Music review: “Red” (Taylor’s Version)


Katy Clark

Break out your sweaters and go stream Red (Taylor’s Version) on Apple Music, Spotify, or Youtube.

Katy Clark, Senior Staff Writer

On November 12, 2021, Taylor Swift released Red (Taylor’s Version). After losing rights to her original albums, including the 2012 album, “Red,” Swift re-recorded and re-released the album’s 16 tracks along with songs “from the vault.”

Red Taylor’s Version tells the story of heartbreak and healing using poignant language. It is set against a fall backdrop that will make listeners want to break out their sweaters and scarves and dance along in a backyard of fallen leaves

Notable original songs

While fans of the 2012 album have heard the first sixteen songs before, Taylor Swift adopts a more mature voice in her re-recordings, showing how her vocal range and tone has improved considerably in the nine years since Red first came out.

“State of Grace” is the perfect album opener. The persistent drum beat makes it a song to belt out in the car with friends. On closer examination, the lyrics are wistful and portray the pain of love in a beautiful light. It masterfully reflects the themes of heartbreak and finding yourself, pertinent in the rest of the album.

Even the casual fan has likely heard “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together” on the radio in 2012 and 2013, and these songs act as powerful breakup anthems, while also inspiring group sing-alongs and dance parties.

Notable from the vault songs

Swift sends an important message to her audience about an individual’s self worth in a relationship with the songs“Better Man” and “I Bet You Think About Me.” With sharp lyrics and a powerful instrumental background, they manages to express to her exes the pain they caused while displaying her strength despite their actions. 

“The Very First Night” and “Message In A Bottle” are fun, dynamic songs that fit right in at a party or dance floor. With a powerful and enchanting voice, Swift captures the euphoria of first love and having a crush, perfect for a teenage audience.

In contrast, if listeners want a good cry, they need to listen to Forever Winter, sung from the perspective of watching a loved one battle suicidal depression. Using poetic metaphors to the seasons, Taylor Swift reminds everyone to keep their loved ones close.

All Too Well Ten Minute Version

Taylor’s most impressive accomplishment on the album is her new rendition of “All Too Well,” adding a whole five minutes to the old version to flesh out a story rumored to be about her relationship with Jake Gylllanhaal.

The song highlights the dangers of a toxic relationship and the red flags, acting as an important message to young listeners. Using multiple changes of tone, she contrasts the moments of absolute passion with moments where she felt empty and trapped inside.

Her potent lyrics and lyrical voice is reminiscent of her album Folklore, and manages to transport the listener to a magical fall setting with a slight chill in the air. The addition of the red scarf in the music video masterfully adds to the fall aesthetic and reminds the audience of the sacrifices made in her relationship.


This album was a huge success and manages to make you cry, laugh, and sing at the top of your lungs all in thirty songs. Taylor Swift delivered again with an album that shows a new depth of storytelling and allows listeners to escape from reality for 2 hours and 11 minutes.