I was around six or seven years old when I stumbled upon Taylor Swift. Sitting on my bedroom floor with my twin sister, I watched her belt to her hometown critics about how good her life would become once she’s “livin’ in a big ol’ city.” I’ve been captivated by her since — her lyricism and personality make me feel that my feelings are understood.
After a dispute with her former record label, Swift started to re-record her first six studio albums to regain control over the master recordings in 2019. In the new “Taylor’s Version” albums, she has included “From the Vault” tracks, or songs not featured on the original albums. Swift has released 21 such tracks so far, and this is a Swiftie’s ranking of the top 10.
10. “Run (Taylor’s Version)”
There is a breathtaking beauty in “Run.” Lines like “there’s a heart on your sleeve / I’ll take it when I leave / and hold it for you” evoke the delicate intimacy in relationships. “Run” speaks to Swift’s ability to touch our souls and inspire us to keep pursuing our dreams, no matter the obstacles we encounter. The seamless collaboration between Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift is a testament to their friendship.
9. “When Emma Falls in Love (Taylor’s Version)”
“When Emma Falls in Love” is a perfect ode to friendship. Written for Emma Stone, it captures the beauty of falling in love from a watcher’s perspective.
8. “I Can See You (Taylor’s Version)”
I was not prepared to be so captivated by “I Can See You.” Each verse feels like a window into her unspoken desires and yearnings. Lines like “I could see you in your suit and necktie / pass me a note saying ‘meet me tonight’ / then we kiss, and you know I won’t ever tell” create an alluring storyline without sacrificing the beauty of their imagery.
7. “Don’t You (Taylor’s Version)”
The mesmerizing vocals of Taylor Swift in “Don’t You” create a track that can mend a broken heart. Swift’s mellow voice sets a soothing mood; the relatability of the lyrics could help anyone find strength through heartache.
6. “That’s When (Taylor’s Version)”
“That’s When,” a delightful collaboration with country star Keith Urban, is lively and charming. The conversational tone and catchy melodies make this track a brilliant work that captures the essence of love’s complexities.
5. “I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version)”
In a fiery diss track that oozes with country perfection, “I Bet You Think About Me” is an empowering song where Taylor takes charge of a post-breakup narrative. Swift’s country accent and Chris Stapleton’s backing vocals are immaculate. Lines like “Does it make you feel sad that the love that you’re looking for is the love that you had?” strike a chord with anyone who has experienced a bad breakup.
4. “Better Man (Taylor’s Version)”
“Better Man” impresses me with sheer beauty. The heartfelt lyrics and Swift’s delicate delivery make this song an emotional powerhouse. While generally thought to be about a lover, the track could be interpreted as being written for any male figure in one’s life, for whom one “waited on every careless word / hoping they might turn sweet again like it was in the beginning.”
3. “Mr. Perfectly Fine (Taylor’s Version)”
Get ready to embark on an emotional rollercoaster with “Mr. Perfectly Fine,” a must-listen that captures the complexities of heartbreak. Swift’s passionate delivery hits right in the feels, while the production takes the track to another level. This song perfectly encapsulates the experience of witnessing an ex moving on with catchy lyrics like “It takes everything in me just to get up each day / but it’s wonderful to see that you’re okay.”
2. “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)”
Swift created an absolute masterpiece with her 10-minute version of “All Too Well.” The iconic song takes you on a journey into the raw emotions of a past relationship. This extended version is a rare gem that offers a glimpse into the artist’s creative process and invites us to experience the feelings that inspired her writing. Lines like “The idea you had of me, who was she? / A never-needy, ever-lovely jewel whose shine reflects on you” give me chills every time.
1. “Nothing New (Taylor’s Version)”
“Nothing New” blows me away every single time. This song perfectly illustrates girlhood and growing up, with featured artist Phoebe Bridgers’s soothing voice adding an extra layer of beauty to Swift’s narration. The lyrics “Are we only biding time ’til I lose your attention?” capture the purest essence of nostalgia, allowing me to reflect on the journey of womanhood.
Editor’s Note: This article is a review and includes subjective thoughts, opinions and critiques.