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The Simmons Voice

Album Review: 1989 TV vault tracks shine

Nothing could have prepared me for the vault tracks – twinkly gems about lost love. 
Via @taylorswift on Instagram.

As part of the years-long process of Taylor Swift re-recording her first six albums, the re-recorded version of hit pop album “1989” was released as “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” on October 27, 2023. The re-recording came out nine years to the day after the original release.

The re-recorded album includes the original 16 tracks along with five that she sprung loose from the vault – among many she wrote for the album that didn’t make the original cut. “Sweeter Than Fiction (Taylor’s Version),” originally recorded for the movie “One Chance,” is available exclusively on a Target exclusive vinyl of the album.

 A deluxe version of “1989 (Taylor’s Version) was dropped eight hours after the initial release, which included a re-recorded remix of “Bad Blood,” featuring rapper Kendrick Lamar, who reunited with Swift on the re-recording. 

“1989” is Swift’s most popular album, and is the most awarded pop album in history. The album earned Swift her second of three Album of the Year Grammys among her current total of 12 overall. 

The first 16 tracks fans know and love from the original release definitely had differences – including Swift’s matured vocals and a definite increase in production quality over time. However, nothing could have prepared me for the vault tracks – twinkly gems about lost love. 

I was most excited for “Slut!.” Based on the name, I was expecting the song to be either a self-love anthem or a heart-wrenching self-loathing ballad. I was pleasantly surprised when she embraced the identity the media had given her, not caring what anyone thought as long as she was dating “the one.”

“Say Don’t Go” is at the top of my vault ranking, though. Tapping into the vulnerability and uncertainty of being in a relationship, all Swift wants is for her partner to stay – despite feeling led on and ignored. The two feelings were juxtaposed alongside instrumentals that emulated “Clean,” a fan favorite off of the album. “Clean” has been one of my favorites since the album came out originally, so I knew I would like “Say Don’t Go” from the get-go. I loved her vocals in this one, and it sounds like the opposite perspective to “All You Had To Do Was Stay,” an earlier track on the album.

“Now That We Don’t Talk” packs a punch in not even two and a half minutes, seeking advice from her mom as an ex moves on. The outro is arguably the catchiest part, mentioning relief that she doesn’t have to pretend to enjoy things she really doesn’t for the sake of her partner. 

A rumored ex of Swift’s, Harry Styles, was seemingly called out in not only “Style” and “Out Of The Woods,” but in the final vault track “Is It Over Now?” Swift feels everything deeply and articulates it in ways that no other songwriter is capable of. With lyrics reflecting and picking up the pieces of their relationship, like “If she’s got blue eyes, I will surmise that you’ll probably date her…You search in every model’s bed for something greater,” it was hard for me to not think about Harry Styles. After their rumored relationship, Styles reportedly dated model Kimberly Stewart. 

As for what’s next for Swift, she will continue her history-making “Eras Tour” on November 9 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has two more albums left in her discography to re-record: 2017’s “reputation” and her 2006 self-titled debut album, both of which have yet to be announced. 

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About the Contributor
Abigail Meyers, Social Media Editor
Abigail Meyers (2026, she/her) is a sophomore majoring in Journalism with minors in Political Science and Social Media. She has been writing for the Voice since fall of her freshman year and is elated to be joining the editorial team! When she's not in the newsroom, you can find her exploring the city, working out, obsessing over Taylor Swift, or baking something she saw on TikTok.

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