Taylor Swift has released ‘Love Story (Taylor’s Version)’ and just in time for Valentine’s Day, no less.
The pandemic’s most prolific popstar appeared on Good Morning America on February 11 to announce that she had finished the re-recording of her second album ‘Fearless’ – complete with six ‘never before released’ songs. True to form, Taylor’s follow-up announcement came complete with a capitalised coded message spelling out ‘APRIL NINTH’, which we can safely assume will be the album’s release date. ‘Love Story’ is the only song to have been released from Taylor’s re-recorded back catalogue so far.
Fans were first granted to a snippet of the new ‘Love Story’ recording from where else but a Ryan Reynolds-directed Match.com advert last year. Now the glorious full version is here, there’s no longer any need to sit through unsettling images of Satan picnicking on a football field.
Although there had been rampant internet speculation around whether she would subtly tweak the lyrics to suggest an engagement to Joe Alwyn – “baby just said yes” – there doesn’t appear to be any lyrical differences in Taylor’s 2021 version. The song’s arrangement remains largely unchanged, too. What has changed, however, is the ol’ country twang teenage Taylor used to sing with, replaced instead with a richer vocal mix. Over ten years on, ‘Love Story’s unabashed optimism and violin-laden melodrama should be an awkward fit for today’s more cynical times but never underestimate the power of nostalgia. The teenagers who sang and cried along to ‘Fearless’ in 2008 are now weather-worn adults – perhaps still in that childhood bedroom – but the desire to “escape this town for a little while” remains as strong as ever.
The official lyric video swaps Romeo for Swifties, including ‘Fearless’ tour footage interspersed with throwback meet-and-greet photos. The video is officially dedicated to Taylor’s fans with her hand-heart of old.
“When I think back on the ‘Fearless’ album and all that you turned it into, a completely involuntary smile creeps across my face,” she wrote in the album announcement. “This was the musical era in which so many inside jokes were created between us, so many hugs exchanged and hands touched, so many unbreakable bonds formed. So before I say anything else, let me just say that it was a real honor to get to be a teenager alongside you.”
It’s not all sweetness, though, as some eagle-eyed Swifties spotted that Big Machine’s founder Scott Borchetta had been blurred out in one of the music video’s featured photos. Taylor is in the process of re-recording all of her masters prior to 2019’s ‘Lover’ after Big Machine (now helmed by Scooter Braun) sold the originals to an investment fund in a deal reportedly worth $300million (£217m).
After this first teaser, many Swifties are now preparing themselves for April 9 and the full release of ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’.
Others, meanwhile, are already looking to future ‘Taylor’s versions’, as well as providing a little perspective to show just how insanely prolific Taylor has been over the past few years.