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Review: Taylor Swift releases first of re-recorded tracks

Singer Taylor Swift released “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” on Feb. 12, a re-recording of the 2008 chart-topper that made Swift a household name.

After fighting a public battle with record executive Scooter Braun for the financial and artistic rights to her original songs, Swift began re-recording masters of the albums she doesn’t own in November. The single is the first release from “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” set to drop on April 9.

Swift has indicated in the past that re-recording her songs is, in part, to devalue the original tracks. She also stated in a statement on social media that her original motivations for re-recording the albums seem “unnecessary now.” 

”I’ve decided I want you to have the whole story, see the entire vivid picture, and let you into the entire dreamscape that is my ‘Fearless’ album,” said Swift. 

“Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” will include 26 songs: The original 13, six additional tracks from “Fearless Platinum Edition,” six previously unreleased tracks and the stand alone single “Today Was a Fairytale.”

Swift’s reimagining of “Love Story” is both nostalgic and triumphant. This rendition is a love letter written to Swift’s younger self and to her fans that still remember belting the lyrics in the back of their mom’s minivans.

To an untrained ear, “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” and the original are strikingly similar. At 31 years old, Swift’s voice is more resonant, likely a result of her age and over thirteen years performing to stadiums full of adoring fans. Unlike the original track, her voice shines through the arrangement and isn’t overshadowed by strong background vocals and the overproduction that dominated the 2000s. 

The arrangement itself feels more laid back, as you can hear each instrument. At times, you can almost hear Swift smile as she sings. The timidness in her 18-year-old voice has vanished, leaving behind an air of maturity and confidence. 

The release is already off to a strong start. Billboard reports that “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” garnered 5.8 million in on-demand streams (audio and video combined) in the U.S. on its day of release, and more than 10 million through Feb. 16, while also selling over 24,000 downloads through Feb. 17. 

It’s quite fitting that the first lyrics listeners will hear in the new, old track are “we were both young when I first saw you.”

ljtmfm@mail.umkc.edu

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