HomeEntertainmentTaylor Swift perfects her craft with re-release of ‘Red’

Taylor Swift perfects her craft with re-release of ‘Red’

Published Dec. 15, 2021

BY EMMA BROWN

In furtherance of her efforts to reclaim control of the masters of her first six albums, Taylor Swift has released a re-recording of her 2012 album “Red,” now titled “Red (Taylor’s Version),” demonstrating her vocal growth and improvement of composition, with enhancements to previously released songs and the addition of new tracks “from the vault.”

Though the majority of the songs remain mostly the same, Swift taps into the lower side of her alto range with the re-recordings, a change best displayed in “Treacherous” and “Stay Stay Stay.” Her deeper tones are complemented by an improvement in annunciation and stronger belting, adding onto already complex musical compositions.

Tracks like “Sad, Beautiful, Tragic” and “I Bet You Think About Me (from the vault),” which features Chris Stapleton, are exemplary of Swift’s country roots, both featuring a twangy acoustic guitar and banjo. The instruments, combined with the singer’s return to her original Nashville sound, remind listeners of prior albums, particularly drawing from the tones of “Speak Now.” These songs earn the re-recording of “Red” the label of its assigned genre, country, instead of following Swift’s later sound.

The re-recording of “Red” exemplifies Taylor Swift’s ability to walk the line between country and pop music in a cohesive manner. (courtesy of REPUBLIC RECORDS )

“Message In A Bottle (from the vault)” and “The Very First Night (from the vault)” mark Swift’s shift from country to pop, a transition that was made after the original release of “Red.” The tracks feature hyper-pop backgrounds layered with synthetic filters, partnered with stereotypical lyrics about falling in love, drawing listeners’ attention away from the more artistically developed songs on the album.

With the re-recording of “Red,” the long-anticipated 10-minute version of an already released “All Too Well” was gifted to fans in the form of a “from the vault” song. The track, now featuring expletives, expands on one of Swift’s most popular songs, shedding more light onto the complex relationship which she describes. The track’s release was accompanied by a short film, starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brian, which amassed thirty million views within three days of its premiere. “All Too Well (10 minute version)” is the pinnacle of Swift’s composition abilities, featuring lyrics that have captivated fans for both their relatability and eloquence.

Featuring Phoebe Bridgers, an indie rock and folk artist, “Nothing New,” a track “from the vault,” depicts the anxieties of female celebrities, wondering if their relevance will fade as they age, complementing, “The Lucky One,” which discusses the pitfalls of being in the limelight. “Nothing New” quickly became a fan favorite with lyrics applicable to the anxieties of those struggling with the unstable nature of life, drawing upon themes from Swift’s 2020 song “Mirrorball.”

As fans speculate which album is next on Swift’s re-recording agenda, the musician offers “Red” as a reminder that though she has developed as an artist, what makes her unique is her lyrical story-telling and attention to detail while composing which remains a constant in her newest music. 

8.5/10

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