on 1989 was absolute perfection. “I Know Places,” for example, has climbed even higher on my list of favorite songs by Swift. Her voice was just so strong throughout the track. There is a hint of anger that lingers in her singing that I didn’t hear in the stolen version. Every time I listen to this song, I get chills; it is a quintessential example of how Swift has changed and improved over all these years.

With the re-release of all of Swift’s original tracks from 1989, excitement levels were already through the roof. However, anticipation for 1989 (Taylor’s Version) skyrocketed even higher due to her “From The Vault” tracks. Unlike Red (Taylor’s Version), which has nine tracks that are “From The Vault,” 1989 (Taylor’s Version) only has five. While I was a little bit upset that my favorite album only had five unreleased songs, Swift did say during the album announcement that they were some of her favorite “From The Vault” tracks she’s made thus far. Her remarks were not overlooked, as I absolutely loved every single track.

The first “From The Vault” song on the album was “Sl*t! (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).” If I am going to be honest, I expected something completely different from this song. With the title of the song, I, along with everyone else I talked to about the track, expected it to be a lot more unhinged and 2014-pop-sounding. “Sl*t!” instead felt like a song that would be on her most recent album, Midnights. That doesn’t mean I don’t like the song; it just was not at all what I was expecting it to be. 

“Sl*t!” has two different aspects. First, Swift is talking about the media and how it views her dating life. At that point in her life, many were calling Swift a “serial dater” and saying that she would date a bunch of boys just to write songs about them. Along with that, Swift is also singing about how she hopes the relationship she was in at the time would actually last. Both of these viewpoints are seen in the line, “But if I’m all dressed up / they might as well be lookin’ at us / and if they call me a sl*t / you know it might be worth it for once.” Here, Swift is essentially saying that she will endure the comments from the media, hoping that this relationship will make it through to the other side of the tunnel. 

Following “Sl*t!” is “Say Don’t Go (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” which is one of my favorite new tracks from 1989 (Taylor’s Version). This song sounds like it belongs in 1989, especially in the chorus. The tune is so catchy, and the lyrics are absolute perfection. This is the perfect song to scream at the top of my lungs, which I have already done a time or two. This is the perfect breakup song and the perfect angry song too. I can feel Swift’s emotions bleeding through her voice; “Say Don’t Go” is nothing short of ethereal.

The third “From The Vault” track is “Now That We Don’t Talk (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).” Much like “Say Don’t Go,” this song perfectly blends in with the vibe of 1989 (Taylor’s Version). This is another breakup song, but it is more geared toward the viewpoint that she is far better off without the guy, which I love. Once again, the chorus is incredibly catchy and takes me back to the music of 2014. Even though there are some more aspects of the song that give off 2023-pop-music vibes, the overall song brings me back to when I was eight and nine years old. 

Next on the list of the five tracks is “Suburban Legends (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).” I feel like the musicality of this song belongs in Midnights whereas the actual lyrics are perfect for 1989 (Taylor’s Version). This is an amazing love song that has lyrics to describe a relationship that will forever leave an everlasting impact on someone, especially when Swift sings, “When you hold me, it holds me together / and you kiss me in a way that’s gonna screw me up forever.” Swift knows how to perfectly encapsulate every phase of a relationship; her music is the epitome of what every love song needs.

The final song on 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is “Is It Over Now? (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).” The drama surrounding this song is absolutely insane, and I live for every second of it. It is as clear as day that this track is about Harry Styles, whom Swift dated in 2012. Both “Style” and “Out Of The Woods” are also about Styles, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that at least one of the “From The Vault” tracks was about him, too. However, the references to their relationship in this song were so painfully obvious that it was almost funny. For example, the line, “Blue dress on a boat,” is a clear reference to a picture taken of Swift moments after she and Styles broke up where she was left sitting alone on a boat after a heated argument. Along with that, the line, “You search in every model’s bed for something greater,” has to do with the fact that after his and Swift’s breakup, Styles was seen in relationships with multiple models, such as Kendall Jenner, Nadine Leopold, and Georgia Fowler.

Regarding the song itself, “Is It Over Now?” is absolutely amazing. I personally believe that it was almost too powerful of a song that would’ve created far too many ripples had Swift released it back in 2014. The tune of the song matched perfectly with the lyrics she was singing. This is a classic song by Swift that will never go out of “Style.”

From start to finish, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is everything I had hoped for and more. Every time I press play on the album, I am immediately transported back to one of the best nights of my life, and I will forever be thankful to Swift for allowing a piece of my childhood to pay me a visit nine years later.

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About the Contributor
Sofia Hargis-Acevedo
Sofia Hargis-Acevedo, Editor-in-Chief
Sofia is a senior entering her fourth and final year writing for The Central Trend. She has grown up a writer and cannot picture herself as anything but. Along with writing, she keeps herself busy by dancing. She has been leaping across the stage since the ripe age of two, and she is currently on the FHCVDT. For Sofia, endings are bittersweet. And as she approaches her final moments walking the halls of FHC, she will try her hardest to leave her legacy within the words she writes—the words that contain her heart. Her favorite book: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller Her go-to dessert: a piping hot brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream Her favorite season: Fall, without a doubt fall Has she gotten over her fear of birds after three years? Nope!

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    Lauren BraceNov 16, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    Sofia, I will never stop loving your passion for Taylor Swift. You write with so much detail and honesty, and I will forever be curious to hear your opinions on all Swift news. Absolutely loved reading this. 🙂