The Yellow Jacket

The Student Voice of Randolph-Macon College

The Yellow Jacket

The Yellow Jacket

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The Re-Release of 1989 – Responses to Taylor Swift and her Album

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On October 27, 2023, Taylor Swift re-released her album “1989,” receiving over 110 million audio streams and breaking Spotify records, including “most streamed artist” and “album” in a single day. But how did Randolph-Macon College (R-MC) students, faculty, and staff react to the release? Senior Anna Darling (’24) and freshman Haley Talley (’27) sought to find out!

When asked about the newest album, some people said they were excited to listen but hadn’t found the time yet. “I have a 45-minute drive ahead of me, so I will be listening to it,” said sophomore Taylor Collins (’26).

However, others had already listened to it, like freshman Kendall Towne (’27), who said, “I listened at 12 o’clock last night when it came out…I loved it.”

Some students were less interested, stating they would not be listening or were not even aware that the album had come out. When asked if he was planning on listening, senior Ryan Kuerek (’24) said, “Probably not. If someone were to show it to me, I’d listen to it, but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to listen to it myself.”

While not everyone wanted to listen, most had exceedingly kind things to say about the artist, like Campus Store head Barclay DuPriest, who said, “I have never been to a Taylor Swift concert, but I have friends who are my age in their 70s who are nuts about her.”

Sergeant Paulette Parish said, “she’s pretty, she’s young, her music sounds good.”

Freshman Olivia Cheatham (’27) said, “out of all the singers, I would say she’s probably one of the least problematic ones.”

Also, music professor Dr. Antonio Hunt mentioned that her concerts were entertaining, keeping her audience focused. He also discussed how Swift is bringing an economic boom to the United States. Hunt added, “a lot of my students love Taylor Swift.”

But why is Swift releasing her albums a second time? She had been fighting her record label, Big Machine, for the rights to her own music for years. When the label was sold to Ithaca, the rights to all her masters were given to major music manager Scooter Braun instead of being sold back to Swift. Now, with every new release, Swift owns the re-recorded songs labeled “Taylor’s Version.”

With all the drama, many R-MC students had high praise for Swift’s re-releasing streak, including freshman Berkley Young (’27), who said, “I think it’s pretty badass of her to stand up to her record label,” Collins, who said, “Screw Scooter Braun. We hate him,” and sophomore Alex LePage (’26), who said, “It inspires me because I have a lot of interest in art and keeping those things really proprietary, and for it to be for yourself is something that’s really inspirational to me.”

Others were not sure why she was releasing the same albums. Freshman Charlie Thornton (’27) said, “Re-releasing doesn’t give her more credibility but…she’s still making money off of it,” and sophomore Alex Barbee (’26) said, “I have seen remasters before…but re-releasing? I don’t know about that. That’s kind of like doing the same thing over again.”

Another reason Swift is experiencing a surge in popularity is due to her relationship with the NFL Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. After mentioning that he wanted to give Swift his number on his podcast “New Heights,” the two have been seen together multiple times, with Swift attending his football games and Kelce attending the Saturday Night Live after party with her.

Many students mentioned how they love Kelce and Swift’s relationship. Freshman Sam Smith (’27) said, “I think [their relationship] is absolutely real, and I think it will change everyone’s lives if they either get married or break up.”  Towne said, “I think she’s making him more famous.”

Some students had differing opinions, like Thornton who said, “I think Travis Kelce definitely is leading that relationship right now. I mean I think it’s fake, but I love Travis.”

Freshman Presley Marks (’27) said, “I think it’s nobody’s business…it shouldn’t involve everybody else.”

Swift recently finished the U.S. leg of her ERAS Tour alongside the re-release. Many people mentioned the concert, like Student Life Senior Coordinator and R-MC alumna Elizabeth Simmons (’21), who flew all the way to Denver, Colorado for the show and said, “I love Taylor Swift, and I had an awesome experience at the concert.”

Many R-MC folks also mentioned attending the newly released ERAS Tour movie, including Smith who said Ticketmaster “crashed” on her, and she couldn’t get tickets for the concert.

Lastly, we wanted to touch on the opposition Swift has been facing. Many people have accused her of being overrated. A few students agreed, mentioning the repetitive nature of her songs, like Thorton who said, “she needs to be more creative,” and Barbee who said, “all the songs kind of sound the same.”

Others disagreed, like freshman Aaden Sconyers (’27), who explained, “she’s a really good singer…just that alone is enough to really deserve popularity.”

Freshman Caylie Kennedy (’27) said, “she’s very inspirational, and I love how every song has a meaning behind it.”

Although there are many different opinions about Taylor Swift, she has undoubtedly left a lasting impression on many people at R-MC, including those who have been listening to her since her music came out in 2006.

While conducting interviews at R-MC, some “Swifties” emerged to talk about her and her music, some admitted to not knowing much about her but liking her, and some did not like her at all. If you’re looking for to talk about Swift, chances are someone in your class, in your dorm, or on your way to Estes will have something to say about her, too.

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Anna Darling, Features Editor
Haley Talley, Staff Writer
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