Critics’ Corner: Music Review RED (Taylor’s version)

Kady Finegan, Staff Writer, Sophomore

On November 12, Taylor Swift released a re-recording of her 2012 album Red. This is the second album she has re-recorded, the first being Fearless. Swift has decided to redo her first seven albums because of the controversy with former producer Scooter Braun. Braun purchased her masters without Swift’s consent, meaning he gets all the profit from the albums. In retaliation, Swift decided to redo these albums and make them her own. 

When she announced Red, she said, “Musically and lyrically, Red resembled a heartbroken person.” This is a perfect way to explain the feeling of this album. Listeners cannot help but feel the singer’s grief. The lyrics to many of the songs on this album are absolutely melancholy, including one from “All Too Well” which goes “Maybe this thing was a masterpiece, till you tore it all up. I’m a crumpled-up piece of paper lying here.” This, along with dozens of other lyrics on the album, demonstrate the pain she was in at the time of her writing, and her amazing songwriting skills. 

The main relationship she sings about in the album is highly rumored to be actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Swift and Gyllenhaal’s relationship only lasted a few months, but through the lyrics, you can tell the distress she was feeling. From every song on the album, Swift brings you along on an emotional journey: “feeling happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time,” to quote “22”. 

Some do not understand Swift’s reasoning for re-recording Red, saying both versions sound the same, but If one compares the original Red to the 2021 version one can see significant vocal improvement from the first album. Swift also added nine bonus tracks, including the ten-minute version of fan-favorite song “All Too Well.” To accompany the ten-minute “All Too Well”, Swift released a short film starring actors Sadie Sink, and Dylan O’Brien. 

The album is rather lengthy, being about an hour and thirty minutes in length,  but Swift does a beautiful job pacing the album, building interest in each successive song.