The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” outshines the original


Taylor Swift’s glittering, nostalgia-filled 2014 album “1989” was an unadulterated hit. Bringing her from the landscape of country music to the world of pop, it was more than just an album. The original recording of “1989” collected an endless number of awards, most notably the Grammy for 2015 Album of the Year.

In the pursuit of owning her work from 2006 to 2017, she began rerecording her first albums in 2021. She has already released “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and “Red (Taylor’s Version)” in 2021, and “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” in July of this year. “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” marks her fourth of six rerecordings. 

The new recordings have a fresher feel to their production and vocals. Swift’s vocals have grown stronger since 2014, and it adds a new level of depth to the sound. Additionally, the production sounds more befitting of 2023 radios.

Along with the original tracks, the rerecordings also include a “vault” of unreleased songs from their respective albums. “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” included five new songs. 


The first of the six vault songs, “Slut!” surprised most listeners when it was revealed to be a love song. The dreamy, smooth production makes the listener feel as though they’re on a Californian getaway. 

The song plays into Swift’s media reputation (primarily in the 2010s) as a “slut.” Like “Blank Space,” it plays on the fact that she was often portrayed as a serial dater. Unlike “Blank Space,” she decides that the label is alright so long as the person she is with is the one she is meant to be with. The label is worth all of it. 

In the song, she says that the backlash she faces completely goes away when she is with her partner. It is thought that the song (like most of “1989”) is about British pop star Harry Styles, who Swift dated in 2012. She faced backlash from die hard fans of Styles and his boy band One Direction, as did most women who dated the band members. As someone who was in both spheres of teen pop fandoms, I saw my fair share of hatred towards her when she was with Styles.

The juxtaposing title and overall song message is a wonderful contrast. It is symbolic of what she was called and who she really was during that time.

Favorite lyrics: “Lovelorn and nobody knows/ Love thorns all over this rose”

“Say Don’t Go”

Similarly to “Slut!,” the second song is somewhat of a juxtaposition. “Say Don’t Go” tells the story of complexities in a relationship that result in insecurity and heartbreak. Despite the depressing lyrics, the production is poppy and upbeat. Jack Antonoff’s influence shines on the track, with a dancey beat and distinctly 80s feel.

The chorus consists of Swift asking her partner questions about their failed relationship. She begs her partner to tell her to stay but, as revealed in “Suburban Legends,” she leaves because her partner was too polite to break up with her. The refrain contrasts any imagery of them together by describing herself alone (on either a sidewalk or tightrope) and waiting for him. She ultimately feels vulnerable and her partner does nothing to cure it.

Her partner, in the end, leaves her heartbroken and alone. She ignored possible signs of turmoil (“I said, ‘I love you’/ You say nothin’ back’”). She longs for a connection with her partner again, but receives empty gestures instead. 

Favorite lyrics: “Why’d you whisper in the dark/ Just to leave me in the night?”

“Now That We Don’t Talk”

“Now That We Don’t Talk” discusses the aftermath of a relationship falling out. You can’t be friends with that person, but you still long to know how they are doing. In the end, you will probably never know, but it doesn’t stop the hurt. 

I saw a lot of similarities between my first heartbreak and this song. 

The first verse shows Swift curious of how her ex-partner is doing after a social gathering, but knows she will never get an answer. She goes on to describe the phases he has been through since their split, and tells him that he didn’t need to change after they parted. Since they don’t talk anymore, she has to watch him change just like everyone else does. She struggles with losing the connection they once had, and turns to other means (such as calling her mom to vent) to cope with the loss.

Despite the struggles she expresses throughout the song, the outro takes an accepting tone. She realizes she does not have to put up with the things she didn’t like in their relationship anymore. She decides that maybe things (for her, at least) need to be the same way before their relationship. Just like they were before they dated, they know nothing of each other anymore. And maybe that’s okay.

Favorite lyric: “I miss the old ways/ You didn’t have to change/ But I guess I don’t have a say/ Now that we don’t talk”

“Suburban Legends”

Like a few other songs in Swift’s discography, “Suburban Legends” likens her relationship to a high school couple. She romanticizes the rocky relationship by imagining them as a high school power couple.

The song starts with conflict, however, as her partner is receiving calls from “unmarked numbers” that she chooses to ignore. By the bridge, we know that they are no longer together, despite the fact that she wishes they were. 

Favorite lyrics: “When you hold me, it holds me together/ And you kiss me in a way that’s gonna screw me up forever”

“Is It Over Now?”

“Is It Over Now?” is probably my favorite song on this entire album, original tracks included. Sticking to the theme of a tumultuous relationship that ends in disaster, the final track on the album talks about the then and now of said relationship. 

The relationship is over, and she is watching the aftermath of what has happened between them. She still imagines him everywhere, and knows he is only trying to find a replacement for her. The song talks about infidelity, and questions if their relationship was over when they were with other people. She wonders if they are only in an “off” period now, or if the relationship is truly over.

She notices how the new woman her ex is spending time with looks like her, and how he seems to be flaunting his new flings while she keeps her romantic life private for his sake. His new relationships are open for the media to see, while hers are simply rumors that can’t be proven.

She also wants him to return to her deep down, and discusses harming herself just so he will come running to her aid. 

The song touches on intimate moments, pain and betrayal that took place in and out of the relationship. Despite all of the turmoil, she still wants them to find their way back to each other. In the end, the relationship is truly over and she must come to terms with it.

Favorite lyrics: “You dream of my mouth before it called you a lying traitor/ You search in every model’s bed for somethin’ greater, baby”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Emma Tanner, Editor-in-Chief
Emma is Editor-in-Chief of the Flor-Ala. She is a senior from Killen, Ala. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in journalism and digital media. She was previously Managing Editor for the spring 2023 semester. She also served as News Editor from Jan. 2022 to Dec. 2022. She was previously a volunteer writer. Her favorite topics to cover are profiles and local news. Tanner has written since her childhood and grew a passion for journalism during high school. Aside from working on the Flor-Ala, she was also a research assistant for a psychological study at UNA and served as CASE ambassador president for the Fall 2022 semester.

Comments (0)

All The Flor-Ala Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *