Taylor Swift’s been busy during lockdown. In addition to dropping two surprise albums in 2020, she also announced that she would be re-recording her back catalogue up to and including 2017’s Reputation. The masters for her first six albums, made under her contract with Big Machine Records, were purchased along with the label by her former manager Scooter Braun, with Swift claiming that she wasn’t offered the opportunity to purchase them herself and accusing Braun of “bullying”. (Braun and Big Machine founder Scott Borchetta have denied Swift’s claims.)
The first album to get the treatment will be 2008’s Fearless, home to her swooning country-crossover breakout single “Love Story.”
The lyric video, which dropped at midnight Thursday ET, features a slideshow of adorably ’00s photos from the Fearless era, featuring fans (almost all young women, many of them with their hair tortured into the mandatory super-straight side-sweep) posing ecstatically with Tay.
As for the song itself, it’s an incredibly faithful re-record. The production is crisp and rich, the arrangement basically identical to the 2008 version — the only real difference is the vocal performance, where Swift’s 13-years-on voice has a skosh more strength and a tad less twang.
For fans who adore the original but also want to support Swift in her quest to reclaim her legacy from men determined to own a piece of it, it’s a substitute sure to satisfy.
In a tweet earlier on Thursday announcing the release of “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)”, Swift told fans it was “a real honor to be a teenager alongside” them — and hid the phrase APRIL NINTH in the text to let her eagle-eyed Swifties know when to expect Taylor’s Version of the full album.