There’s no underestimating Taylor Swift’s ability to keep fans on their toes and delightfully surprise them. After a long battle in an attempt to get her masters back and showing fans what was going on behind closed doors with her old label Big Machine Records, Swift decided to do what artists such as JoJo have: re-record previously released material and release it with their rights, however they want. This proved to be a successful effort after her re-recording of her second studio album Fearless went on to sell big time and allow fans to re-experience the songs they’ve loved for over a decade for the first time again. With a handful of new songs from the vault, there were new tracks to experience that didn’t make the cut from the Fearless era (and if you’ve heard the platinum edition, you know there were a lot of songs to go around!). Now, even with her re-recording of her widely beloved fourth studio album Red coming out in November, Swift decided to give fans a taste of what a re-recorded 1989 would be like by releasing the re-recording of “Wildest Dreams.”
Swift joked on social media that since her 2015 single gained popularity as a sound on social media app TikTok, that fans should have her version of it. After the song made an appearance in the trailer for Spirit Untamed and there was no follow-up, fans were left wondering when it would drop. So, in true Swift fashion, she dropped it without prior warning Friday morning; sending everyone into a frenzy. You might be asking “Why all the craze if the song is seven years old?” But there’s plenty to find delight in with “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version).”
The most obvious difference in this version is Swift’s voice. She’s obviously grown more vocally throughout the years, and her matured voice pairs with the crisper, arguably shinier and bolder instrumentals that the re-recording provides. There’s more of a vocal depth this time around that is most notable in the chorus. It sounds more refined; reflective of a now-31-year-old woman who’s had plenty of time to reimagine a song and give it a new life. It doesn’t get rid of the elements that made “Wildest Dreams” the dream of a song it was back when 1989 was released in 2014; moreover, it enhances them. The harmonies and other backing vocals that brought the amplification in the final chorus originally make their designated appearance to suck you in for the final moments. Listeners are reminded that Swift is much of a vocalist as she is a songwriter. She hits the notes she sang years ago with grace while pinpointing the song’s lyrical poignancy. It’s a delightfully nostalgic moment for those who fell in love with “Wildest Dreams” and 1989 a long time ago; however, it’s also a brand new one.
If “Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version)” is a testament to anything about the infamous Taylor Swift, she knows how to keep her fans excited while showing us that she’s still growing along with us. Re-experiencing the classic songs and deep cuts from her catalog has proven to be worth the effort she has put into making these recordings her own, even if she was the person who wrote, sang, and performed them initially. Swift continues to come into her own while reflecting on her past self, and that’s something few artists can truly achieve. Until we get Red (Taylor’s Version), we can treat ourselves to the new version of “Wildest Dreams.” And maybe we can think about all the memories we had with it and perhaps even make new ones.