The energy was unmatched on the night of August 9, 2023. TS had pulled out all the surprises hinting at 1989 Taylor's Version. With all her outfits being blue, the crowd was convinced, and when we reached the surprise songs section of the night, the big announcement was finally made.
This wasn't the first time this had happened on the Eras Tour since she announced Speak Now Taylor's Version in May of 2023, but since 1989 is such an iconic album, it was inevitable that the crowd would go even crazier. Almost three months since August 9 passed, Taylor's Version was finally released on October 27, 2023, 1989. I believe this album was influential and is one of her most recognizable albums because, before 1989, she had never done a full pop album.
Swift claimed in her Miss Americana documentary that after Red did not win Album of the Year at the Grammys, she knew it was time to switch it up. The night of the Grammys, she said she woke up in the middle of the night and knew what her new album would be called. She called it 1989 because it would be her "rebirth" from country to pop. I can only say positive things about this album and applaud her for her enormous success with jumping from country to pop in not even a year.
I can confirm that listening to 1989 Taylor's Version for the first time was exhilarating. Don't get me wrong, every time I listen to a new Taylor Swift album, re-recorded or not, it is always a magical experience, but something about listening to 1989 Taylor's Version for the first time was different. My inner child, Swiftie, felt she had entered a new wave of 1989 with Taylor.
Everyone can agree that the most exciting part of the re-recorded albums is the vault tracks. The vault tracks are songs Taylor wrote when she first released her album, but those songs never cut the original release, so now, almost ten years later, we get to hear these songs for the first time. The vault tracks are perfect, but I have my favorites. To start my ranking from favorite to least favorite goes Say Don't Go, Now That We Don't Talk, "Sl*t!" Is It Over Now?, and my favorite Suburban Legends. But before I go into depth with my review of the Vault tracks, I think it's important to pay respect and review the songs released originally on the 1989 album.
Where It All Started
As I mentioned before, this pop album captured that exciting electric energy. Since 1989 takes a lot of its inspiration from New York City, it makes sense why the energy of this album encapsulates the buzzing energy of NYC. The first song on her album is Welcome To New York, and it opens up the album perfectly.
Just the very first note truly introduces the shift in her music because that first note is so animated and exhilarating. The song Welcome To New York is so classic and perfectly sets the tone for the rest of the album. One of the lyrics in this song is, "It's a new soundtrack. I can dance to this beat." These lyrics might be paying homage to this new era of music, and she's going to have fun with this new beat, that new beat being her new music. Jumping Ahead in the album is one of my favorite Taylor Swift songs, New Romantics. Words can't describe how this song makes me feel. It's an automatic serotonin boost, and I don't think I will ever get sick of it. It's one of those songs on the album that's not the most well-known, but it's also not underground. I would give up my left arm to experience this song and the whole album live. Back to New Romantics, this song exudes that feeling of freeness and fun, considering one of the lyrics: "The best people in life are free." Picture this: it's a cool summer night, the sun is setting, and you and your friends are driving on an empty road with a beautiful beach to your right. Windows rolled down, and the song New Romantics was blasting, and everyone was singing their hearts out. This song deserves that kind of energy, and trust me, you will feel on top of the world.
Now, I think everyone wants to hear about the Vault Tracks because they are so phenomenal and make the album ten times better. One vault track whose name began with s and ended with t was most anticipated if you guessed Sl*t! You'd be correct.
Since the title was "So Out There," people were wondering what it would sound like because the word Sl*t is so aggressive, and Taylor Swift making it the name of one of her songs shocked and confused people. When I first listened to Sl*t! It surprised me because the song is gentle and flows pleasantly. Like most people, I was expecting a very aggressive and bold song, but it was the opposite of that, making this song one of my favorites. The hype for this song was astronomical, probably because of the name, but it did not impress most Swifties.
One vault track that had everyone shocked was, Is It Over Now? The reason is that when Taylor Swift was originally writing and recording in 1989, she was also dating Harry Styles. They're now broken up, but in the song Is It Over Now?
Swift referenced when she was dating Harry Styles in her lyrics, which had Swifite's jaws dropping. For example, the lyric, "When you lost control, red blood, white snow, blue dress on a boat. You're new girl is my clone." This one lyric changed the trajectory of everything that people thought they knew about Harry Styles and Taylor Swift's relationship. Swifties were able to dig up the photo at that exact moment. In the photo, Taylor Swift is sitting on Harry Styles' boat in a blue dress, and people suspect that he left her there alone after getting into an argument. Now, as for the rest of the vault tracks, I would describe them as short and sweet. They aren't her best songs, but they're fun to listen to and just radiate that young Taylor energy in the Big Apple. In my opinion, Is It Over Now? Lyrically, it is the best song, and just for pure enjoyment, Suburban Legends is the best. Suburban Legends doesn't exactly follow a story like Is It Over Now? It's more of a bubbly, fun song about being in love in the big city, which TS describes as thrilling and unpredictable. My favorite lyric from that song would be, "And you kiss me in a way that's gonna screw me up forever." When I hear this lyric, I picture kissing someone, and then when the kiss ends, you're hit with the feeling that "Oh, this kiss is too good to be true!" that kiss is all you can think about for days.
My favorite thing about this album is that it oozes positivity from start to finish. The image of Taylor Swift changed after this album. Not only did her music change, but so did she.
Something that most artists tend to struggle with when writing a pop album is that pop songs can sound very similar to the next, and that can be seen as a con when listening to a pop album, but TS does the opposite of that. Each song, from the originals to the vault tracks, falls under the same genre, but they are all unique and different in their own way. This is not just any ordinary pop album. It was the very first full pop album by Taylor Swift, and it carries many stories about friendship, love, heartbreak, and new beginnings. Overall, this album is obviously a masterpiece and will never go out of style.