“Red (Taylor’s Version)” album review

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Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash.

Taylor Swift released another rerecording on Nov. 12, making “Red (Taylor’s Version)” the sixth album of hers she now owns herself. Like with “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” the album features rerecordings of the record’s original songs alongside six tracks from the vault. She presents her original songs nearly identical to the “Red” album from 2012, but her voice has matured and developed a better tone. Taylor Swift now sings with a stronger voice and a better understanding of the art of storytelling in a music setting. 

The retelling of past stories – the ones Swift experienced when the album was first released – comes with new emotions aged by time and handled with beauty. In many interviews, Swift claimed that she has turned songs like “All Too Well” into a heartwarming song where she experiences an overwhelming amount of support from fans. Any Taylor Swift fan can attest that her concerts are full of audience members belting the words of every song right along with her.

The new version of “Red” has a few different aspects to it that many may not notice; however, they change the overall theme of the album and thus slightly adjust the “Red” era. Songs like “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and “State of Grace” have a brighter sound in the guitar – possibly a change from Swift’s acquisition of more variations of guitars. She also has a different sound in her new version of “All Too Well.” The instrumentals are more dream-like and blend into the background. Additionally, she added complex backing vocals to many verses. 

“Red (Taylor’s Version)” has two songs featuring the original artists she recorded with back in 2012, and the album features three more songs with guest artists Ed Sheeran, Chris Stapleton and Phoebe Bridgers. The tracks from the vault on the album are all very different. “Babe” comes from Taylor’s country-style she started with but incorporates the pop styles she has since learned. “Message in a Bottle” sounds more like a “1989” song than a track that fits within the “Red” era. “Forever Winter” is another one that fits more with Taylor’s transition to pop music. “I Bet You Think About Me” is one that sounds like it has been in the “Red” album the whole time. 

“The Very First Night” also fits in well with this album. Swift chooses not to rhyme every word and where one would think she’s going to say “her,” she instead says “you,” which makes me wonder if that was originally written or if she had to adjust it for the status quo. Both songs follow the same character development of many other songs and have similar instrumentals to a lot of the other tracks. “Run” features Ed Sheeran and it sounds more like a song he would produce than Swift would. It doesn’t take away from the album as a whole, but it is one that doesn’t fit the tenacity found in the rest of the album. 

Overall, I don’t think any Taylor Swift fan could be upset with this album. She gave listeners a better version of the original album and she has added to the story that the “Red” era embodies. For those wary of Taylor Swift, it still has many characteristics of an amazing album. She borrows from every corner of the music industry to tell a convincing, profound and invigorating story with every track.

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