With 30 total tracks, including nine from the vault, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” allows Taylor Swift to reclaim ownership of her album and continue to bring new content to fans.
A personal favorite and the first song on Red, “State of Grace” perfectly encompasess the emoitions Swift felt throughout the relationship focused on in the album, with a repeated line being “Love is a ruthless game, unless you play it good and right.” The song immediately begins with the beat of a drum, slowly building up during the rest of the tune.
Swift’s matured voice adds a fresh style to her iconic songs, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “22” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Another well-known but less popular classic, “Everything Has Changed” featuring Ed Sheeran has been re-recorded, and Swift and Sheeran also sing together on the vault track “Run.”
While Swift has featured many artists on her previous albums before, “Nothing New” is the first song she has released that includes another female-sung verse aside from Swift herself. Some of her other songs, “Soon You’ll Get Better” featuring the Chicks and “Breathe” featuring Colbie Calliat, only included the featured artists as background vocals. Singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers is featured on “Nothing New” and many fans have praised this song because of this and the relatable line, “How can a person know everything at eighteen but nothing at twenty-two?”
One of the most anticipated songs of Swift’s re-recordings, “All Too Well (Ten Minute Version)” is finally in the hands of the fans. The original version of “All Too Well” is a little over five minutes long and one of the most popular in the fandom, and the extended version includes all of the original lyrics, plus extra verses that Swift originally cut down to keep the song within a reasonable time. The ten minute version allows for listeners to have an even more in-depth view of the relationship between Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal, the dynamic focused on during the album.
A short film was released the same day of the album, with a premiere in NYC where Swift performed the featured song. Starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, the short film encompasses the aforementioned relationship between Swift and Gyllenhaal, giving viewers a front-row view of how unhealthy the relationship quickly became. The film is a little under 15 minutes, with a few scenes of dialogue in between the song. The chemistry between Sink and O’Brien made the film painful to watch because I was able to genuinely feel the pain and heartbreak Swift went through during that time of her life.
“I Bet You Think About Me” featuring Chris Stapleton is the first song from Swift’s re-records to receive a music video. The video will be released the Monday following the album, and was directed by Blake Lively.
The only letdown I experienced from this album was “Holy Ground” because the overall tone of the song shifted and became slower. This was disappointing for me because “Holy Ground” has always been in my top three on “Red,” so I was excited to hear the newer version, but I am not as big of a fan of the newer, slower version.
In April of this year, Swift released “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” and will eventually re-release her first six albums. She does not own the masters of her first six albums, aside from “Fearless” and “Red,” because Scooter Braun, owner of Ithaca Holdings at the time, bought Swift’s masters from Big Machine Records. The “22” singer will continue to release her albums until she rightfully owns all of them. Swift also appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” and “Saturday Night Live,” performing the 10 minute version of “All Too Well” on SNL. While fans continue to theorize over which album Swift will release next, she continues surprising them with new merch drops, music videos and alleged Easter eggs to keep them occupied until her next project.
Graphic by Gerald Sastra