The Tower Pulse

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1989 (Tower’s Version)

1989 (Tower’s Version)

Nine years. Nine years of Grammy Awards, sold-out stadium tours and billboard-record-breaking separate “1989” and “1989 (Taylor’s Version)”. From first listen to fifth, it’s clear that Taylor Swift has used the last 3287 days to take her pop sensation to unimaginable new heights.

As avid Swifties, all three of us were eagerly anticipating the release of “1989 (Taylor’s Version)”. After the astronomical successes that were her last three re-records, our minds were less curious about the possibility of greatness, instead curious about the records it would be sure to shatter and the buzz it would generate across the world.

Album cover and promotion
Announced on Aug. 9, 2023—(19) 8/9, if you will—at her last show of the U.S. leg of her critically acclaimed “Eras Tour”, “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” had a highly anticipated release that only Taylor Swift can muster. Closely following the release of “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)”, the hype surrounding “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” began before it was even announced. Thanks to fan theories and easter eggs planted by Swift herself, speculation and elation surrounding this album was a long time coming. Throughout the show, blue variations of her iconic outfits were worn, hinting toward the inevitable release later in the show, which caused fans in the stadium and those closely following through social media to become increasingly excited. Every little detail Swift planned out only contributed to the immersive fan experience that set our expectations sky-high.

Vocals
As with every re-record thus far, we were awestruck by the strength and clarity of Swift’s updated vocals. She sings each song with a sense of ease that emerged during the “reputation” era and has only continued to grow. From her effortlessly supported belt in “Shake It Off” to her addictive growl in “I Know Places,” the “1989” re-record seems to be Swift’s victory lap, showcasing her vocal prowess in every note. In addition to those crystal clear melody vocals, Swift’s harmonies are more prominent than ever before, highlighting her growth as a technical musician as well. She seems like an artist who is confident in the pop genre, knows how to use her voice and can hold the attention of her fanbase that has heard all the songs before.

Production
In 2014, the original release of the “1989” album, Swift and Jack Antonoff launched their iconic producing collaboration. The last five Swift albums have continued their creative partnership, forming a common sound throughout the recent discography. “Midnights”, released in the fall of 2022, coined a new sound for Swift, branching her into a new sounding pop production. This sound is very present in the production of many vault tracks. The production of many other classics has also changed so slightly that only true Swifties have noticed, including us. The power of the background noise in “Style” is much understated in the rerelease. It was an interesting choice to make, seeing as the song is so known for its heavy base and beats. Many songs have hung onto their original production however. For example, “Welcome to New York” transported us right back to third grade when we listened to it for the very first time.

Vault Tracks
As Swift herself said in an Instagram post announcing the re-record, the vault tracks on “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” truly are “so insane.” While we’ve enjoyed the additional tracks on her other re-recorded albums, those on “1989” are truly unparalleled for their consistent quality and listenability. The lyrics are screamable, the melodies have quickly become earworms and the production has audible influence from Swift’s “Midnights” era. The opening of one of our favorites, “Is It Over Now?”, includes sound bites and synth pulses reminiscent of her later song “Labyrinth”. These production details darken the track’s sound, providing an edge that feeds the emotion of its woman-scorned lyrics to create a craveable listening experience. All in all, these elements perfectly combine Swift’s binge-worthy 2014 hits with a more modern, mature sound.

From top to bottom, “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” has proven to be just as sensational as the original album. Though much has changed from her original hit, this updated version represents a happier, healthier Swift who truly owns both her music and musicianship.

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About the Contributors
Dailey Jogan '24, Supervising Page Editor
A master of taste-testing around the Pointes, Dailey Jogan ’24 is an expert at broadening her horizons. Not only is she a summer lifeguard, Jogan does swim team during the year. Along with that, she has the brain and the brawn, considering she’s one of this year's third-year staffers and a Supervising Page Editor. She loves her position for many reasons, but the artistry of Tower is what hooks her the most. “I love the creativity aspect because I feel so much of school is about getting to the unit test, while Tower is really about creating something new each week,” Jogan said. “Especially with page design.” Finally, Jogan takes the wisdom of being a senior and shares it through her work as a Link Crew leader. “When I was a freshman, Link Crew was on Zoom, so it was zero percent hopeful,” Jogan said. “Becoming a link crew leader myself, I want to help freshmen realize that high school is more than just a checklist of assignments, and there is fun to be had if you allow it to happen.”
Madeline Kitchen '24, Print Editor in Chief
Madeline Kitchen is more than a hard worker, with being a senior and already having a tight schedule, she still does her very best to produce the best content possible as a third-year staffer. Madeline is a bright and caring person who helps anyone when they need assistance. She has also used her time on Tower to strengthen her bonds with friends and create new ones to overall bring the Tower community closer.“I had heard about how cool it was to be able to make all these different kinds of media and I just wanted to be a part of something like that,” Kitchen said. “Something where I had a lot of agency to create my own work and to work with other people towards one bigger goal.”
Cecile Walsh '24, Print Editor in Chief
Cecile Walsh is creative in every way possible. She is super crafty; painting her nails every weekend and producing little projects whenever she can. She’s an active member of the Poetry Slam club and goes on fun trips, such as the Mackinac Island trip as part of the Poetry Slam club. In her free time, she is a personal assistant to a local children’s book author, pursuing her love of English outside of school. Cecile joined Tower to use her love of writing to become more immersed in the news and what’s going on in the world, as well as to help others become more aware and in the loop. “It can be really interesting and fulfilling to help people stay more informed,” Walsh said. This year, she hopes to stay on top of all of her duties, to progress throughout the school year.

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