Album Review: Red (Taylor’s Version)

Review by: Isabelle Paley

Artist: Taylor Swift

Rating: 4.5/5

Taylor Swift’s re-recording of a majority of her discography is a monumental feat for her career as an artist. 

The rerecording of Red, the perfect fall heartbreak album, combines Swift’s 2012 lyrics with her 2021 voice. Swift merged her country roots with songs such as “Everything Has Changed” and modern pop with “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” to create a perfect blend of the two genres. 

The nine new songs on the album are from a group Swift has labeled as “from the vault” tracks. “Nothing New” featuring Phoebe Bridgers has created excitement as Bridgers is the first female artist who has collaborated with Swift to sing lyrics instead of just backup vocals. The line “How can a person know everything at 18, then nothing at 22,” alludes to another song on the album, “22,” to create a diverse perspective of Swift in her twenties. 

A fan favorite, “All Too Well,” gets a makeover with a ten-minute rendition. The addition of lyrics such as “You kept me like a secret but I kept you like an oath,” brings a fresh perspective on the failed relationship. Swift’s mature voice creates a clarity that was not heard on the previous album. With heart-wrenching lines such as “You called me up again just to break me like a promise” fans can revel in the perfect song about loving and learning.  A longer chorus, three new verses, and a new ending expand on the original four-minute song to craft a  ten minute masterpiece detailing Swift’s whirlwind romance with actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

The changes made on the re-recorded songs were not all positive. “Girl At Home” receives an unnecessary change in production with the addition of background vocals and drums in the chorus that can throw listeners off, as it takes away focus from the lyrics and puts more emphasis on the production. But a majority of the songs still get revamped while staying true to the original. Simple changes such as the higher-pitched voice in the line “I don’t know about you but I’m feeling 22” in her song “22” subtly changes one aspect of the song while allowing the message to still be discernible by listeners. The variety in the tone on the album creates the perfect soundtrack for getting over a heartbreak or the best songs to “dance around the kitchen in the refrigerator light.”

Throughout the 2 hours and 11-minute album, Red has allowed fans new and old to experience a classic Taylor album while also leaving them wondering what project Swift is going to work on next.