Album Review: Red (Taylor’s Version)

ALBUM COVER of Red (Taylor’s Version). Taylor Swift

Brooklyn Staab |Opinion Editor & Publicity Manager

December 3, 2021

Nearly a decade ago in the fall of 2012, Taylor Swift released her fourth studio album, Red. The original country-pop album, with hit songs like “22,” “We are Never Getting Back Together,” and of course, “Red,” made Taylor Swift the pop icon that she is today. The up-beat songs on this album dominated radio stations while its more emotionally vulnerable songs, which were at least equally as incredible, were largely overlooked by non-swifties. However, in her re-recorded version of the album, one of her most emotionally vulnerable songs dominates the charts today. 

As a part of re-recording her albums, Swift released old songs that are new to the public ear— songs she was never able to include in the initial albums. The ‘vault’, or newly released songs include: “Ronan (Taylor’s Version),” “Better Man (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),” “Nothing New (featuring Phoebe Bridgers) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),” “Babe (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),” “Message In a Bottle (Taylor’s Version)(From the Vault),” “I Bet You Think About Me (featuring Chris Staplen)(Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),” “Forever Winter (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),” “Run (Featuring Ed Sheeran) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),” “The Very First Night (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),” and “All Too Well (Ten Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault).”

“All Too Well”, one of Swift’s most emotional songs that gives insight to her relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal, is a fan favorite and has even become an album-defining song for Swift. The original version of this song was ten minutes long before being cut down to the five-minute version we’ve had for almost ten years. Fans begged Swift to release the original version in the re-record, and obviously, she did. 

“All Too Well” made history as the first ten-minute song became number one on the Billboard Charts.  

“I love excessively screaming to ‘All Too Well (Ten Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),’” senior Lexi Dalkas said. “It’s definitely my favorite song of the album.” 

Taylor Swift even directed and wrote a short film about the song titled “All Too Well: The Short Film,” where Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien star as the young Swift and Gyllenhaal, with Taylor herself even starring in it at the end.

On November 17, Swift released a remix of “All Too Well (Ten minute version)” named “All Too Well (Sad Girl Autumn Version)” which had fans deep in their feelings.   

She also came out with a music video to a vault song, “I Bet You Think About Me (featuring Chris Staplen)(Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)”, directed by Blake Lively and starring Miles Teller and Keleigh Sperry. 

“Run (Featuring Ed Sheeran) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” was the first song Swift and Sheeran wrote together, and although “Everything Has Changed (featuring Ed Sheeran)” was the song she originally chose to include on the album, it was a perfect fit and the song was beautiful. 

“Nothing New (featuring Phoebe Bridgers) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” expresses one of the most relatable and painful messages in the entire album. The song explores growing up through a woman’s perspective and the questioning of identity that all young women face, especially for women in the public eye. Adding another female voice to the song added a sense of unity and togetherness despite the empty and lonely mood of the song.  

And you were tossing me the car keys. Taylor Swift

“My favorite song from the vault is  ‘Better Man (Taylor’s Version)(From the Vault)!’” senior Teressa Yubeta said. “It really shows Taylor’s growth because she recognizes her worth more than she used to and that she’s not going to be with a guy who doesn’t see her value.”

The re-recorded version of this album has more noticeable changes than her first re-recorded album, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), where almost nothing was changed. On the new Red album, for instance, “Girl at Home (Taylors Version)” was completely altered with a new upbeat sound, and “Holy Ground (Taylors Version)” has a softer intro.   

Swifties are looking forward to playing “22 (Taylor’s Version)” to bring in the new year. Her team released new year merch themed with Red (Taylors Version) in addition to the typical album merch.

Although no one but Taylor Swift knows why she’s rerecording in this order (Fearless was her second studio album and Red was her fourth), fans were excited to have a fall with Red (Taylors Version).

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