It’s never over with Taylor Swift

Writer Sri Trikona rates the tracks on Taylor Swift’s re-recording of her fifth studio album 1989, now known as 1989 (Taylor’s Version).
Its never over with Taylor Swift

Welcome To New York (Taylor’s Version)-  9/10

“Welcome to New York” is a fun and upbeat opening to Swift’s original version of the album, but I would say that Welcome to New York (Taylor’s Version) captures the feeling of the song much better. The intro is much more impactful when it comes to the tone of the song. The production of this song changed drastically, with Swift’s voice having more of an echoey feel. This change makes the song feel like a party, and overall a fun pop song. The chorus has always been a favorite part of the song, but I feel as though the bridge is also amazing, my favorite lyrics being “Like any real love, it’s ever-changing.” These lyrics are not referencing her own personal romance, but are comparing love to New York and its impact. The bridge slows the song down, almost giving fans a break, but not losing the anticipation of the song. This track deserves a 9/10, and flawlessly portrays New York City’s nickname, the City of Dreams. 


Blank Space (Taylor’s Version): 8/10

“Blank Space” was one of the most iconic and loved songs of 1989, a satirical reference to Swift’s reputation of being a flirty woman. This track is filled with anger and what people would consider “the crazy ex-girlfriend.” Swift’s voice is much more clear compared to the original, likely due to her voice maturing, but the slight rasp and breathiness in her voice made the song feel more emotive. The lyrics of the chorus, “Got a long list of ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane,” sounds more careless rather than the anger that was captured in the original, which I think improved as the song progressed to the bridge. Emotion was present, but not as well as the original. The conclusion of the song was definitely my favorite, with all parts of the song coming together beautifully.


Style (Taylor’s Version): 6/10

“Style”, a fan favorite off of the 1989 album, is about a couple who are in an on-and-off relationship, that they struggled to end. This song almost glorifies this feeling, not supporting unhealthy relationships, but portraying why it was difficult to end this relationship. As I first listened to the re-recording of this track, I was excited as I heard a distinct change in the intro. The intro included more bass, which is a change that I love, but I feel as though the song regressed as I listened. The first verse sounds similar to the original, but once again her voice is echoey, similar to “Welcome to New York” (Taylor’s Version) and some areas in “Blank Space” (Taylor’s Version). The tone of the chorus, which used to be my favorite part of the song, changed immensely, almost having a Kidz Bop-like sound. This track is a fun song to scream in the car, but now I feel like that element of the song is gone. Overall, this track is still amazing, the background music still fun, but I personally do not like some of the production changes. 


Out Of The Woods (Taylor’s Version): 9/10

“Out of The Woods (Taylor’s Version)” is about a failed relationship and the anxieties that Swift experienced with it. The track includes heavy synthesizers and background vocals, creating a hurried tone. The intro is just as good as the original and progressed as I listened. The chorus includes much more depth making the repetition of the lyrics “Are we out of the woods?” much better than the original, especially with the addition of the echoey voice. Swift’s voice is much more mature in this track, which I enjoy as this song is written in past tense, so it feels as though Swift ‘grew up.’ The bridge was my favorite part of the original track, which is still beautifully done in Taylor’s Version, but it was less breathy and rushed, taking away from the hurried feeling. That tone was regained in the conclusion, which is my personal favorite part of the track. The way the synth, layered background vocals and Swift’s voice come together make a beautiful ending to this song.


All You Had To Do Was Stay (Taylor’s Version): 10/10

“All You Had To Do Was Stay  (Taylor’s Version)”,  which is about Swift not being able to make an ex-lover stay in a relationship with her. The track opens with synthesizers, creating an upbeat tone. While listening to this track, I found little to no differences from the original, which may be a good thing as the original version was a very strong track musically. The emotion is not at all lost and the passion that Swift may have felt in this song seems clearly represented in Taylor’s Version. The first verse of the song creates more of a hopeful tone, while the second verse is more annoyed and tired of the situation Swift is describing in the song. The lyrics, “Picking up the pieces of the mess you made” add to the tired tone, and Swift’s developed voice makes the lyrics feel more mature. The chorus is my favorite part of the song, the lyrics “Why’d you have to go and lock me out when I let you in,” being relatable to many people in any type of relationship. 


