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Is It Over Now? (From The Vault)

Single | 1989 (Taylor's Version) [2023]

“Is It Over Now? (Taylor’s Version) [From The Vault]” is a song written by Taylor and Jack Antonoff that appears on 1989 (Taylor’s Version),  her fourth re-recorded album. It was released on October 27, 2023. Rooted in storytelling, the song chronicles a complex but failed romance riddled with uncertainty and resentment.
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Background and Release

After signing a new contract with Republic Records, Taylor began re-recording her first six studio albums in November 2020. The decision followed a public dispute in 2019 between Taylor, her old record label Big Machine Records and its CEO Scott Borchetta as well as talent manager Scooter Braun, who acquired Big Machine, including the masters of Taylor’s albums which the label had released. By re-recording the albums, Taylor had full ownership of the new masters, which enabled her to control the licensing of her songs for commercial use and therefore substituted the Big Machine–owned masters. From April 2021 to July 2023, she released three re-recorded albums of her earlier releases: Fearless (Taylor’s Version), RED (Taylor’s Version), and Speak Now (Taylor’s Version); each album also featured several unreleased “From the Vault” tracks that she had written but left out of the original albums’ track listings.

Republic Records released Taylor’s fourth re-recorded album, 1989 (Taylor’s Version), on October 27, 2023, on the ninth anniversary of her fifth original studio album, 1989 (2014). The original album was Taylor’s first “official pop” album after she had marketed her first four albums to country radio, and it transformed her artistry and image from country to pop. As with her other re-recorded projects, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) features five newly-recorded “From the Vault” tracks that she had written but left out of the original track listing. “Is It Over Now?” is one of the vault tracks Taylor had written in 2013-2014 but excluded from the tracklist of 1989.

Lyrical Theme

An introspective song, “Is It Over Now?” chronicles a romantic relationship after its end, with lyrics describing various moments, such as alleging mistakes committed by both partners, memories, and confessions. In a voice note shared to Tumblr Music on October 27, 2023, Taylor said the following about “Is It Over Now?”:

«'Is It Over Now?' was a song I wanted to end the album because I think it's a funny play on words of like, 'Is the album over now?' And I always saw this song as sort of a sister to 'Out of the Woods' and 'I Wish You Would'. I kind of saw those songs as similar, so unfortunately when we were making these decisions on what to put on 1989 and what to leave behind I had to make some tough choices. And now that doesn't matter anymore because you guys are gonna hear all the songs. So, I am so happy about this one being out! I really love the, 'Let's fast forward to 300 takeout coffees later' section, I feel like headbanging to it every time it comes on. Hope you agree!»

Upon the song’s release, media outlets speculated that the lyrics discuss Taylor’s relationship with English singer Harry Styles, circa 2012, which publicly ended in January 2013 following a “doomed” vacation to the Caribbean. Journalists purported that the details described in “Is It Over Now?” reference various publicized developments in the relationship.

Live Performances

Taylor first performed “Is It Over Now?” during her sixth headlining concert tour, “The Eras Tour” (2023-2024). It was the first surprise song during her show on November 11, 2023, in Buenos Aires (Argentina). As an extra surprise, she decided to mash up the song with the bridge of “Out of the Woods.” The two songs were written about the same relationship. Before playing it, she thanked the audience in the stadium and all over the world for making the recently released 1989 (Taylor’s Version) such a success:

«You know, last week was a really, really important week. [...] I know that there are a lot of people watching the acoustic set from all different parts of the world, which is absolutely an honor, and so anyone anywhere who is listening to this right now, thank you so much for supporting my version of 1989. You know, I really knew I needed to get it right. 1989 is such, such an important album in my life, so for you to have embraced it the way you did, like it had the biggest debut sales week of my entire career! I am so blown away! And you did something else that is absolutely beyond my comprehension, which is that a song I wrote for 1989 which didn’t make the album, you guys got that song to go No. 1 on the Hot 100!»

Taylor sang “Is It Over Now?” again on February 25, 2024, during her third “Eras Tour” show in Sydney. It was part of an acoustic guitar mashup, together with “I Wish You Would” (2014).

Critical Reception

In the reviews of 1989 (Taylor’s Version), “Is It Over Now?” received standout compliments from music critics. Insider Inc.’s Callie Ahlgrim, Ed Power of i and The Line of Best Fit‘s Kelsey Barnes ranked it as the best vault track. Ahlgrim praised the rhetorical and existential tone of the lyrics, Taylor’s fast-paced and “urgent” vocals, and Antonoff’s production, and opined that Taylor’s lyric on suicidal ideation (“I think about jumping off of very tall somethings”) was “real”. Power felt the song is a “spiritual sequel” to “I Knew You Were Trouble.” (2012). Jeff Nelson of People dubbed “Is It Over Now?” a cross between “Out of the Woods” (2014) and “Labyrinth” (2022), musically. Barnes wrote, the song “truly is a paragon of Swift’s knack for narrative building—perfectly encapsulating the essence of the original 1989 and weaving it through its rerecorded twin.”

To Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph, “Is It Over Now?” is the vault track that can compete with the original 1989 singles. He called the song’s chorus “masterful” and Taylor a “world class lyricist” for her knack in writing “snappy couplets [that] never come at the expense of emotional truth”. Alex Berry of Clash called the song one of Taylor’s most introspective works to-date, featuring an “evocative and engaging” music production. Billboard executive Jason Lipshutz described the song as a soaring “storytelling exercise” with “instantly relatable” characters and circumstances. NME critic Hollie Geraghty said that the song “stings” with resentment and confessions to Taylor’s “toxic impulses”.

Shaad D’Souza of Pitchfork wrote that lyrics such as “You dream of my mouth before it called you a lying traitor” are “an instant addition to Swift’s already-heaving canon of perfect last words.” Ludovic Hunter-Tilney, in the Financial Times, noted that “Is It Over Now?” has the heavy 1980s drums and synthesizers characteristic of 1989 and interpreted the final lyrics of the song (“But no”) as an indication that the “misbegotten relationship” ultimately failed. Lauren Huff at Entertainment Weekly and Dylan Kickham of Elite Daily saw the track as the answer to the questions asked in “Out of the Woods”, “providing insight” into the “ill-fated” romance.

Commercial Performance

Upon the release of 1989 (Taylor’s Version), “Is It Over Now?” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming Taylor’s eleventh No. 1 hit, and replacing her own “Cruel Summer“. Taylor became the first female artist in history to replace herself at No. 1 on the chart on multiple occasions. The first time she achieved the feat was exactly nine years earlier in 2014 after the release of 1989, when “Blank Space” replaced “Shake It Off“. It also made her the first female artist and solo artist to have three different No. 1 from three different albums in a calendar year.

For markets outside the United States, “Is It Over Now?” peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Global Excl. US chart. The single debuted at No. 1 on the singles charts of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. On the Billboard Global 200, the single became Taylor’s fourth No. 1 song, extending her record for the most chart toppers among female artists. It peaked in the Top 10 of singles charts in Ireland (No. 2), Singapore (No. 4), the Philippines (,No. 6), Latvia (No. 8), and the United Arab Emirates (No. 10). The single also reached the Top 10 on charts of several European territories, peaking at No. 11 in Norway, No. 15 in Sweden, No. 16 in Portugal, No. 18 in Austria, and No. 20 in Lithuania.

Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Once the flight had flown
With the wilt of the rose
I slept all alone
But you still wouldn’t go

[Pre-Chorus 1]
Let’s fast forward to 300 takeout coffees later
I see your profile and your smile on unsuspecting waiters
You dream of my mouth before it called you a lying traitor
You search in every maiden’s bed for something greater

[Chorus]
Baby, was it over
When she laid down on your couch?
Was it over when he unbottened my blouse?
“Come here,” I whispered in your ear
In your dream as you passed out, baby
Was it over then?
And is it over now?

[Verse 2]
When you lost control
Red blood, white snow
Blue dress on a boat
Your new girl is my clone

[Bridge]
And did you think I didn’t see you?
There were flashing lights
At least I had the decency to keep my nights out of sight
Only rumors ’bout my hips and thighs
And my whispered sighs
Oh, Lord, I think about jumping
Off of very tall somethings
Just to see you come running
And say the one thing I’ve been wanting
But no

[Pre-Chorus 2]
Let’s fast forward to 300 awkward blind dates later
If she’s got blue eyes I will surmise that you’ll probably date her
You dream of my mouth before it called you a lying traitor
You search in every model’s bed for something greater

[Chorus]
Baby, was it over
When she laid down on your couch?
Was it over when he unbottened my blouse?
“Come here”, I whispered in your ear
In your dream as you passed out, baby
Was it over then?
And is it over now?

[Bridge Variation]
And did you think I didn’t see you?
There were flashing lights
At least I had the decency to keep my nights out of sight
Only rumors ’bout my hips, and thighs
And my whispered sighs
Oh, Lord, I think about jumping
Off of very tall somethings
Just to see you come running (Running)
And say the one thing I’ve been wanting
But no (Flashing lights)

[Outro]
Let’s fast forward to 300 takeout coffees later
I was hoping you’d be there
And say the one thing I’d been wanting
But no

General Information
ArtistTaylor Swift
Album1989 (Taylor’s Version)
ReleasedOctober 27, 2023
Written2013-2014
StudiosConway (Hollywood, CA)
Electric Lady (New York, NY)
Rough Customer (Brooklyn, NY)
Sharp Sonics (Los Angeles, CA)
GenrePop
Length3:49
LabelRepublic Records
SongwritersTaylor Swift
Jack Antonoff
ProducersJack Antonoff
Taylor Swift
1989 CHRONOLOGY
Suburban LegendsIs It Over Now?Sweeter Than Fiction
Single Certification
Taylor on January 4, 2013
Instagram Teaser
Song Artwork
Live Performance
Lyric Video
Official Audio