“Red,” one of Taylor Swift’s most iconic albums, will finally be rightfully owned by the musician on November 12th. Taylor is currently taking on an enormous endeavor, gaining back ownership of her 6 albums that were essentially stolen from her from the recording company she was previously signed with. She has taken a difficult situation, and turned it into an opportunity for herself and her fans: an exciting series of releases containing all of her old timeless songs, as well as never before heard “vault songs” that were originally written for each album but didn’t make the final cut. “Red,” now called “Red (Taylor’s Version),” is the album currently being re-released.
The original album was Taylor Swift’s 4th studio work, put out in October of 2012, and has built up quite the legacy since its original release. “Red” was the first ever album to surpass 100 million streams on Spotify. It received countless awards and nominations, including Billboards and Grammys. The world tour that followed the release holds the record for the most successful country tour of all time, grossing over 150 million dollars. However, the financial success is not what makes this album memorable to fans. “Red” was the first time Taylor began branching out from her country music roots and experimenting with other music styles. Several of the songs not only became major hits, but have heartfelt meaning to listeners. Songs such as “22” and “We are Never Getting Back Together” topped the charts. But songs such as “All Too Well” and “The Lucky One” have deeply emotional lyrics that resonate with listeners, and make the songs so meaningful for them.
“Red (Taylor’s Version)” contains 31 tracks total. The majority of the album is made up of the 22 original songs and bonus tracks, re-recorded of course. The remaining 9 tracks consist of 8 “vault songs”, featuring collaborations with artists such as Phoebe Bridgers, Chris Stapleton, and Ed Sheeran. The final track is a short message from Taylor herself.
As a person who has grown up on Taylor Swift music, watched her grow as a musician and person, and witnessed the original release of “Red” in 2012, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” was an overwhelming experience. Hearing the songs that are so known and loved in Taylor’s mature voice and with new production gave me a fulfilling sense of bittersweet nostalgia. Getting 8 new songs was almost as exciting as getting a whole new album, and gave a glimpse into what Taylor was going through at the time of writing them.
One of the most anticipated tracks on the album was “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version) (10 Minute Version) [From the Vault]”. It was an extended version of one of the most iconic and emotional “Red” songs, “All Too Well”. The song contained all the original lyrics Taylor had originally written for it, making it 10 minutes long. To say the song was an emotional rollercoaster would be a serious understatement.
“I loved how different the production in ‘All Too Well (Ten Minute Version)’ was. I think that this sets it apart from the original one, and you can tell this one is so much more personal. I know for myself, and everyone else, I feel like I know her and her pain so much better now.” Said Senior and lifelong Taylor Swift fan Devyn Wong.
“The vault song ‘Nothing New’ was definitely a standout to me,” said Senior Andie Bronstad. “It made me really emotional to hear two of my favorite artists sing such a beautiful song together. A lot of tears were shed the first time I listened to it.”
“I am curious to see if Taylor will be putting herself in the shoes of her past self, or more reflecting as the person she is now. From what I have heard so far she seems to have matured a lot: vocally and mentally.” Said Mr. Clow, AP Government and Politics teacher at San Marcos.
Overall, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” was a beautiful recreation of the original album. Taylor’s rerecording of her music gives fans a view into Taylor’s growth and a chance to hear their favorite albums for the first time again. Musically and lyrically, the album resembles a mosaic of emotion. It is now fully owned by its talented creator. Listen to “Red (Taylor’s Version)” on all music streaming services now.