Shake it off (Taylor’s Version): 5/10

“Shake it off,” a song that rose to the Billboard charts in 2014, is about moving on from the negativity in life. This song is nostalgic for most, a song that’s fun to blast in the car with your friends and sing along too. The intro of the song is very different from the original, the echoing coming into play once again. I don’t enjoy this addition as it gives a Kidz Bop feel to the song again and Swift’s voice sounds unnatural. My favorite part of the song is bridge, as it’s more of a chant than singing, which matches the tone of the song. The addition of Swift’s laughs in the background is so fun. The conclusion of the song comes together very nicely, redeeming some of the previous issues of the track.


I Wish You Would (Taylor’s Version): 8.5/10

“I Wish You Would” is one of my favorite tracks off of the original 1989 album, leaving me with high hopes for Taylor’s Version. As I began listening, I felt as though Taylor’s Version resembled the original immensely, although there is a slight change in the intro that I enjoyed. The beginning was okay, but progressively improved as I listened. The chorus of this song is still filled with as much emotion as the original, the lyrics “I wish we could go back and remember what we were fighting for,” filled with passion from Swift. The conclusion is my personal favorite, all elements of the song being on display, sounded slightly jumbled but clear at the same time, which I feel like portrays Swift’s emotions flawlessly.


Bad Blood (Taylor’s Version): 8/10

“Bad Blood,” another fan favorite of the original album, is about betrayal within a friendship. The intro of the song feels emotionless, but other than that, I actually enjoy the new production changes. The beginning of the chorus also feels weak, but as it progresses the emotion is regained and is apparent, making it as fun to sing along to as ever. As the song reaches the bridge, Swift’s voice becomes more delicate, and sings it beautifully. It feels as though Swift is reminiscing about the friendship, but remembers the hurt they made her experience. The ending of the song is once again flawless, and the track grew on me as I continued listening. 


Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version): 10/10

“Wildest Dreams  (Taylor’s Version)” is a plea for her lover to remember her, as she knows their relationship will inevitably end. The track begins with Swift reminiscing about the relationship, her voice sounding much more delicate than the original. Taylor’s Version deeply resembles the original but there is a slightly different tone, the original is simply passionate while Taylor’s Version is passionate and has a reminiscent feel, it is like listeners are looking back at a memory with her even as the relationship isn’t over. My favorite part of the song is the second verse because Swift has a bit of an edge to her voice. The chorus is as beautiful as ever, as well as the bridge. My favorite lyrics are, “Someday when you leave me I bet these memories follow you around,” which capture the whole song in just one sentence. 


How You Get The Girl (Taylor’s Version): 9.5/10

“How You Get The Girl (Taylor’s Version)” is a how-to for how one can ‘get a girl’ and be in a relationship. This song is so fun to sing along to, with the song being simply playful. The song is very similar to the original which is perfect as the original is perfect. This song has lots of puppy love/teenage love vibes, it feels like you can tell she is having fun singing the song. The song is only slightly different, and the change in the production was very positive. Swift sounds just like a teenage girl when singing it, which captures the essence of the song. The track ends with guitar strums fading out, which is exactly how teenage love seems in movies. 


This Love (Taylor’s Version): 10/10

“This Love (Taylor’s Version)” is a song about a love that has ended and Swift coming to terms with it. The song is much more vulnerable and slower compared to much of the album. This track opens with light guitar strums, which sets the mood of the song beautifully. It feels like the beginning of a fairy tale almost, as her voice is so delicate and vulnerable. It is similar to “Wildest Dreams” (Taylor’s Version) as it sounds reminiscent of memory. The background vocals in combination with Swift are absolutely perfect. The bridge is one of my favorite parts of the song, Swift’s voice sounding mature. The lyrics, “When you are young, you just run,” gives a different feeling with her developed voice. Every lyric in this song has meaning, and is very clear and it’s easy to understand the message Swift is trying to convey. 


