The re-recorded version of Taylor Swift’s 2010 album Speak Now is here, including six unreleased songs from the vault. As Swifties know, this project is part of Taylor’s mission to own her music and follows the release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version) in 2021.
Speak Now, Taylor’s third album, was written between the ages of 18-20 and in her own words, “tells a tale of growing up, flailing, flying and crashing … and living to speak about it.” Taylor describes the songs as “marked by their brutal honesty, unfiltered diaristic confessions and wild wistfulness.”
One of the special things about this record is that it was entirely self-written with no co-writers, allowing us to hear Taylor’s story in her own words. With the release also comes six new vault tracks (never-before-heard songs which almost made the original tracklist), giving us a broader perspective.
Here’s my official Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) vault song ranking:
1. I Can See You
Favourite lyric: And I could see you being my addiction / You can see me as a secret mission
‘I Can See You’ is a sultry song that sees Taylor seductively address a potential lover, while knowing that her attraction is ill-advised – it feels like Speak Now‘s version of “Diesel is desire, you were playing with fire.” With it’s dark and moody tone, it shows off a completely different sound that we’ve never heard before.
2. Electric Touch ft. Fall Out Boy
Favourite lyric: Got a feeling your electric touch could fill this ghost town up with life
‘Electric Touch’ was the song I was most excited about and I’m obsessed with seeing Taylor lean more into a rock vibe. The pairing of Taylor and Fall Out Boy was a great choice and the track had a lot of potential, but the production falls slightly flat for me to put this in the top spot.
3. Castles Crumbling ft. Hayley Williams
Favourite lyric: And I watch all my bridges burn to the ground
‘Castles Crumbling’ is a haunting track that sees Taylor explore her deepest fears about losing the career and fanbase she’s built. The metaphors are on point, with some really beautiful lyrics that hit you. Taylor and Hayley’s harmonies are a highlight, with their voices blending so perfectly together it’s hard to distinguish them at times.
4. Foolish One
Favourite lyric: My cards are on the table / yours are in your hand
‘Foolish One’ encapsulates the cycle of hope and disappointment of waiting for confessions of love that never come, something that feels like it’s straight out of Taylor’s high school diary. The jingly backing instrumental comes across as slightly incongruous to the lyrics, but the song gets better as it goes on. Taylor’s switch to low deeper vocals in the last chorus is striking and feels like present-day her talking to her younger self.
Favourite lyric: The kinda love that you only find once in a lifetime / the kind that you don’t put down
‘Timeless’ demonstrates Taylor’s incredible talent for storytelling and transforms listeners to an entirely different era with its nostalgic wistfulness, focusing on the stories of old-age lovers. The lyric video is especially poignant as it uses photos of Taylor’s grandparents.
6. When Emma Falls in Love
Favourite lyric: ‘Cause she’s the kind of book that you can’t put down / like if Cleopatra grew up in a small town
‘When Emma Falls in Love’ is a cute track about a girl named Emma (rumoured to be Emma Stone) who Taylor wishes she was more like. The melody at times actually reminds me of ‘Drops of Jupiter’, a song which Taylor covered on her Speak Now Tour setlist. The song is nice, but it’s easy to see why Taylor left it in favour of stronger material.