Review of Red (Taylor’s Version)


Courtesy of Beth Garrabrant. A photo of Taylor Swift featured in her album Red (Taylor’s Version).

Olivia Stafford, Staff Writer

Taylor Swift recently re-recorded her album Red and released it on November 12th 2021. It features 30 songs, including a ten minute version of her song “All Too Well.” The ten minute version is accompanied by a short film starring Dylan O’ Brien and Sadie Sink. Swift re-recorded each song from the original Red album, adding 8 songs “from the Vault,” songs that are brand new to the album itself. Ed Sheeran, Phoebe Bridgers, and Chris Stapleton are included in some of the songs from the vault. Taylor has re-recorded 2 of her albums so far, Fearless and Red. As the albums are not owned by her, she wants to gain financial and legal control of the albums she produced.
The album is bittersweet, old memories, past lovers, broken hearts, love affairs, relationships falling apart, arguments blown out of proportion, and lots of feelings. Although the album is re-recorded, it somehow feels brand new. Her emotions sound raw and real, it’s like somebody’s taking a peek into Swift’s head and her thoughts. It demonstrates her growth as a person since these past heartbreaks, as well as the scope of her success in the music industry. Songs like “All Too Well” “Red” “Come Back..Be Here” will leave one teary eyed over an ex they can’t seem to get over. However, powerful uplifting songs like “22” “I Bet You Think About Me” “I Knew You Were Trouble” will leave someone feeling confident in moving on and with no regrets.
Some of the songs have similar themes in them. Swift’s song from the vault “Babe” has a common theme of being cheated on, how since she’s known she can’t shake off the feelings of betrayal , and how she can’t love him anymore because of what he did. “Since you admitted it / I keep picturing / Her lips on your neck / I can’t unsee it”. Swift’s 10 minute song version of “All Too Well” hints at a possible love affair her ex-lover had behind her back, “Just between us / Did the love affair maim you?” Perhaps Swift found out he was cheating during the relationship and never got to confront him about it. Maybe she found out after and has never told anybody until now. There are different ways to interpret that lyric, and fans are eager to discuss all of them
As well as songs with similar themes, there are different songs with contrasting themes on “Red.” “Starlight” is her wistfully looking back on a relationship, describing how much fun they had, like they were inseparable together. It’s melancholy in a way, despite how upbeat and cheerful the song sounds, it is something she once had that is now gone, but she does not regret any of it. Swift’s song classic “We Are Never Getting Back Together” demonstrates how she keeps breaking up and getting back together with this one person, and now she claims she is done for good. Her tone in the song sounds almost angry, resentful to the guy. This is very contrasting to the song “Starlight” as she does not sound like she has enjoyed much of her time being with this person.
Overall, the album “Red (Taylor’s Version)” is a phenomenal masterpiece, showing the slippery slopes of relationships and the hard parts of moving on, but eventually growing from what once broke her. It’s really special, because it’s really just even more evidence of how much Swift has grown and blossomed since she released “Red” in 2012.