Taylor Swift made us break up with our significant others just so we could be prepared for this album. Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Associate Opinion Editor
The internet broke, and so did the hearts of Taylor Swift fans everywhere last Friday following the re-release of her 2012 album “Red.” The album is the latest in Swift’s efforts to acquire full legal and creative control over her music, revisiting a time in her life when Swift was finding herself and navigating love, relationships, and early adulthood. With all of her songs re-recorded and published from “Red,” she now owns another substantial portion of her back catalog. Fans of the famed artist affectionately referred to as “Swifties,” frantically opened their Apple Music and Spotify apps to be brought back to that first listen, and that first feeling, all over again. The new album broke the latter streaming service’s record for most single-day streams for a female artist – and for good reason. With crisp, clean instrumentals accompanied and enriched by Taylor Swift’s matured vocals, it is clear to see that “Red” is the perfect listen for walking around campus as the colorful leaves fall on the ground.
Comprising 20 re-recorded tracks from the original deluxe edition, the single “Ronan,” six previously unreleased tracks from the vault, two songs written by Swift that were released by other artists, and the highly anticipated 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” the album tells a story from one song to the next. Each track, representing a chapter in an exciting and tumultuous love affair, evokes a diverse range of intense and passionate emotions.
“Red” also brings listeners back to a pivotal point in Swift’s musical evolution. An experimental album, “Red” illustrated her transition from country pop to the indie and electro-pop Swift is better known for today, with synth beats and energetic rhythm especially evident in hits “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “22,” as well as in the deluxe track “Girl at Home.” She also retains her country roots in “Treacherous,” “Starlight,” and the title track. In doing so, the re-recorded album provides something for everyone, regardless of which genre or “era” of the blonde star they prefer.
Not only is “Red” a refreshing take on youth, romance, and heartbreak, but it is also a chance for both casual listeners and hardcore Swifties to laugh, cry, and fall in love all over again. Each song is not just a chapter, but also an experience, painting a visual picture through sounds and emotions in an epic aural novel. With several references to the season throughout, the album is also perfect for Fall, adding a fully immersive atmosphere into the musical journey.
Overall, this album, with both new tracks and familiar favorites, is worth the listen for every level of like or dislike for the country-pop princess. Swift’s latest re-recording also sets a precedent for similar projects, as did the widely acclaimed predecessor, “Fearless”. As more re-recordings and original tracks are released, Swift will continue in her efforts to regain power over her own music once more. It will truly be a difficult journey, and we as listeners will (hopefully) be there with her every step of the way. And for whom this latest album hits especially close to home, Taylor’s version will have you bleeding “Red” in love and fascination.