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The Zeitgeist of 2014, Revisited: 1989 (Taylor’s Version)


Arguably the album that launched Taylor Swift into the public eye and redefined the pop genre, 1989 was re-released as Taylor’s Version on October 27th, exactly nine years later. We’ve been listening to this album on repeat and did the impossible by picking our top three favorite tracks. 

Sophia’s Top 3: 

  1. “I Know Places” 

In my opinion, a wildly underrated track on 1989 since its initial release nine years ago that somehow has only gotten better on Taylor’s Version. This track is especially fun to listen to in the car with all the windows down at night. 

  1. “New Romantics”

Released as a track on the deluxe version of 1989, this one is the ideal song to listen to with friends on a Friday night. Screaming the lyrics “Cause baby, I could build a castle/ Out of all the bricks they threw at me/ And every day is like a battle/ But every night with us is like a dream” never gets old. 

  1. “Wildest Dreams”

This song has been one of my favorites since I was a kid and hearing the Taylor’s Version that she released early in 2021 reminded me of how timeless this track is. After nearly a decade of listening to it, I doubt it will ever leave my playlists in the decades to come. 

Abby’s Top 3: 

  1. “Is It Over Now?” 

Okay, just to preface this now: my top three exclusively consists of vault tracks. That’s a new one, but I love the overall concept and synth-heavy, upbeat sound that accompanies these never-before-heard songs and complements 1989 as a whole. “Let’s fast forward to three hundred awkward blind dates later / If she’s got blue eyes I will surmise that you’ll probably date her” is absolutely about Harry Styles (not to mention “Red blood, white snow” or “Blue dress, on a boat”). The seagull caws interspersed throughout the instrumental also grew on me. It’s only November, but I look forward to my turn on the aux to play this song. 

  1. “Sl*t!” 

Every expectation I held regarding what this song would sound like or be about was completely subverted on October 27th. I’m not mad, though, especially with, “In a world of boys / He’s a gentleman.” This track embodies what it’s like to love someone through rose-tinted lenses. I was thrilled to hear this as a surprise song on the Eras Tour setlist, alongside her acoustic mashup of “Is It Over Now” and the bridge of “Out of the Woods” in Buenos Aires.

  1. “Suburban Legends” 

I wasn’t expecting Taylor to immediately start serenading me as soon as I pressed play, but I like the upbeat, straight-to-the-point hook. My favorite lyric has to be, “And you kiss me in a way that’s gonna screw me up forever.” 


In 2014, 1989 revolutionized mainstream pop with a plethora of bright, synth-heavy tracks inspired by the 80s, each carrying a distinct instrumental timbre to accompany Swift’s lyrical optimism. Nine years later, she’s revamped that same record-shattering album — complete with five bonus vault tracks and remastered vocals — under her own name this time. 

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