This was pretty much what I was expecting, but that isn’t a bad thing. I’ve always enjoyed Taylor’s more country-centric music and this album is full of that sound, much more than Red (Taylor’s Version). Speak Now was a much wordier album and probably her wordiest album before Folklore released. Taylor is a really good writer and she shines on this record. Songs like Dear John, Enchanted and Last Kiss all are written beautifully with a much heavier emphasis on the lyrical content (apart from Enchanted which is just all around a perfect song in every aspect). I think Speak Now really highlights how good of a writer Taylor was when she was younger and how she still shines to this day.
This whole rerecording project as a whole has really highlighted just how talented Taylor has always been and remains to be. I think it is pretty safe to say that she is one of the best pop artists out there today and while she has put out some mediocre works and not all of her records are perfect, I do believe she has the ability to eventually make something as amazing as Emotion by Carly Rae Jepsen or even something more experimental on the Jessie Ware side of things.
With this whole rerecording project she has nowhere to go but up. I think she’ll even be able to drastically improve on Reputation. Taylor is in her golden era and I can’t wait to hear more.
The vault tracks on here are some of the weaker ones from the Taylor’s Version albums but there are still some standouts such as When Emma Falls in Love and I Can See You with the former being a lyrically heavy ballad with Taylor’s classic sweet love story aesthetic which somehow never really gets old. The latter is a much snarkier track which feels much more in line with something off of Midnights but with much less synth (and better written). I really like the production on this cut with how Taylor spits a lot of the words out and that constant electric guitar riff; it all feels so secretive and I love it. The other vault tracks are fine, but a lot of them just feel a bit dull and excessively long even the one with Hayley Williams which I was most excited for.
Taylor hits the mark once again and makes an album that was stolen from her so much better and I can’t wait to hear how 1989 and Reputation (Taylor’s Version) will sound.
Favourite Tracks: Mine, Speak Now, Dear John, Enchanted, Innocent, Last Kiss, I Can See You
Least Favourite Tracks: Mean, Ours, Castles Crumbling