I Know Places (Taylor’s Version): 10/10

“I Know Places” is my personal favorite of the original 1989 because of how different it sounds compared to the rest of the album and the chorus. The track is about a love that won’t be accepted, with many metaphors used to create an ominous tone. The lyrics, “They are the hunters, we are the foxes,” encapsulate Swift’s relationship with this particular lover, but make it almost more like a fairytale. The way Swift sings this track is filled with emotion, as her voice has a bit of an edge at certain parts. In the pre-chorus, Swift has almost a growl when she sings, “And we run.” As well done as this part of the song was done, my favorite is easily the post-chorus as the polyphony is so delicate and strong at the same time, the essence of the track being pulled together so beautifully. 


Clean (Taylor’s Version): 10/10

“Clean (Taylor’s Version)”, is a track about getting over a struggle and the complex emotions that come with it. This track is extremely vulnerable, as Swift pours her emotions into this song. It is incredibly beautiful to hear this track rerecorded just 9 years after the original album was released, thinking about how she got over this struggle she experienced years ago. Her developed voice once again makes this song perfect, and it deserves no less than a 10/10 rating. With the use of metaphors, Swift was able to perfectly convey the feeling of getting over a struggle. The lyrics, “I screamed so loud but no one heard a thing,” portray Swift’s cry for help, that no one understood. These lyrics are relatable to so many, which is why I would consider it my favorite. Compared to the original, this song is incredibly similar with little to no difference. 



Wonderland (Taylor’s Version): 8/10

In the 14th track of 1989 (Taylor’s Version), Swift compares a romance with the plot of Alice in Wonderland. Swift’s voice is much deeper and clearer in Taylor’s Version compared to the original, along with the echo in her voice being apparent again. Swift’s voice takes a complete change from just the introduction to the pre-chorus which is not a change I love. I would say that it is fairly similar to the original, but my favorite part is the bridge, as Swift’s voice is incredibly emotive. The wonderland essence is captured very well, especially in the chorus.


You Are In Love (Taylor’s Version): 10/10

“You Are in Love (Taylor’s Version)”, is my second favorite song from the original 1989 album, and it’s safe to say that I am pleasantly surprised with Taylor’s Version. I would have rated the original a 10/10, but somehow, Taylor’s version is much better. The instrumental in the beginning is absolutely beautiful, creating a loving tone. This song is simply about feeling in love with someone, which is a feeling so many people want to understand and experience, it almost feels like a Christmas Movie. The lyrics, “You two are dancing in a snow globe, ’round and ’round,” perfectly encapsulates this. Swift’s voice is incredibly delicate but strong, which is what love is to many people. Every part of this song is my favorite, but the harmonizing in the post-chorus deserves recognition.


New Romantics (Taylor’s Version): 8/10

“New Romantics (Taylor’s Version)” was also one of my favorite tracks off of the original album, and is a strong and fun closing to the album. It is a danceable pop song inspired by the New Romanticism movement in the UK in the 1980s. The track opens with its easily identifiable instrumental with synths and drums. Swift’s echoey voice is apparent once again, and I don’t enjoy it here. The chorus is still as fun to sing along with as it feels like a party, much like “Welcome to New York” (Taylor’s Version). The chorus is definitely my favorite part of the song, the lyrics “We are too busy dancing, to get knocked off our feet,” make the song so carefree and fun. 



As I have rated and reviewed the original 16 tracks of 1989, Swift traditionally releases more songs that she has written during the particular era but did not make the original album. These tracks are known as “From the Vault”, as they were hidden from fans. 1989 (Taylor’s Version) consists of 5 vault tracks. I would say that it is easier to give the vault tracks a higher rating since there is nothing we can really compare it to, but I feel as though I gave these songs the rating they deserve. 


Slut! (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault): 10/10

“Slut! (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” is the first vault track on 1989 (Taylor’s Version) and it was completely different from my expectations, as I assumed the song would be similar to “Bad Blood,” but the song was extremely vulnerable and heartbreaking. This song is similar to “Blank Space,” as it is Swift’s response to her being known as a serial dater, although this time it is not satirical, but sincere. Swift’s voice is soft and feels very dream-like, and the echoes are not present in this track. Every aspect of this song is perfect, from the first verse to the post-chorus, every lyric carrying meaning, The lyrics “And If I’m gonna be drunk/might as well be drunk in love,” have such a heavy meaning, as it shows Swift feeling like there is no point in caring.


