Original ‘Love Story’ vs Taylor Swift’s new version: Which is better?

Published February 27, 2021, 1:00 PM

by Punch Liwanag

So which Taylor Swift did a better version of “Love Story?”

With pop superstar Taylor Swift’s announcement that she is re-recording most of the songs from her earlier hit albums and the subsequent release of a new recording of “Love Story,” Taylor’s fans–or Swifties–naturally got excited at the prospect that their idol is brushing up on their favorite tunes.

But other than dedicated fan service, and annoying Scooter Braun to no end—which some might say would be the real motivating factor behind Taylor’s move to re-record all of her past albums from her time with Big Machine Entertainment, which the latter bought. It begs the question: What did Swift really do with “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)”?

On the production side, Taylor decided that staying faithful to the original 2008 version was the way to go. She also gathered most of the musicians who played on the original and got them involved for the 2021 version. Casual listening to both songs, one after another, does give the impression that very little has changed. But on closer inspection, one notices some nuance.

We would say that the lap steel guitar on the original is a tad more prominent than the latest. The drums on the new version does sound brighter and if possible, sounds like it has more pep.

Other comparisons would note that “the banjo, fiddle and violins on “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” are more prominent,” with “clearly defined bass instruments, stronger drums, less harsh electric guitars and lowered harmonies in the mix.”

But obsessing over of all the sonic nuances frankly would be moot. For all we know, a different amp setting, or a mixer fader that was left higher than was intended, was what spelled the difference between the two. Other than the fact that the same song were recorded by the same musicians more than a decade apart.

Obviously, it all boils down to Taylor’s voice.

19-year old Taylor would certainly pale in comparison to present day Swift, given the experience that countless recordings and tours have given the latter.

But younger Swift would naturally sound more, err, innocent. And you can’t fake the earnestness of youth. Present day Swift would be wiser and doesn’t back down and would stick it to Scooter Braun. And yes, it comes out in ‘Taylor’s Version.’  

So who edges out who? Obviously, a clear tie.

“Fearless: Taylor’s Version” comes out on April 9.

 
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