Sunday, February 14, 2021

Music: Love Story (Taylor's Version)

Taylor Swift is re-recording her first six albums after a nasty split with her old record label, and the first of these new-old songs is her breakout country-pop crossover hit, "Love Story":

The track is fascinating, both in terms of copyright licensing gamesmanship and musical artistry. It sounds almost identical to the 2008 version upon a casual listen, which is the point of the whole exercise - by vetoing any use of her original masters, Taylor can force TV and films to use her new records and diminish the value of the old songs. Artists have tried this gambit before with middling success, but "Taylor's Version" is so close to the original track that most people couldn't tell one from the other.

Listen closely, though, and subtle differences emerge. The production values are higher; the original track was cut when Swift was just another up-and-coming Nashville star, whereas now she's one of the richest musicians on the planet. But the biggest change is in Swift's vocals: older, more natural, and with the wisdom that years of high-profile failed relationships (romantic and professional, and sometimes both) bring to the table. For a songwriter who trafficks in nostalgia, it's a neat effect, and hopefully will apply to most of Swift's back catalog ("Fifteen," "Tim McGraw," and "All Too Well," to name just a few).


Post a Comment

<< Home