“Love Story (Taylor’s Version)”
Written by Taylor Swift
It’s still not a great song.
The metaphor is clunky, and it’s even more cringeworthy now to have her fate being resolved by her dad and her boyfriend while she waits on the sidelines. I mean, “She’s in Love With the Boy” is now thirty years old, and even that mom called bullshit when Dad tried to settle his daughter’s fate by sending her to her room while he talked to her suitor. (Seriously. Where the hell is Juliet’s mom in all of this?)
But in every other measurable way, this re-recording of “Love Story” is a significant improvement on the original. Swift has improved by leaps and bounds as a vocalist. Not just in pitch and tone and all that technical stuff, but where it matters most, which is her ability to emote. She lowers the temperature of the drama with a more subtle vocal performance, making it feel less like a teenage melodrama and more like a bemusing memory from days gone by.
The more pronounced fiddle and banjo enhance things even more, sanding down some of the pop sheen and giving this new take a more earthy and grounded feel.
It’s still “Love Story,” so she can only do so much with what she has to work with. But as a preview of this entire “Taylor re-records her first six albums” project, it’s tremendously encouraging. Can we skip ahead to RED and Reputation now?