Taylor Swift’s ‘Speak Now’ This is the song you must hear on new version of her album
Taylor Swift zealots are hearing her speak again with the new version of her 2010 release, “Speak Now.”
The album, which arrived Friday, is the third in Swift’s catalog to be rereleased as “Taylor’s Version,” a move she made to reclaim her artistic ownership following the bitter fallout from the sale of her original master recordings in 2020. (“Fearless” and “Red” precede it.)
“Taylor’s Version” of “Speak Now” boasts rerecords of the original 14 tracks from the album, along with two songs from the bonus version released in 2010 (“Ours” and “Superman”). The primary songs – including “Back to December,” “Mine,” “Sparks Fly” and “Mean” – remain faithful with a more polished sheen and Swift’s ever-confident vocals.
Eagle-eared Swifties also noticed that most of the songs vary in length by a second or two. As well, the lyric in “Better Than Revenge” has been tweaked from, “She’s better known for the things that she does on the mattress” to “He was a moth to a flame, she was holding the matches.”
But the treasure for fans is the six new “vault” tracks, two of which feature Fall Out Boy (on the anthemic “Electric Touch”) and Paramore’s Hayley Williams (the swooping ballad “Castles Crumbling”).
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Swift’s references to “Speak Now” have been low-key on her mammoth Eras Tour, with only one song, “Enchanted,” chosen to represent that period of her career.
At her June 24 concert in Minneapolis, Swift teased the rerelease of the album by performing “Dear John” as one of the two “surprise” songs she plays at each show. She prefaced the nearly seven-minute scathing musical summary of her relationship with John Mayer when she was 19 by asking her devotees not to harass Mayer online.
“I’m not putting this album out so you should feel the need to defend me on the internet against someone you think I might have written a song about,” she said.
‘When Emma Falls in Love’ is the best ‘vault’ song on ‘Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)’
While all six new (to us) songs are filled with Swift’s lush melodies and vivid storytelling lyrics, the standout among them is one that has had fans speculating about its subject for weeks.
“When Emma Falls in Love” is likely about longtime friend, actress Emma Stone, whom Swift has been close to since the late 2000s – roughly the same period she was writing songs for “Speak Now.”
Some lyrics point to the titular Emma indeed falling in love (“Emma met a boy with eyes like a man/turns out her heart fits right in the palm of her hands”). But closer scrutiny of Swift’s words indicate a sweeter meaning – the admiration and love she holds for her friend.
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As the song, full of elements from Swift’s crossover from country (banjo!) to pop (pretty piano melody!) escalates from a gentle ballad to an explosive chorus Swift sings, “’Cause she’s the kind of girl that you can’t put down, like if Cleopatra grew up in a small town/And all of the bad boys would be good boys if only they had a chance to love her/And to tell you the truth, sometimes I wish I was her.”
That’s not only a touching admission, but some pretty deep devotion.