Red (Taylor’s Version) Review

    Previously published Jan 16, 2022.
    Red (Taylors Version) Review

    Previously published Jan 16, 2022.


    On November 12, 2021, country-turned-pop icon Taylor Swift released a remastered version of her 2012 studio album Red. Following the re-release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Swift has been re-recording albums as a countermeasure against her old agency, BMLG, and the changed ownership of the masters for her first six albums. Last November, Swift’s 13-year contract with BMLG expired, with Swift signing a new day with Republic and Universal Music Group Records, leading to Swift starting a new era for her music.

    In August, Swift stated that she “can’t wait to dust off our highest hopes and relive these memories together”. Just like with Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version) is a mixture of her past songs like “All Too Well” and “22”, and previously unreleased songs like “Babe” and “Message In A Bottle”, branding them as “(From The Vault)”.

    One of the songs from Red (Taylor’s Version) that captured a lot of attention was “Babe”. This song was previously released by Sugarland, a country singer-songwriter duo, in 2018, with Taylor Swift as a feature. While this song was sung by Sugarland as a duet, in Red (Taylor’s Version), Swift sang her (From the Vault) version as a solo, changing some of the verses and garnering over 15,000,000 Spotify listens as of December 1st. While “Babe” was a phenomenal song, many argued that Sugarland’s version was preferable; Emma Trevino of DailyLobo states that Sugarland’s “country twang” suited the lyrics and aesthetic of the song better. Another song “(From The Vault)” was “The Very First Night”, a “spunky pop anthem” that has an upbeat rhythm. Social media has been speculating the meaning and origins of the song, with many people wondering if this song was related to the potential lover of Swift, Diana Agron. While Swift hasn’t confirmed her sexuality or relationship, many people have speculated that the lyrics “They don’t know how much I miss you” would be better suited as “they don’t know how much I miss her” due to the rhyming of the song.

    One of the re-recordings that some people thought could’ve been better was “22 (Taylor’s Version)”. One of the points of criticism for this song was the addition of a high-pitched “Whee” during the ending portion instead of a lower-pitched one. Many people claimed that they thought this addition was childish and didn’t suit the album style.

    An unexpected “(From the Vault)” song was “Something New”. This indie-rock style, featuring Phoebe Bridgers, mimics Swift’s recent releases, Folklore, and its sister album Evermore. This song’s story is brilliantly executed, explaining the nuances and toils of being a young woman in the music industry, not knowing when people’s interests will fade because of your inability to change.

    Taylor Swift shook the world with her release of “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)”. That’s right folks, this song is ten minutes long, and what a bewitching ten minutes it is! Fans have even started using this song as a measure of time, equating half an hour to three “All Too Well’s”. This heartbreaking ballad takes us through a tragic yet spellbinding journey of her relationship that ended in despair. The final verse and outro were the most spine chilling parts of the song when she exposes her ex-lover with this unexpected yet remarkable lyric, “And I was never good at telling jokes/ But the punchline goes/ I’ll get older but your lovers stay my age” then Swift directly addresses her ex-lover, “Just between us did the love affair maim you too?” Then, a sudden turn of event-. her voice sinks deeper with a bit of vocal fry. It layers upon itself. Magic dust fills the air. And suddenly you’re transported to a different world.

    She further brought this masterpiece to life with her first-ever directorial debut: All Too Well: The Short Film, starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, which was as exceptional as the song. The film mirrored the lyrics, with the exception of the break in the middle — the argument, filmed in mostly one-shot, between “Her” (Sadie Sink) and “Him” (Dylan O’Brien). The entire film was structured around four chapters of the relationship:
    “An Upstate Escape”, “The First Crack in the Glass”, “Are You Real?”, and “The Breaking Point”. In the end, Sink is revealed to be Swift’s younger self as we are surprised by Swift’s appearance. Sink’s acting perfectly captured the feeling of vulnerability Swift put into her song; it was raw, real, and heart-wrenching- the perfect addition to the new Red era.

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    Ava Yu, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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