TAYLOR VAULTS TO THE TOP

The music world is once again abuzz with the release today (10/27) of Taylor Swift’s fourth album re-record for Republic, 1989 (Taylor's Version), which includes five previously unreleased vault tracks produced by longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff. Kendrick Lamar (pictured with Tay) has even re-recorded his verse from the remix of “Bad Blood” for the deluxe edition, a turn of events Swift described as “surreal and bewildering” in a social media post.

The original 1989 was released in 10/27/14 (yes, exactly nine years ago) and was produced and written with Max Martin. It won both Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2016 Grammys.

The vault cuts begin with the oddly punctuated “’Slut!’,” on which Swift opines, “If they call me a ‘slut!’ / You know it might be worth it for once” atop a sensual, synth-y instrumental bed. “Say Don’t Go” is a heretofore unknown collaboration with songwriter extraordinaire Diane Warren that deftly balances a ballad feel in the verses with a more propulsive chorus, while “Now That We Don’t Talk” is another Taylor top-shelf kiss-off (“I don’t have to pretend I like acid rock / or that I’d like to be on a mega yacht / with important men who speak important thoughts”) enrobed by sleek pop production.

“Suburban Legends” imagines returning to a class reunion with a man who is “so magnetic it was almost obnoxious,” and on “Is It Over Now?,” Swift calls out a paramour for a romantic indiscretion or two while also taking blame for her own.

1989 is available in umpteen formats sure to be snapped up by Swifties worldwide, including four different colors of vinyl and Target-exclusive editions on CD and LP. Boosted by the box-office-busting numbers for her The Eras Tour film, the new 1989 should easily equal if not surpass the 500k+ opening week vinyl totals for the last two re-records of Speak Now and Red. Swift’s most recent new studio album, Midnights, debuted with an astonishing 1.57m units in late October 2022. Could her latest Version top that?

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