2016 Grammy Awards. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

Will the ‘All Too Well’ singer be releasing another iconic album this month?

The first time I heard 1989 by Taylor Swift I was still a teenager and my world seemed about to change forever. It’s only been eight years since the release of the album and yet it feels like it happened in another lifetime.

Back then, in 2014, Spotify wasn’t really on my radar and Apple Music didn’t even exist. Also, as a major Swifite, I wasn’t about to buy the album on iTunes – I needed the 19-track deluxe CD (containing additional songs and voice memos, with photos Polaroid inside). To be honest, I was a bit embarrassed to be a super fan. I rushed out of class on October 27 of that year without telling anyone that I was heading straight for Target (remember when we had these in Canada?) to pick up my copy. Hearing it play for the first time later that afternoon from my parents’ stereo system solidified something I’d always known: Taylor Swift is a musical genius.

So naturally when Swift started releasing re-recordings of her first six albums last year, I knew that 1989 (Taylor’s version) would be quite a nostalgic moment for me. And I think that time is coming.

The singer doesn’t release re-recorded versions of her old albums in any particular order, but she does have a penchant for hiding clues about her new music. Before falling Fearless (Taylor version) in April 2021, Swift cleverly revealed the release date by sharing a letter with her fans in which a handful of random capital letters spelled April 9. Then for Red (Taylor’s version)Swift shared red heart emojis and album lyrics in random tweets before the album finally drops in November 2021.

So, what album can we expect next? It would appear that eagle-eyed fans are somewhat divided.

In September of last year, Taylor Swift re-released the 1989 Favorite “Wildest Dreams”. And last week she released “This Love (Taylor’s Version)”, also from 1989. But to complicate matters, Swift is now selling merchandise for both 1989 and Speak Now on its online store.

Every week, a new theory circulates on TikTok. But since the Fearless (Taylor version) The CD went on sale for $19.89 and last year’s “All Too Well” short featured a 1989 Maserati the Swifties felt more confident in. 1989 being the next version. There is no doubt that 1989 (Taylor’s version) will be a big moment for Swift and her fans — especially those whose formative years were spent memorizing every lyric (um).

Named after his year of birth, symbolizing the rebirth of his art, 1989 marked a shift in Taylor Swift’s music and image from country to pop. It was the album that solidified her as one of the most influential musicians of her generation and landed her on the cover of every major magazine (including FASHION!). In fact, the year it was released, it became the first artist to sell over one million copies of a single album, and it remains his highest-grossing record to date. Around this time, she raved about the single life in interviews and was photographed smiling on the streets of New York with her hair cut in a fantastic lob. It looked like Swift was at the height of her career.

It was also around this time that she began to push back against the criticism she often received about her life and music (i.e., she was a serial dater who weaponized her words against former lovers). She used the music video for the album’s second single “Blank Space” as an opportunity to parody the boy-crazy woman the media had made her.

And all his hard work paid off: 1989 went straight to No. 1 on the Billboard charts and won numerous awards (including Album of the Year at the Grammys). She then went on a sold-out world tour until 2015.

But, after the dust has settled 1989, the singer’s public persona rapidly deteriorated. By the end of 2015, people had started noticing her group of friends (aka “the squad”) which consisted mostly of other famous, tall, thin white women. At the time, she was presented as a bad girl; the leader of a clique whose members were not only exclusive in terms of beauty and fame, but also seemed lack of self-awareness.

2015 MTV Video Music Awards. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images

Then, in the summer of 2016, following her split from Calvin Harris, Swift’s longstanding feud with Kanye West came to a head and, well, we all remember Kim Kardashian’s infamous phone leak. By 2017, his legal battles with Scooter Braun and Big Machine Records had begun.

Taylor Swift looks back on the years since the release of 1989 in his 2017 album reputation. It was in this album that she declared the former Taylor “dead”, again trying to take the story of her life into her own hands. She then gave us more insight into her personal life in her 2020 documentary miss americanwhen she revealed that she suffered from an eating disorder throughout the 1989 time.

One can only imagine how it must feel for Swift to relive the years she said almost broke it. After releasing “This Love (Taylor’s Version)” – the only song by 1989 which credits Swift as the sole writer — there’s no doubt the pop-star has a few tricks up her sleeves. Once a song slips off the public radar, it’s clear that Swift is in control of her longevity this time around. Singing lines like “This love is good, this love is bad, this love is back from the dead” with her whispered vocals over an 80s synth track makes me feel like the old Taylor is finally back from the dead. And I can’t wait to see what she does next.



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