‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ colors songs anew


Kiley Brockway

Brockway listens to “Red (Taylor’s Version)” on CD when she drives to school in the morning.

Originally released in 2012, Taylor Swift’s “Red” became the album encapsulating what it felt like to be “happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time,” as Swift sings on one of “Red’s¨  hit singles, “22.” 

Coming out nearly 10 years later, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” serves as a time capsule of Swift’s emotions, but also displays Swift’s vocal maturity and newfound artistic freedom. 

The task of re-recording has also opened up a new opportunity for Swift. She has been able to include songs that were cut from the original albums, coining them as the “From the Vault” tracks, taking them out of the metaphorical “vault” that they were sent to after being cut from the original record. 

These tracks include never-before-heard songs, as well as songs that Swift sold to other musicians, but were originally written by her. 

A personal favorite of mine is “Treacherous.” One of the more gentle pieces on the album, the song softly laments a doomed love. 

Once again, Swift has mixed a new flavor into the song. She adds a sense of bittersweet nostalgia into the song which was overlooked in the original recording.

In my opinion, this is one of the better executed songs on the album. Swift allows the song to build on its own, not forcing anything that isn’t meant to be there. 

Near the end of the song, the reality of the love becomes heartbreakingly apparent to the listener. It’s a song you just have to listen to if you want the full experience. 

One song  that is quickly becoming a fan favorite is a new, “From the Vault” track. “Nothing New” features Phoebe Bridgers, an artist known for her vulnerability in her music.

 The song gives a more somber tone to the typical “coming of age” narrative. 

Bridgers’ vulnerable tone adds wonderful depth to the song, and to the story as well.

“Nothing New” has more streams on Spotify than any other vault track, excluding “All Too Well (10 Minute Version).” 

The crown jewel of the album is the highly anticipated recording of “All Too Well (10 Minute Version).” 

 “All Too Well” was one of the original 16 songs on the first recording of “Red.” It was never intended to become the staple song of the album.

“This song became the fans’ favorite on their own,” Swift said about the original “All Too Well” on “The Tonight Show.” 

Swift discussed how the original song was 10 minutes long. Of course, a 10 minute song is an absurd length, so Swift underwent a grueling editing process during which she cut out over half the song, which she explained on”The Tonight Show.” The result was the version of “All Too Well” that appeared on the 2012 version of “Red.”

“I left some of my favorite lines on the cutting room floor. I’m really happy people [finally] get to hear them,” Swift said on “The Late Show.” “I think this version is the version of the song that was meant to be heard.” 

After listening to the 10 minute version, I was shocked at the amount of lines she had to cut for the original album. My personal favorite lines from the new version are “Till we were dead and gone and buried, check the pulse and come back swearing,” and the absolutely brutal callout of “And I was never good at telling jokes but the punchline goes ‘I’ll get older but your lovers stay my age.’”

¨All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” has topped the music charts, being the longest song to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, according to Guinness World Records. 

My co-editor in chief, Sofia Gonzalez-Bernier (12)  has coined “Red” a “no-skip album.” 

From the euphoric rush brought on by “State of Grace,” to the hollow pain from “All Too Well,” “Red (Taylor’s Version)” truly has a song for everyone, at any time. There’s no songs you would or could skip while listening to it. It is an album that has proved to pass the test of time, and is a testament to the talent and skill of Swift herself. 

 “Red (Taylor’s Version)” is an astonishing piece of art. Revising it after listening to some of her more recent works is a display of Swift’s growth through her career, as well as a display of her talent nearly 10 years ago. 

While it is no “Folklore,” it is still one of her stronger works. Overall, I would give the album 9 out of 10 red scarves. If you don’t understand that reference, then it’s time for you to listen to “Red (Taylor’s Version).”