Taylor Swift fans no longer have to leave what her re-recordings of her old catalog might sound like to pure speculation. She has revealed a snippet of one of them in a highly comical new commercial for the dating site Match: a redo of her O.G. hit “Love Story.”
Swift posted on Twitter: “Okay so while my new re-records are NOT done, my friend @ asked me if he could use a snippet of one for a LOLsome commercial he wrote so… here’s a sneak peak of Love Story! Working hard to get the music to you soon!!”
Okay so while my new re-records are NOT done, my friend @VancityReynolds asked me if he could use a snippet of one for a LOLsome commercial he wrote so…here’s a sneak peak of Love Story! Working hard to get the music to you soon!! https://t.co/0vBFXxaRXR
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) December 2, 2020
The tweet links to Swift pal Ryan Reynolds sending out a new minute-and-a-half-long commercial in which a devilish looking figure right out of “Legend” finds true love with a young lady in a deserted big city, in spite of or because of quarantine conditions. “I just don’t want this year to end,” says the monstrous figure at the end, right after the happy couple has posed in front of a literal dumpster fire, as flaming fireballs approach the earth.
Swift’s new version of “Love Story” kicks in at about the halfway point of the ad. And it answers the musical question: Will Swift be recording soundalikes of her old material, or reinterpreting it for a new era? From this example, the answer would seem to be clearly: the former.
That’s a strong indication that Swift really means it when she’s said she wants to steer attention away from the Big Machine versions of her first six albums by giving fans an alternative that serves exactly the same needs — or, just as importantly, gives advertisers and music supervisors that alternative. Shamrock, the new holder of her master recordings, will not be able to license the music for syncs without also having rights to the publishing, which is held by Swift.
Maximum Effort is described in its Twitter bio as “a company that makes “movies, TV series, content and cocktails for the personal amusement of @. We occasionally release them to the general public.”
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) December 2, 2020
In an interview on “Good Morning America” last week, Swift had said, “So far, of the ones I’ve recorded, I think it’s been the most fun doing ‘Love Story’ because the older music, my voice was so teenaged and I sometimes, when I hear my older music and my older young teenage voice, it makes me feel like I’m a different singer now. So it’s been the most fun to re-record ones that I feel like I could actually possibly improve upon the song.”
Nevertheless, the version heard in the Match ad leans heavily back into the country instrumentation, if not the exact voicing, of the 2008 original, a major crossover hit from her sophomore album. The single not only topped the country chart but went to No. 1 at adult contemporary and mainstream Top 40 formats.