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“It’s Been Waiting For You”: What Pace Students Are Saying About the ‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’ Vault Tracks

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace chapter.

Taylor Swift’s fifth studio album, 1989, was initially released on Oct. 27, 2014. Exactly nine years later, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) dropped with 21 tracks, including five “From The Vault” songs. Whether you’re in the mood for some of Swift’s most popular singles like “Shake It Off,” “Bad Blood,” and “Blank Space” or some of my personal favorites, “Clean,” “New Romantics,” and “You Are In Love,” this album has something for everyone. Swift herself claims, “To be perfectly honest, this is my most FAVORITE re-record I’ve ever done because the 5 From The Vault tracks are so insane. I can’t believe they were ever left behind.” The vault tracks include “‘Slut!,’” “Say Don’t Go,” “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Suburban Legends,” and “Is It Over Now?” During the 1989 World Tour, which took place between May and December of 2015, Swift brought out friends ranging in many music genres, including Nick Jonas, Mick Jagger, Fetty Wap, Idina Menzel, Pitbull, Lorde, Troye Sivan, Selena Gomez, Kelsey Ballerini, and so many more talented artists. She even brought out her group of girlfriends one night at MetLife Stadium as well as the U.S. Women’s Soccer National Team and their World Cup trophy from 2015. In true 1989 fashion, I thought it would be fitting, having recently chopped all of my hair off, to sit down with some of my own best friends and discuss these never before heard songs from our favorite artist together. Here are our thoughts:

“‘Slut!’”

Track one, “‘Slut!,’” was the first vault track to be revealed. Before listening, I wasn’t sure what I was in for. Was it going to be more similar to “Dress” from Reputation or “The Archer” from Lover? Swift sings themes of acceptance of how the media perceives her, claiming, “And if they call me a slut / You know it might be worth it for once.” She recognizes that in the limelight of social media, she can’t control what is said about her, so she might as well embrace it if it means she can date who she wants to date.  

For the first vault track, I interviewed fellow Her Campus at Pace member Federica Furingo, a freshman communication and media studies major. We listened to the album together at midnight on the release day, Oct. 27. At first, she said she “definitely thought it was going to be more of a song I could get up and dance to, something like ‘Bad Blood,’ but it turned out to be the complete opposite, which I ended up actually loving more. My favorite lyric is, ‘And if I’m going to be drunk / Might as well be drunk in love.’” Furingo feels like Swift’s relationship in the song is an “all or nothing” situation. Swift claims she saw this track as California while the rest of the album was New York, which is why she initially cut it from the tracklist. We agreed that she made the right decision, having chosen between “‘Slut!’” and “Blank Space.” Furingo says, “It almost makes sense that she’s releasing it now having dealt with the press more than ever before.”  Originally, Furingo rated this song an 8 out of 10, but after further consideration, she rated it a 10 out of 10, while I would give it a 6 out of 10.

“Say Don’t Go”

“Say Don’t Go” at first listen reminded me of Swift’s “You’re Losing Me” during the chorus. It feels emotionally complex without giving away too much. The instrumentation felt like a new take on 1989, sharing similarities to sounds we’ve grown to love over the past nine years, but with its own twist. It reminded me of track five, “All You Had To Do Was Stay,” as both songs deal with longing for a relationship that is slipping through her fingers. 

A classmate and friend of mine, Annalisa Lourdes, agrees. She says “‘Say Don’t Go’ is like the older sister to ‘All You Had To Do Was Stay.’ I wouldn’t be surprised if Taylor had to choose between the two originally.” Swift declares, “I said ‘I love you’ / You said nothing back,” encapsulating one’s needs and desires for their partner’s commitment adjacent to the feeling of being led on. “With a catchy hook, she captured the pop essence of a sticky situationship,” says Lourdes. She rates this song a 10 out of 10. 

“Now That We Don’t Talk”

This song is Swift’s shortest song of her entire discography, coming in at just two minutes and 26 seconds. If it were up to me, I would pull an “All Too Well” and make this song 10 minutes long because it’s criminally short. Perhaps the length of the song paired with its abrupt ending alludes to the song’s subject of losing contact with someone who used to hold importance in your life. Swift concurs in the chorus, “Guess maybe I’m better off now that we don’t talk.” 

