Taylor Swift has an unnatural ability to revamp albums and make them somehow even better. On Speak Now (Taylor's Version), this trend occurs once again.
For the record, Taylor Swift has a very good reason for remaking many of her earlier albums. She does this not as some kind of money grab - she likely doesn't need the money that badly - but because re-recording the tracks allows her to take back the master recordings of her back catalog. This gives her more control over the songs she created. Smart.
Speak Now (Taylor's Version) is now a 22-track album, with six of the songs being unreleased prior to now. Swift did write all the songs (of course, duh!) when she was 18 or 19 years old, so the themes of the original version of the record remain the same even for the new tracks.
Speak Now (Taylor's Version) is worthy of a million listens
What has changed, slightly, on the re-recorded songs that were on the original album is that Taylor Swift sounds even better, her voice more mature, and used more as an instrument that signing the words. She is an artist with full access to all of her magnificent gifts. The album also has a production of more of Swift now instead of the Swift of 2010 when the original version came out. That's a good thing too.
As far as the previously unreleased songs, there are a couple of standouts. "Castles Crumbling" features Swift and Paramore's Hayley Williams. The two have already done the song in covert before (obviously!) and Swift and Paramore will be touring the UK and Europe together next year and performing this song at shows.
But the song is strong enough on its own merit without the gimmick of having Williams on it as well. The two sound fantastic together. Plus, the song about having a nation of Swifties turn their backs on the former favorite musical artist is a slow-tempo beauty.
The other standout of the previously unreleased tracks from the Vault is the closer, "Timeless." Another slower-tempo tune that aches with yearning and Swift singing about a boundless love. It won't make you teary immediately, unless you are next to the person you share life with.