With the third re-record, Taylor Swift is one step closer to claiming her full catalog with Speak Now (Taylor’s Version).
Originally Released in 2010, the country/pop album was met with widespread success. Going into this album, I would have rated the original Speak Now a 8/10. With the re-record, the charm of the original album is mostly there but not much other than that. Since this is “Taylor’s Version” it will mostly be focused on the new and changed parts of the record but I will talk for a bit about the main album itself.
It is a pop classic. The singer-songwriter’s junior album was a huge step in the pop direction for Swift. It has the pop elements that would be developed later in Red and 1989, but it is still a country album at heart.
As for the songs, they are all pretty much classics at this point. From the classic love ballads like “Mine (Taylor’s Version)” to “Enchanted (Taylor’s Version),” fantastic breakup anthems like “Last Kiss (Taylor’s Version)” and “Dear John (Taylor’s Version),” the majority of this album remains neutral from the re-record. Despite the 13-year age gap, there are very little distinct vocal changes.
The first major change comes in the song “Better Than Revenge (Taylor’s Version).” In the 2010 recording there is a lyric in the chorus that goes “She’s better known for the things she does on the mattress.” In the re-record, the lyric is changed to “He was a moth to the flame, She was holding the matches.” First of all, matches does not rhyme with actress (which was the previous line), mattress does. Second, it was speculated that Swift changed the lyrics because in the 13 years since, she has matured as a person and as a feminist.
That’s cool and all, but who cares. At this point, Taylor Swift is immune to controversy. The changing of this line breaks the rhyme scheme and also removes what became a mini diss that fans admired. It was an unnecessary change that only critics and die-hard fans care about so in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter but it’s just unusual to change lyrics for a song after the fact.
Now onto the vault. This might be the weakest selection from the vault yet. “Red (Taylor’s Version)” had “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).” Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” had “Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).” These are fantastic new songs that fit the album perfectly. “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” doesn’t really have one.
“Electric Touch (feat. Fall Out Boy) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” is a decent song with a wholly unnecessary feature. “When Emma Falls in Love (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” while a sweet song, isn’t anything special. The same can be said for “Castles Crumbling (feat. Hayley Williams) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),”Foolish One (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” and “Timeless (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).”
The song that actually has substance is “I Can See You (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).” With a powerful rhythm guitar, the verses are darker but still retain the pop elements on the album. The chorus, on the other hand, has vocals similar to the country elements of the album but with the same instrumentation of the rest of the song.
Overall, “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” is a classic but did not benefit from the re-record. “Speak Now” was still getting thousands of streams a day, I understand the want to re-record for her but there is nothing new worth talking about. While the original album got an 8/10, Taylor’s Version gets a 6/10.
Featured Image: The album cover to “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version).” The cover was an upscaled version of the original 2010 “Speak Now” cover.