Taylor Swift just released her reimagined “1989.”, the album that ushered in the first Peak Swift era — revisited at the height of her massive pop culture dominance.
Released in 2014 and named for her birth year, the original “1989” signified a sonic rebirth. Swift had shed the Nashville country roots of her first four studio albums and announced herself a full-fledged pop superstar.
“1989 (Taylor’s Version),” out Friday, takes that version of Swift — then in her mid-20s, living in New York, prepared to take on the world with an arsenal of ’80s synth sounds and a new producer named Jack Antonoff — and includes five unreleased “vault” tracks that deliver more clues about the artist she was then.
Previous “Taylor’s Version” releases have been more than conventional rerecordings, arriving with new music, Easter eggs and visuals that deepen understanding of her work. The project — the fourth of six rereleases — was instigated by music manager Scooter Braun’s purchase and sale of her early catalog and represents Swift’s effort to control her own songs and how they’re used.
“It was a huge risk for her to move completely outside of country – there’s no country elements on this album whatsoever,” says Spanos, who also teaches a course on Swift at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute. She says Swift’s penchant for pop songwriting is evidenced all the way back on her 2008 sophomore release “Fearless” in tracks like “Love Story,” but “1989” is “her first official, full-length pop project.”
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