Taylor Swift Grows Up On Speak Now TV
Taylor Swift has continued her catalog re-recording with the release of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). As a young country star in 2005, Swift signed to Big Machine Records. When the contract was up in 2018, she switched to Universal’s Republic Records. However, Big Machine kept ownership of the masters, the original recordings, of the six albums Taylor made while signed to them. Big Machine was later sold to the private-equity group owned by major music manager Scooter Braun, Ithaca Holdings. Braun then sold Swift’s masters to Shamrock Holdings, in 2019. Swift, who claims to have been bullied by Braun, publicly expressed her disapproval of the sale and promised to re-record her music with masters she owned.
The first two album re-recordings released were Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version) in 2021. Both albums were largely popular among fans. Fearless TV brought excitement and conversation as the first re-recording, while Red TV featured even more songs “From The Vault,” including All Too Well (10 Minute Version).
Speak Now TV, released on July 7th, comes after the release of the new album Midnights in November 2022. The country genre can be heard throughout the songs on Swift’s second album released in 2010. From the banjo strings on songs like “Mean” to the twang heard in songs like “Sparks Fly,” it could be heard that Swift came from somewhere like Nashville. On Speak Now TV, the instrumentals remain largely the same, but Swift has developed her voice past that country twang.
Mainly written when Taylor was 19 years old, the original Speak Now features a heap of lyrics that capture what relationships are like at that age: angst, realization, and heartbreak turned into history. It also features more personal lyricism about what Swift endured at that age, including “Dear John,” presumably about John Mayer, who was 32 when Swift reportedly dated him in 2010. Swift sings those same lyrics 14 years later with a new sense of growth and maturity. Having been taken advantage of, by not only people in her past personal relationships, but also people in her past business relationships, her vocal control and enunciation on Taylor’s Version emphasizes the woman she has become.
Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) also features six new songs “From The Vault.” “Electric Touch” featuring Fall Out Boy discusses the risks and rewards of romance, while “Castles Crumbling” featuring Hayley Williams has lyrics that appear to be fairytale-inspired like “Long Live” earlier on the album. The most popular song “From The Vault” so far is “I Can See You,” a song that matches the electropop genre of Reputation with spicy lyrics of attraction and desire. It was accompanied by a music video featuring Presley Cash, Joey King, and Taylor Lautner on a heist to release Swift and her belongings from a vault. King and Cash were featured in the music video for “Mean” on the original Speak Now, and Lautner was reportedly in a relationship with Swift in 2010 after co-starring in Valentine’s Day. All three have remained friends with Swift and even appeared at The Eras Tour show in Kansas City, MO on July 7th.
While Swift may not sound like the 19-year-old from Nashville she once was, she is certainly growing up into a force unafraid to regain control and speak now.
Featured Image Credit: Taylor Swift on Spotify