A Review-Based Student Publication of Townsend Harris High School

The Classic Critic

A Review-Based Student Publication of Townsend Harris High School

The Classic Critic

A Review-Based Student Publication of Townsend Harris High School

The Classic Critic

Speaking About Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)


Overall rating: 4/5


July seventh was a big day for Swifties, as Taylor Swift released her re-recorded version of Speak Now. After switching over to Republica Records in 2018, Taylor has worked to negotiate owning all master rights to her albums. As a result, re-recording her albums under Republica Records will allow her to own copyright to all of the new recordings. But she does so with a twist. Fans freaked out over the re-release of “All Too Well (Ten Minute Version),” expanding on an already beloved song off of the album Red. The tweaks she adds to spice up her decade-old albums had fans of classic country Taylor wondering what she would do now with Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), and she did not disappoint.

When Fearless (Taylors Version) was released in 2021, it quickly succeeded the on-demand song streams of the original version of Fearless, despite it being thirteen years older. In numbers, Taylor’s Version of the iconic album earned 1.47 billion streams, while the original recording earned 680.39 million. Taylor’s growing base of devoted fans from the early 2000’s to now has encouraged her to expand her creativity and give her fans more. Red (Taylor’s Version) included ten more songs than the original, and Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) gives fans six more. 

The re-recording of Speak Now remains consistent with the original, although there is a slight change in the lyricism of “Better Than Revenge.” Not all of Tayor’s decade-old music reflects her outspoken feminist ideology now. In attempts to show that change in perspective, Taylor changes the iconic “She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress,” in the chorus for “He was a moth to the flame she was holding the matches.” While I do not necessarily condone slut-shaming women simply because she stole your boyfriend, I am disappointed in the way that line was replaced. The re-written version of that line just doesn’t flow as well as the slightly more humorous original. If it means keeping a little bit of misogyny in a song in order to relive my middle school years of screaming “Better Than Revenge” to its full extent, I would take it.

Aside from lyrical alterations, Taylor blesses her fans with plenty of new content to overanalyze and overrelate to. “Electric Touch,” “When Emma Falls in Love,” “I Can See You,” “Castles Crumbling,” “Foolish One,” and “Timeless” all reached as many streams, if not more, than the re-recording of some pre-existing songs. “I Can See You,” currently with over 69 million streams and continuously on the rise, very obviously takes inspiration from the vocals and instrumentals of “Mine,” the first song on the album. 

As I’ve grown past the age of thirteen, I’ve also grown out of liking Taylor Swift as an artist. Yet, the re-release of Speak Now, which has always been a childhood favorite of mine, temporarily brought back feelings of positive nostalgia. I’ll admit I stopped paying attention to Taylor’s music after the release of Reputation, but Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) has reminded me, and other fans, of her country albums, the beauty of her lyricism, the appreciation for classics, and the joy in rehashing feelings about your ex.

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About the Contributor
Brynna Quigley, Music Editor
Brynna is a senior at Townsend Harris High School. She has been an editor for The Critic for two years and enjoys painting, reading, and seeing friends in her free time.
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    ElaineSep 29, 2023 at 6:53 pm

    This is an entertaining and interesting review