After much anticipation, Taylor Swift re-released her record-breaking album “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” Oct. 27. “1989” originally marked Swift’s career-defining switch from country to pop, with it being her first only-pop album. Now, Swift re-released her Grammy-winning album once again, this time with an additional five songs, “From the Vault (FTV).”.
Swift originally began re-recording her albums in order to fully own her music, as the master rights to her songs were sold to Scooter Braun by Scott Brocheta in 2017. Previously re-recorded albums include “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” “Red (Taylor’s Version)” and “Fearless (Taylor’s Version).” With “1989 (TV)” being Taylor’s fourth re-recorded album, her only pending albums are “Reputation” and “Taylor Swift.”
“1989 (TV)” broke the Spotify record for the most streamed album in a single day, beating Swift’s own 2022 album “Midnights” to take the top spot. According to Billboard, the album now ranks as the top-selling album of 2023, with one one million copies sold after only being out for five days. The album is well on the way to being Swift’s thirteenth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200.
This 21-song album included 1989’s 13 original songs, three deluxe tracks (“Wonderland”,,“You are in Love” and “New Romantics”) as well as five completely new from-the-vault songs. Swift also re-released her Bad Blood remix featuring Kendrick Lamar. Swift announced that she would choose the most popular single off the FTV songs based on streams, trends and overall usage of her songs in content like TikToks.
The five FTV songs include “Sl*t!,” “Say Don’t Go,” “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Suburban Legends” and “Is It Over Now?” “Sl*t!” starts the FTV songs, setting the tone as jazzy and romantic. The lyrics depict Swift fighting the media’s perspective of her, determined to stay in her high-profile, but magical, relationship, singing “If they call me a sl*t/Might as well be worth it for once.”
“Say Don’t Go” mirrors the themes of Swift’s track five, “All You Had To Do Was Stay.” It reflects Swift begging her partner to stay in their relationship, telling them “not to go.” Swift reflects on how she needed the relationship to work out, singing “I would stay forever if you/Say don’t go.” The track starts as a slow song and picks up the pace until it reaches a catchy chorus and upbeat ending, juxtaposing the lyrically depressing song.
“Now That We Don’t Talk” is Swift’s shortest song to date, barely reaching the two-minute mark, running for a duration of two minutes and twenty seconds. The synth track talks about how Swift can let go of the parts of her relationship she didn’t enjoy, like how she doesn’t “have to pretend to like acid rock.” This song has all the aspects of a quintessential 1989 track, and the 80s synth Swift cited as inspiration for her album is emphasized.
“Suburban Legends” is a song about how a relationship was bound to be the celebrity couple of the century. This song reflects how Swift and her partner were “born to be suburban legends.” She describes a passionate relationship, singing “when you kiss me/ it holds me together.” She highlights how this relationship would take the world by storm, and how she wanted it to be endgame for her.
Contrasting her previous vault songs, “Is It Over Now?” is a pop song with a cutting edge, ending the vault songs and the album in total with a hit. This song not only has a great lead-up to the crescendo and chorus of the song, but it also contains seething remarks regarding her previous relationship with Harry Styles, alluding back to how he was caught with Kimberly Stewert while still in a relationship with Taylor. She sings “Your new girl is my clone/ You think I didn’t see you there were flashing lights/ at least I have the decency to/ keep my nights out of sight,” alluding to how the paparazzi bombarded Styles and Stewert as they were leaving his flat. At a length of three minutes and fifty seconds, the song is the longest FTV, allowing fans to get invested in the song both sonically and lyrically, enjoying the drama that Swift vents about in her song. “Is It Over Now?” was the most streamed song on global spotify last week, earning a total of 4.9 steams per day.