Taylor Swift revisits old memories in ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’


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Miosori Polanco

Taylor Swift is considered by some as one of the most talented songstresses of her generation, but fans got even more excited when it rained over New York the day of “Red (Taylor’s Version)” release.

“Red (Taylor’s Version)” is an album consisting of 30 tracks that Swift describes as “Musically and lyrically, Red resembled a heartbroken person.” The album has long since been a fan- favorite and this is the project that solidified Swift as a singer and songwriter to be reckoned with, even after her Grammy award-winning drop, “Fearless.” The track list includes the original deluxe album, along with 12 vault tracks.

Swift’s fans, commonly referred to as Swifties, had been waiting for midnight on Nov. 12 to not only hear the re-recorded album but also the long-awaited, 10-minute version of “All Too Well.” The song,which was cut to over five minutes on the original “Red” album —comes after years of fans begging Swift to release the uncut raw version of the track, after she revealed its original length in an interview.

“All Too Well” depicts the story of a relationship with an older lover that seems to fall apart at the seams and ends on a bitter tone. “Maybe we got lost in translation/Maybe I asked for too much/But maybe this thing was a masterpiece till you tore it all up,” Swift sings on the intense double-bridge. “You said if we had been closer in age maybe it would have been fine/And that made me want to die.”

“Red (Taylor’s Version)” finds the fans revisiting the same stories but with Swift’s much more mature and soul-filled vocals, a testament to her time in the industry perfecting her craft. Production kicks into high-gear this time around, with many describing the sound as crisp, as opposed to its original whimsical nature. Jack Antonoff, a household name in the Swiftie community, makes an appearance on the “All Too Well” 10-minute version.

Speaking to the songs themselves, the album opens with fan-favorite “State of Grace” as full of life as ever. “I’m walking fast through the traffic lights/Busy streets and busy lives/And all we know is touch and go,” Swift sings on the opening track.

“22,” “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” radio hits from 2012 and 2015, are back with even more gusto, coy sound effects and synth-pop layers that flare up the memories of everyone who screamed the lyrics to the originals. Swift’s newly expanded vocal register serves soft ballads like “Sad Beautiful Tragic” and “Begin Again” well as she goes back to her never-failing lyricism.

Perhaps the biggest shocks on the album was the addition of 12 tracks that Swift calls “From the Vault.” One of the stand-out tracks from that list, “Nothing New,” featuring indie-alternative artist Phoebe Bridgers breaks down the story of an artist as though her glory days are behind her. “How can a person know everything at 18/But nothing at 22?” the song asks.

The record is stripped back vocals backed by a guitar strum, and the minimal production serves as a silver platter for the gut-wrenching lyrics of the reality of being a young female artist in the music industry. On that same note, however, Bridgers is the first female artist Taylor has collaborated with for a full verse on the song, in comparison to Haim’s backing vocals on “no body, no crime”, and the collaboration does not fail in the slightest.

The premise of Swift rerecording her albums is to own her own music after her previous record label, Big Machine, sold her master recordings to Scooter Braun in 2020.

The album accomplishes its goal of sustaining nostalgia and the larger-than-life storytelling Swift is known for, while also incorporating enough new elements into the work to keep things interesting and the audience engaged. “Red (Taylor’s Version)” is only another notch on the golden belt of a star reaching catastrophic heights in her career, for the millionth time.