The artist’s first release from her re-recording task is much even more than a nostalgia play. It’s a love letter.

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When Taylor Swift, the pandemic’s many fertile pop star, announced that she’d be re-recording her albums in a push for ownership over her job-related, the venture sounded riskies. Swift actors her decision as both an individual vendetta against the music executive Scooter Braun and also a moralistic stand also versus the industry’s therapy of artists. But at challenge worth, re-recordings seem to offer little bit to look forward to for listeners. Ostensibly, these tracks are near-the same to the masters, through the exact same lyrics and also manufacturing.

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Yet “Love Story (Taylor’s Version),” her first re-taped track, is no mere copy of the 2008 single that helped launch her to her first Album of the Year Grammy. Swift’s voice at 31 is a lot richer. Her tone is even more regulated, her staccato even more specific. She sings the name “Romeo” at one allude with a cheeky clip—“Rome-ee-oh”—that argues the “involuntary smile” on her challenge that she explained in her note announcing the release of the new version of Fearless. Made with the exact same partners she offered on the initially Fearless, the song functions in conversation via Swift’s original recording. If 19-year-old Swift’s eager, breathmuch less vocals caught that thoapproximately teenage sensation of fantasizing over a new crush, the older Swift conjures a mature, amoffered wistfulness. It’s as if the artist is reminiscing about writing the song with a fondness for her younger self’s melodramatic tendencies. She’s not making a passionate plea; she’s warmly recalling a memory.


The re-recording, which has currently topped the UNITED STATE iTunes chart, absolutely marks another circumstances of pop culture’s obsession with nostalgia paying off. Many type of similar sector efforts—TV reboots, extensions of film franchises, covers of childhood favorites—service fans via cameos and also casual references without meaningcompletely considering the original work’s affect. But Swift, via her stronger vocals, engperiods with her younger self, scrutinizing her lyrics. She joins in on the act of being a Taylor Swift fan.

And Swift, after all, is a understand at understanding her fans. She lurks on social media, sends out them holiday presents, and rewards them on tour by playing deep cuts and also mashups, reinterpreting the songs she wrote years previously as codas to the diaristic lyrics she’s created given that. She’s brought that intimacy right into the rollout of her re-recordings: In packaging the new tracks not just as a service decision, yet likewise as a chance to appropriate a ethical wrong, she mobilized her fans. In transparently describing her desperation, she made them feel like they can help.

These moves have culminated in the reframing of “Love Story,” which is currently a love letter to her fans. The lyric video functions her old photos through meet-and-greet attendees and candid vlog footage from the time of Fearless’s release. The new album art mimics the original cover, Swift with her eyes closed and hair whipping across the structure. The announcement letter included an enigma message in capitalized letters, simply favor the ones she hid in the liner notes of early on albums. This re-recording, she’s making vehemently clear, is not a basic throwback. It’s a shared appreciation: You understand that old Taylor she as soon as claimed dead? She misses her as well.

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Swift’s next albums on deck for re-recording may be harder to reimagine through her new, grown-up gaze. After 2008 come trickier narratives—those she didn’t want to be a part of and those she created—that are possibly more resistant to remeaning. But in the updated “Love Story,” she has actually successfully deployed a potent nostalgia that, like the lyrics to her finest songs, reforms time. The sentimentality of her re-recorded version comes not only from remembering a particular minute, yet also from reflecting on the distance between that one minute and also, well, currently.

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Without a doubt, “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” surprised me through its capacity to extract a memory I’d long forobtained. As the chorus played, I rereferred to as a friend in high institution that had actually painstakingly held an audio recorder to the radio, waiting to commit to tape the line from the original “Love Story” where Swift pleads, “It’s a love story, baby, just say yes.” He planned to usage the recording to ask his crush to prom, and I remember reasoning this was the pinnacle of romance. (It worked, by the means.) Listening to the new version, via its sage, winking tone, made me feel an affection for my younger, even more naive self, and also a gratitude for the growth given that. Any cheap nostalgia play can conjure a fuzzy burst of pleasant memories. But Swift, in this re-recording, merges those memories with the current.