Red (Taylor’s Version): A Red(volutionary) Era of Music


Catherine Goodman, Editor-In-Chief

In regards to Red (Taylor’s Version) Rolling Stone Magazine said it best, reporting that Swift “made a classic even better.”


The album has been highly anticipated since her mid- June announcement of the re-recording. Fans anxiously hypothesized about what lead single she would release, however, no lead single ever came. While perhaps a risky business move, for a lesser icon, Swift used her devoted fan base to her advantage in creating steep anticipation for her album in its entirety.


The album begins with the original 16 songs from her 2012 album. This historic album was written for the heartbroken, as acknowledged by Swift multiple times. The album was both vulnerable and upbeat, steamrolling her shift from country to pop. Red was an emotional roller coaster that traveled from the naivety and excitement of budding love to the realistic and raw damage of the end of it. 


While the first 16 tracks are nothing new, the new production coupled with her now-mature voice makes for tracks that sound clearer, stronger and more confident. Tracks such as “I Almost Do” and “The Last Time” specifically benefit from the depth of her older, richer sound. 


The additions from the vault include the tracks that were originally meant for Red as well as the 10 minute version of her heartbreak anthem, “All Too Well.” The vault tracks reveal the complexities of her past relationships as well as her personal challenges, fears and losses. Standout vault tracks include “Nothing New ft. Phoebe Bridgers” and “Better Man.” 


While obviously written by a younger Swift, the lyrics hold up and are easily as captivating as her most recent albums. The album has already broken the Spotify record for the most streamed album in a day by a female artist, a record previously held by her 2020 album Folklore. 


Beyond the album itself, Swift explored another aspect of her artistic expression, film-making. In place of a lead single, Swift riled up her friends by revealing a short film based on “All Too Well” the 10 minute version. With careful casting, newfound maturity and still-relatable  vulnerability, Swift managed to bring her lyrics to life which many teary-eyed fans applauded and adored. 


Although her re-recordings are essentially a reclaiming of her artistic rights and not “new” albums, Swift has dedicated herself to guaranteeing these records are simultaneously nostalgic and exciting for her fans. All signs point toward Speak Now (her 2010 album) as the next re-recording and we can’t wait to hear it.