“Red: Taylor’s Version” Review

By Catherine Wasilko

Vol. 82 Issue 6 December 14th 2022

After months of Swiftie fandom speculation, Taylor Swift announced that the next album to be re-recorded would be “Red.” The original date for the release was Nov. 19, however, she announced on Twitter that the release would be moved up a week earlier, on Nov. 12. The album has a total of 30 songs, 24 of which were on previous “Red” albums, and “Babe” is included on the new “Red” album. “Babe” was originally sung by Sugarland with Swift as a featured artist. The song appeared on Sugarland’s album “Bigger.” The next five songs are ones Taylor is releasing “from the vault,” and “All Too Well” is extended into a 10 minute version, being more explicit than the original.

The 10 minute version of “All Too Well” was released as a short film on Nov. 12, starring Sadie Sink from “Stranger Things” and Dylan O’Brien from “Teen Wolf.” Fans speculated that the two resembled Swift and her then boyfriend, Jake Gyllenhaal, with O’Brien and Sink portraying the same ages as Swift and Gyllenhaal when they were dating in 2012. In an interview with Jimmy Fallon on  Nov. 11, Swift said “It was the most unbelievable experience working with people who are that prepared, committed. Just the chemistry between them is really on another planet.”

Swift also released another music video on Monday Nov. 15. “I Bet You Think About Me” was directed by Blake Lively, a friend of Swift. It starred Miles Teller, with his actual wife, Keleigh Teller. The music video follows Swift’s ex, speculated to be Gyllenhaal, as he sees her at his wedding as a figment of his imagination. Swift gives the toast for the wedding, while also handing Teller’s wife a familiar object. Inside the red box handed to the bride, is a scarf that appears to be similar to the one shown in “All Too Well.” As Swift stated in her announcement, “The reddest video EVER is out now.”

The songs that were re-recorded have clearer diction and tone. It is easier to understand the lyrics and how they are sounded out. Swift’s voice is smooth, clear, and has deepened over the years. Parts of the song have changed from when they were originally recorded, but have resulted in a truer appreciation of her work. As her voice has aged from the original recordings of the songs, the fan’s appreciation remained consistent.

The songs “from the vault” are ones that Swift wrote during the time of Red, but remained unreleased until now. “Babe,” which was originally by Sugarland, was rerecorded by Swift using only her voice. The others are songs she wrote during the time of the original “Red” album, but never released to the public. This includes the 10 minute version of “All Too Well.” The “vault” songs are equal parts sad and happy, some with slow rhythms and others with faster tempos. These songs represent the heart of the “Red” album, being the unspoken feelings Swift was unable to express.

Swift’s re-recorded album came at the right moment as the fall season began. As the leaves change their colors, “Red: Taylor’s Version” sets the mood for the season. Overall, Swift’s album collects the same amount of nostalgia as when listeners first heard the songs back in 2012. Newer fans will appreciate how Swift owns her songs, as well as releasing even newer songs to the public. But the entire fanbase will love how Swift will have officially owned her “Red” album.

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