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The student news site of Carlisle High School

Periscope

The student news site of Carlisle High School

Periscope

Staff Profile

1989 (Taylor’s Version) : The Flops & The Bops (Review)

OUT+WITH+THE+OLD+IN+WITH+THE+NEW%3A+The+original+CD+version+of+1989+lies+next+to+the+Rose+Garden+Pink+Vinyl+edition+of+1989+%28Taylors+Version%29.+This+version+of+the+vinyl+was+exclusively+available+on+Swifts+website+for+a+limited+time+prior+to+the+records+release.
Jenna Coller
OUT WITH THE OLD IN WITH THE NEW: The original CD version of 1989 lies next to the Rose Garden Pink Vinyl edition of 1989 (Taylor’s Version). This version of the vinyl was exclusively available on Swift’s website for a limited time prior to the records release.

Nearly a decade ago, in October of 2014, country music sweetheart Taylor Swift released her first pop album, 1989. This was a major risk, as she was known for her country music. The risk paid off and 1989 was an instant success, selling 1.287 million copies in its first week. This was her second record to win Album of The Year at the GRAMMY Awards, after her 2008 album Fearless received the accolade in 2009. Its lead single “Shake It Off,” among other tracks from the album, topped the Billboard Hot 100 Chart that year with the hugely successful “Bad Blood”  featuring rap powerhouse Kendrick Lamar even hitting the number one spot.

Years after the original release of 1989, Taylor Swift’s masters were sold to Scooter Braun. According to her, she would have had to sign an NDA, which would force her to only speak positively about Braun, in order to buy her masters. Because of this, she began rerecording her first six albums to be able to own and profit from her own music. On October 27th 2023, Swift released 1989 (Taylor’s Version), also referred to as 1989 TV. The album has revived the success of its predecessor with Swift’s new deeper vocals and additional “Vault Tracks.” Vault tracks are songs written during the album’s era (usually two years) that weren’t released on the original album.

At the recording of the original version of 1989, Swift was only 24 years old and still honing her vocal capabilities. As a result, the vocals of 33 year old Swift in 1989 TV are unsurprisingly deeper. These deeper vocals make many songs sound better such as “Blank Space,” “Wonderland,” and “You Are In Love.” However, certain songs like “Style” and “I Wish You Would” were written for a soprano and the high notes sound different.

Swift’s deeper vocals are not the only changes she has made in the rerecording. In the song “I Know Places,” when she sings “They are the hunters, we are the foxes / And we run” for the second time, she rolls the ‘r’ in “run” making it more vocally tinged. This fits the song’s rough and unique aesthetic incredibly well and is a smart addition to it. Another example of this is the word “punched” in the line, “So I punched a hole in the roof” from the song “Clean.” It has more emphasis and Swift puts a sense of urgency in her voice when she sings it, adding to the song’s emotional tone.

Taylor Swift is one of the few artists who does their own songwriting, which is her greatest skill. One lyrical skill of hers is her usage of metaphors to get her point across. The song “Say Don’t Go” includes these to show the pain of a failing relationship, “Why’d you have to twist the knife,” and “Strike a match, then you blow it out.” Instead of saying that someone hurt her, she states that they twisted a knife. Rather than stating that she had optimism and it was extinguished, she says that she struck a match and someone blew it out.

Swift also has an amazing ability to make the listener feel the emotional pain of the narrator through hard-hitting lyrics such as “I broke my own heart ‘cause you were too polite to do it” from the fourth vault track, “Suburban Legends”.

1989 TV’s album art is beach themed, whereas the original 1989’s album art is city themed. While the beach theme looks good by itself, it doesn’t fit the aesthetic of the album. One major part of 1989’s era was Swift’s move to New York City which coincided with her switch from country to pop music. Getting rid of the city album art downplays this important milestone in Swift’s career. It also doesn’t match the mood and theme of the songs which are centered about city life. After all, the first song of the album is titled “Welcome To New York” and is all about Swift moving to NYC. However, despite the album art’s flaws, it doesn’t make a big impact on the actual album which is amazing. 

1989 TV has superseded the original 1989 based on its sales, in units, of 1,359,000 vs 1,287,000. It has great vocals and its vault tracks are amazing. Taylor Swift succeeded in rerecording one of her most popular albums, and making it better than the original, leaving die-hard fans ready to “party like it’s 1989.”

Disclaimer: Articles designated as “Review” represent the views, opinions, and recommendations of the author, not the 2023-2024 Periscope staff, CHS/CASD administration, or the CHS student body.

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About the Contributors
Sophie Haque
Sophie Haque, Staff Writer
Sophie is a freshman at CHS who is excited to be part of the Periscope staff. She loves writing, which is why she joined Journalism, and is looking forward to writing articles. In her free time she enjoys reading and singing along to Taylor Swift and musical theater. In CHS she participates in quizbowl, academic decathlon, and is part of the Shakespeare troupe.
Jenna Coller
Jenna Coller, Editor-in-Chief
Jenna is a senior at CHS and this is her third year on Staff. She loves reading and her favorite books are Normal People by Sally Rooney and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. Jenna has an affinity for music and lyricism, her favorite artists being Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, and Pheobe Bridgers. She is excited to be returning as editor-in-chief this year alongside her classmates Hannah and Ryleigh.
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