By Audrey Berling || Staff Writer
Taylor Swift is making music history once again with the recent release of the first song of her highly anticipated re-recorded discography. She chose to debut with one of her most popular country songs, Love Story, which is now called Love Story (Taylor’s Version).
Swift’s previous record label manager sold her music catalog in November 2019 to Scooter Braun, meaning Swift did not own any of her music made prior to 2019 when she switched record labels. Swift’s decision to re-record her music is a pivotal moment in the music industry, as artists hardly ever own the rights to the music they make. For someone like Taylor Swift, who writes the lyrics and melodies to every song she publishes, this is criminal. Swift decided to begin re-recording six of her previous albums in order to take the power back and trailblaze the path for other musicians to do the same.
The new version of Love Story opens with the same banjo melody just as the original, but to any trained Swiftie’s ear, it has a notably different feel. The instruments seem to have a more clear and independent sound compared to the original version in which the instruments seem to blend in one beautifully hypnotizing country melody. Admittedly, this change felt a bit jarring to me because it is the opening notes of Love Story that fill me with nostalgia every time it begins to play. Love Story reminds me of so many memorable moments in my life: ten-year-old me listening to the Fearless album in my bedroom and falling in love with music for the first time, and eighteen-year-old me at my first college formal when it began blasting from the speakers. Memories like those alone show just how versatile the song has been.
Love Story (Taylor’s Version) is a beautiful re-recording of an old song that so many young people were raised with. To the general public, there won’t be much of a noticeable difference between the two versions. For Taylor Swift’s biggest fans, however, the differences between every original song she chooses to re-record will be scrutinized as we excitedly await the new memories to be made with the new versions. A new wave of nostalgia will hit us one day, as we slowly transition to playing Taylor’s Version of the re-recorded songs she will release.
The rest of Love Story (Taylor’s Version) sounds very similar to the old version, which her fans have greatly appreciated. Many “Swifties” were worried that the present Taylor would put a pop spin on her old classics, but she is aiming to keep the new versions of her songs as close as possible sonically to the originals in order to take their value away from Scooter Braun. One change, though, has been very welcome: while the instruments may have remained very similar on the new track, Swift’s vocals have matured since 2008 when Love Story first debuted. Her voice now has a strong and rich tone reflective of the several successful years she now has under her belt as a world-renown musician and performer. The country accent on the new version has completely disappeared: a change symbolic of Swift’s evolution as an artist after she effortlessly transitioned into pop music with her record 1989 released in 2014, which won the Grammy for Album of the Year.
This is a big moment in music history, and there is no one better to tackle this challenge than Swift. Her plan to re-record six albums is unfolding effortlessly, as we can already see with Love Story (Taylor’s Version) sitting at the #1 position on iTunes in its first week. The new track also debuted at number 11 on the Hot Billboard 100. It is expected that Swift’s future releases of re-recorded songs will fare just as well. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is expected to come out on April 9th and will include six bonus tracks from her “vault” that have never been released before. Nobody can stop the powerhouse that is Taylor Swift; we all just have to sit back and enjoy the show.
Sophomore Audrey Berling is a Contributing Writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.