‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ exceeds expectations

Rerecording brought me to tears

Avery Stahl

Fair use from Republic Records

I’ve always been a huge fan of Taylor Swift. I listened to the original “Red” album, released in 2012, and all her other music since I was young. I truly believe “Red (Taylor’s Version)” released Nov. 12 is beautiful and even more powerful than the original

Swift is in the process of re-recording all her old albums and releasing unheard music  that she calls ‘Vault Songs,’ after struggling with her management. After leaving her management company, they wouldn’t sell her her songs back, re-recording was Swifts solution to reclaim her music. This re-recording has 31 songs, while the original has 16.

At the end of the album, Swift added a memo called “A Message From Taylor,” where she explains the intent and passion behind “Red.” Musically and lyrically, “Red” resembled a heartbroken person. “It’s a fractured mosaic of feeling,” Swift said in the message. She talks about all the feelings bodied in the album. With all the emotions and different feelings, the album has a song for every mood. I’ve been able to relate and connect with all of the songs and love the diversity of her emotions.

Swift’s goal with these albums is to recreate the emotions and essense of 2012 Swift, while showcasing her mature voice in the songs. In some songs like, “I Bet You Think About Me,” she recreates and keeps the country feel and twang of her old music style.

The song “All Too Well” was originally a five minute song off the original album about her heartbreak and sadness. It was a relatable song that I, as well as many others, loved. In this re-recorded album she included both the original length and a 10-minute long version of the song. The first time I listened to “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” I cried from happiness, relatability and sadness. It’s beautifully written and can be related to many situations and people. It was a perfect embodiment of her pain. Even nine years later, her music still mirrors her power and heartbreak.

The vault songs also embodied the 2012 Swift, with a mix of pop, country and indie music. My favorite new released songs are “Nothing New” featuring Phoebe Bridgers and “The Very First Night.” It made me disappointed that these and the other vault songs weren’t included in the original album. 

Overall, I loved this album. This re-recording was a perfect recreation of the original album. I didn’t think she could outdo herself, since I loved the first one so much, but she definitely did. It was a perfect mix of 2012 Swift, and 2021 Swift. 

“Red (Taylors Version)”: ★★★★★