1989 (Taylor’s Version) Album Review


Mary Bidonde, Staff Writer

As everyone knows, Taylor Swift released 1989 (Taylor’s Version) on Oct 27th, 2023. Before diving into a review of the album some context is important. Swift made the decision to re-release and record her music from her debut album to reputation because her previous record label Big Machine Records sold the masters of her music without giving her the chance to buy them herself. Re-releasing her music gives her complete ownership of her first six albums and causes the original albums to deteriorate in value. It’s a loss for the new owners and a big win for Swift. 

In the re-release of 1989, you can hear how her voice has matured since the original album was released in 2014. All of her re-recordings so far have sounded that way and it’s something I enjoy. One aspect of the album that makes these re-records special is the use of the “From The Vault” tracks. I love that she is able to give a life to these songs that have been kept away for some time like the tracks “Now That We Don’t Talk” or “Is It Over Now?” Taylor Swift made an ingenious business move by reclaiming her music and adding new things to it to make it feel like a new experience for all the fans.

The album itself was full of the songs we know and love. Something I liked about the album is the subtle differences in the instrumentals. The changes in the instrumentals are there to symbolize how Swift has changed since those albums were given to the world originally. One of the things I didn’t like about the album was how the energy changed. The original album was fast-paced while the new recording was more calm. I would’ve preferred if more of the merits of the original album were in the new one. I know the intent of redoing the albums is to reclaim them, but they’re also a bit of an homage to the roots the re-release came from. 

The new album cover is a stark difference from the original album cover. The original cover related more to the songs than the new one. The new album cover gives the impression of calmness, warmth, and being at peace. The original cover gives the impression of living life fully, not caring what anyone thinks, and feeling free. I like both covers but would have preferred to see some of the old album cover in the new one. When she re-released Fearless, Speak Now, and Red, she had elements of the original covers while still making them her own. That was something I loved seeing because I grew up with these albums and seeing the pieces of the old album covers in the new covers is a full circle moment. Either way, the covers are part of Taylor Swift’s art and what makes her albums unique to her. 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is a must-listen. I’ve had it on repeat since it was released. The music shows how she matured and learned over the years since releasing the original in 2014. 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is available to purchase anywhere and streaming on all platforms.

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