“‘I don’t have to pretend I like acid rock’ just makes me wanna groove around,” says Marion Byrne, a forensic science major and suitemate of mine. This song has Jack Antonoff, a long-time friend and collaborator of Swift’s, effortlessly weaved into the medley. Byrne thinks, “It’s giving the vibe of her original radio pop.” We both found lines like, “I cannot be your friend, so I pay the price of what I lost / And what it cost, now that we don’t talk” thematically aligned with 1989, and even “cowboy like me” from evermore. She ranks this song fourth out of the five other vault tracks.

“Suburban Legends”

In one word, “Suburban Legends” is powerful. This track sounds similar to “Mastermind” off of Midnights while the lyrics give “Coney Island” from evermore. Captured in the lyrics are “moments of magnetic attraction and the complexities of love” says the musically aligned website, Genius. The best lyrics throughout all of the vault tracks, in my opinion, is “And you kissed me in a way that’s gonna screw me up forever.” I ranked this song third out of the five tracks, as well as rating it an 8 out of 10. From the very first listen, I left with the chorus stuck in my head, humming, “I didn’t come here to make friends / We were born to be suburban legends.” 

“I wanted to absorb it. It scratched my brain just right,” says “Suburban Legends” enthusiast Samantha Chatterjee. She is currently studying international management and is a member of the Residence Housing Association as a hall representative. I agree wholeheartedly with that statement. The beat alone has a great vibe to it. Chatterjee claims, “I thought it was a very bumpy song. Like dancey-pants.” She agrees that it sounded cool, like a song that draws your attention to an album you originally put on for background noise. She rates “Suburban Legends” a 9 out of 10 and crowns it as her favorite song from the vault. 

“Is It Over Now?”

As we round the end of the tracklist, having thoroughly enjoyed this album, I don’t want to have to ask, “Is It Over Now?” However, we have reached the final vault track. I have a special place in my heart for the final songs on albums. I love how it often wraps up loose ends or leaves you in a place different from where you started. “New Year’s Day” from Reputation is another example of this. “Is It Over Now?” felt so far away from “Welcome To New York,” yet still concluded the album in a way I thought defined the sound of 1989 (Taylor’s Version). The dust has finally settled, and what’s left is what I believe to be one of my favorite vault tracks of all “Taylor’s Version” albums yet. Although it’s not confirmed by Swift, it’s hard not to point fingers at none other than Harry Styles, who dated Swift in 2012, when discussing who the song is about. The lyrics presumably reference “Out Of The Woods,” detailing more about the snowmobile accident between Swift and Styles. She sings, “When you lost control / Red blood, white snow,” in comparison to, “Remember when you hit the brakes too soon? / Twenty stitches in a hospital room.” Even, “Was it over when she laid down on your couch?” hurts Swift in correlation with, “We were lying on your couch / I remember.” The lyrics are so cutting and descriptive like a page ripped out of Swift’s diary circa 2013 with infidelity written all over it. This song floored me. “You dream of my mouth before it called you a lying traitor.” and “You search in every model’s bed for somethin’ greater” left me in complete and utter shock. Through her own mixed emotions and values of self-respect, it feels as if Swift is letting us in on some of her deepest secrets. I rate this song a 10 out of 10 and rank it as the best 1989 (Taylor’s Version) vault track.

My Ranking

  1. Is It Over Now?
  2. Now That We Don’t Talk
  3. Suburban Legends
  4. Say Don’t Go 
  5. ‘Slut!”

I would like to say “thank you” to all of my wonderful friends who agreed to be a part of this article! This was my metaphorical world tour and I couldn’t imagine bringing anyone else out as special guests to sing and dance with me. It goes without saying that Taylor Swift is one of the most unique artists of our generation and continuously proves this through her music, especially re-releases like this. Up next, her debut album and Reputation…are you “Ready For It?”

Ella Rodriguez is a member of Her Campus at Pace University in New York City. She enjoys writing about different elements of the world of entertainment, specifically music and movies. She looks forward to working and collaborating with the members of Her Campus at Pace! Ella is a Freshman this year and studying Communications and Media Studies. She is originally from Worcester, Massachusetts. Outside of Her Campus, she hopes to engage in more campus activities and clubs. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, and watching movies. Her favorites include La La Land, Little Women (2019), Bohemian Rhapsody, and Interstellar. If you find her with her headphones in, she’s probably listening to Phoebe Bridgers and trying to romanticize the fall weather. Ella is also an avid enjoyer of tap dance after competing in dance competitions for 12 years. She is excited to live in and explore the city for the next few years and grow as a writer!