Say Don’t Go (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault): 9/10

“Say Don’t Go (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)”, is a heart-breaking track about one not being ready to give up on love with their partner, even though the partner has given up. The lyrics, “And I’m yours but you’re not mine,” encapsulate this awful feeling that Swift is describing. As the track begins, the music reminds me of “Clean”. Although Swift’s bridges are usually a fan-favorite, the first and second verse were written beautifully in my opinion. Her words were very clear in these areas of the song, which to me means that the story she is trying to convey is understandable, without having to deeply think and listen to the lyrics. 


Now That We Don’t Talk (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault): 8/10

“Now That We Don’t Talk (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)”, is about the breakdown of a relationship, and how Swift feels about it. As the track begins, it reminds me of the vibes from Swift’s tenth studio album, “Midnights,” especially the track “Question?” Even though this song is about romance, it can not only be applied to romantic relationships, but to friendships as well. Many people can relate to this song whether they have experienced romance or not. My favorite lyrics are “Remind myself the way you faded til I left,” and portray the relationship slowly falling apart. 


Suburban Legends (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault): 10/10

“Suburban Legends (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)”, is a story Swift beautifully portrayed with her co-writer Jack Antonoff. The track portrays two lovers who find success beyond their small town, and try to stay together despite their eventful lives. The use of synths gives this song a “Midnights” vibe once again but lyrically is similar to the song “Tis the Damn Season,” from Swift’s ninth studio album, “Evermore,” as it nods to hometown reunions. This song is also similar to “Long Live,” from Swift’s third studio album “Speak Now” as it relates to one’s success and making a mark on the world. This track perfectly captures the hopes and dreams of a teenager who wants to make it past where they are now, the lyrics “We were born to be natural treasures,” adding to this hopeful and dreamy tone. 


Is It Over Now? (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault): 10/10

“Is It Over Now? (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)”, is a track about the on-and-off nature of a romance, similar to “Style (Taylor’s Version)”. The introduction to the song reminded me of the song “Maroon” from Midnights. Compared to “Style (Taylor’s Version)”, Swift mentions the negative aspects of an on-and-off relationship rather than glorifying it. This track is also similar to “Out of the Woods (Taylor’s Version)”, making it a sister track to this vault song. The story Swift is trying to convey is very clearly told but rather than making it a slow and heartbreaking song, Swift passionately displays her emotions, the song almost feeling like a journal entry. The emotion is evident, and truthfully every part of this song is perfect and is my favorite. Every lyric in this song leaves a lasting impression, but my favorite part would have to be the bridge and the lyrics, “At least I had the decency to keep my nights out of sight.” These lyrics convey Swift’s acknowledgment of making the same mistake, but was not open about it as it would hurt her partner. 


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About the Contributors
Sri Trikona
Sri Trikona, Writer
Sri Trikona is a sophomore and writer for “The Express.” This is her first year on staff. Outside of Newspaper Sri is involved in DECA, FBLA, KAY Club, and Team Up for St. Jude’s. In her free time Sri enjoys reading, spending time with her friends, and teaching students dance at her studio. She is so excited to start her journey in journalism and be a part of the newspaper staff. She hopes to improve her journalistic skills and meet new people. 
Lila Vancrum
Lila Vancrum, Editor-In-Chief
​​Lila Vancrum is a senior and Editor-In-Chief for “The Express.” This is her third year on staff, previously serving as a photographer and photo editor. Outside of newspaper, Lila is involved in girl’s soccer, KAY Club, Team Up for St. Jude’s, NHS and Quill & Scroll. In her free time she enjoys going out to eat, hanging out with friends and binging TV shows, her favorites include “One Tree Hill” and “Pretty Little Liars.” Lila is excited to take on the role of being an Editor-In-Chief and hopes to improve the photography for stories and social media. 

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