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Pop Religion ( Taylor’s Version )

The astronomical success of 33-year-old Taylor Swift is no secret to those even slightly involved in social media. Among all her albums, one arguably stands out as what some would consider “pop perfection,” her 2014 album, “1989.” named after her birth year.
“1989” was claimed to be Swift’s official transition from a country star to a pop music staple. With tracks like “Bad Blood” and “Shake It Off” effortlessly topping charts to tunes of “I Know Places” and “Wonderland” touching the hearts of listeners, “1989” was established by many as the “bible of pop music” and is continually praised very highly. 

“1989” would go on to get its tour, the “1989 World Tour,” which would gain the singer $250.7 million in revenue and solidify itself as the highest-grossing tour of 2015. Alongside its successful tour, the album would earn Swift many awards, such as Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album at the 58th Grammy Awards, International Album of the Year at the Juno Awards, and many more.

After choosing to separate herself from her old record label, Big Machine Records, she lost the rights to all her former albums, starting from her debut record ‘Taylor Swift’ to her redemption-fueled album ‘Reputation.’ Swift decided to solve this problem by re-recording her stolen albums, ending them with ( Taylor’s Version ), often abbreviated as TV,  to show her ownership of the records. Swift started with “Fearless TV,” then moved on to “Red TV,” “Speak Now TV,” and her most recent release, “1989 TV,” leaving “Reputation” and “Taylor Swift” as her remaining albums. 

“1989 ( Taylor’s Version )” was officially announced during the end of the first leg of her impressive “Eras Tour” in Los Angeles and was formally released October 27th, 2023. 

Immediately, the album was hit with an expected mixed reception. Its long-lived reputation has gained the album consideration as her most significant, and many had high expectations. Some believed her mature voice and choices to experiment with the original instrumentals of the album were perfect and showed her growth as an artist, while others felt she should have stuck more to the authentic sound of the album.
Aly McCuin, a senior at Tuscarora, was one of the people who initially believed it could’ve been better. “On the first listen, I had high expectations for it, so I was slightly disappointed. Her re-record tracks suffer because she tries to stack vocals… After sitting with it, I think she did a pretty good job,” says McCain. 

Alongside her re-recording of the original 16 tracks, including three added tracks on her deluxe version of the album, Swift said an additional five vault tracks, ‘‘‘Slut!’”, “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Say Don’t Go,” “Suburban Legends,” and “Is It Over Now?” These vault tracks are tracks that had originally been written for the album but never got released.

The vault tracks also received a mixed reception. While certain tracks like “Is It Over Now?” which reportedly talked about her past relationship with ex-boyfriend Harry Styles that had taken place during the overall “1989 era” landed with the general public better, songs like “Suburban Legends” were less of a hit. 

“When people saw ‘“Slut!’” on the tracklist, it was pictured as a more upbeat, pop-based song. I was initially like “Oh!” but I didn’t know how to feel about it. I really like “Now That We Don’t Talk” and “Is It Over Now?” though” says Molly Murphy, junior at Tuscarora High School.

Despite the mixed receptions, “1989 TV” would go on to gain huge traction, landing itself at the top of record charts in more than 18 countries. 

Swift hasn’t shown any signs of her success slowing down as she gains more and more fans and continues to accomplish downright unimaginable feats for a musical artist. “1989” was truly the start to Swift’s pop-like launch to fame, and its impact has carried itself with her and her fans, and will likely continue for years to come. 

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About the Contributor
Ella is a junior at Tuscarora and this is her first year as a staff writer for The Pack. Ella has a love for reading as well as dance, and she is actively teaching herself guitar. She also loves going to concerts and spending time hanging out with friends. She currently has hopes to become a travel journalist in the future.

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