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Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

“So magnetic it’s almost obnoxious”- ranking Taylor Swift’s 1989 (TV) Vault tracks

“So magnetic it’s almost obnoxious”- ranking Taylor Swift’s 1989 (TV) Vault tracks

On Oct. 27, Taylor Swift released her fourth album rerecording– “1989 (Taylor’s Version).” Originally released in 2014, the new release allowed Swift to own the legal rights to the album, which sold over a million copies almost a decade ago.

According to Forbes, Swift “vowed to regain control of her music after Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings controversially acquired her back catalog in 2019 and later sold it to a private equity firm.” 

Swift described the selling of her masters as a “worst-case scenario” in a post on her official Tumblr account from 2019. 

Since losing control of her first six albums in 2019, Swift has re-recorded and released her “Taylor’s Version” albums: “Red (Taylor’s Version),” “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” and the newest, highly anticipated “1989 (Taylor’s Version).” 

“All 12 of Swift’s full-length studio albums and re-recorded projects from 2008’s Fearless, her second studio album, through 2023’s Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) have debuted at No. 1,” Keith Caulfield wrote for Billboard.

Caulfield noted the re-recording reached 250,000 copies sold on the day of its release. It is no surprise to us as big Swifties the album would perform so well on both the charts and financially. 

“1989” includes not just the re-recorded 16 tracks, but five new songs “From The Vault.” As with all of Swift’s released re-records thus far, these songs didn’t make it onto the original album’s tracklist. The vault tracks, written years ago, have been “locked” away since their creation.

We have anxiously awaited the vault tracks’ release, and in honor of this occasion the Lanthorn editors have come together to rank the five vault tracks from “1989 (Taylor’s Version).” With big opinions in the room, this was a particularly painstaking process. After much deliberation, we have successfully ranked the recently released tracks to reflect our Top Five.

GVL / Editorial Team
  1. Suburban Legends 

Coming in at number five, we have “Suburban Legends.” Now, just because we placed this track in number five does not mean we did not like it. We enjoyed this track but felt it was slightly lackluster compared to the other four tracks. The lyrics, which portray the passage of time, loss and longing, create a vivid image for listeners but sonically feel flat. The track is atmospheric, and we did enjoy lyrics like “So magnetic it’s almost obnoxious” but as a whole, the song doesn’t quite measure up to the concepts and innovativeness of the other songs “from the vault.”

  1. “Slut!” 

Prior to its release, there was much discourse around “Slut!” and speculation on what the song would sound like. As a result of this, “‘Slut!’ (Taylor’s Version)’ debuted in the U.S. at No. 1 with 5.2 million streams, and globally with 11.3 million,” according to Variety. The track depicts the media’s scrutinized coverage of her love life, and Swift’s recognition of the press’ ever-present eyes. While we think the content and concept of the song discuss an issue all too common for female celebrities, we expected an electric track to stop us in our tracks, which we didn’t necessarily feel we got with “Slut!”

  1. Now That We Don’t Talk

When ranking the album’s vault tracks, the Lanthorn Editorial team was torn between “Now That We Don’t Talk” and “Slut!” for the third and fourth spots. In a three-to-one vote, we placed “Now That We Don’t Talk” in the third slot. While one opinion floating around was that the track felt uninspired and flat, the majority of us argued the track was reminiscent of some of our favorite songs from Swift’s tenth studio album, “Midnights.” With a steady methodical beat and hard-hitting lyrics, we think that the track deserves its third-place spot. A favorite lyric of ours is “Now that we don’t talk/ 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 think important thoughts.” We really loved the pop sound of this song and the relatability of the lyrics in regards to a relationship you still think about even when you don’t talk anymore. 

  1. Say Don’t Go

In a unanimous decision, we awarded “Say Don’t Go” the title of second best vault track from the album. We feel the song is lyrically relatable and well-balanced, between the song’s reflective moments and outpouring of emotion. After a vulnerable verse and pre-chorus filled with uncertainty about a relationship, Swift expresses a sentiment reminiscent of “Red (T.V.)”- how things would have changed with everything that was never said. With lyrics like, “Why’d you have to lead me on?/ Why’d you have to twist the knife?” This song was a stab in the chest that’s been stuck in our heads for days. 

  1. Is It Over Now? 

In another unanimous decision between us all, we placed “Is It Over Now?” as our favorite vault track from the album. A fitting song to end the album, we felt the song was the strongest lyrically and sonically of all five “from the vault” tracks. In the piece, she writes, “Was it over when she laid down on your couch?/ Was it over when he unbuttoned my blouse?/ ‘Come here,’ I whispered in your ear/ In your dream as you passed out, baby/ Was it over then? And is it over now?” With a soft and slow intro, the song builds as the guitar and drums crescendo to create a beautifully desperate plea from Swift, mulling over a past relationship and questioning when the relationship really ended.

Overall, we were blown away when we heard the vault tracks. “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is truly a pop masterwork, and we thought the vault tracks seamlessly blended into the already distinct pop sound that is universally loved by Swifties. We will definitely be streaming the whole album for the foreseeable future. 


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