Album Red by Taylor Swift is an emotional rollercoaster

Hailey Lanari, Staff Writer

The album Red by Taylor Swift was released in October of 2012, but after Swift’s loss of ownership, the album has been re-released with additional songs on Nov. 12, 2021.  

Red (Taylor’s Version) is slightly over 2 hours consisting of 30 tracks, including a 10 minute version of the fan favorite song “All too well”. These new versions of her old songs show her growth as a singer. The lyrics stay the same, but now we’re hearing it from a more mature woman.

Out of the originals, “Girl at home” specifically had a makeover with new production techniques. The album also includes vault tracks, songs Swift wrote for the original Red album, but had to be cut. These songs add to the original track list, giving more new content for listeners as well as allowing the singer to put more of her thoughts from that time out into the world. 

Listening to it in track order is a bit of a rollercoaster. You move very quickly from happiness to heartbreak to regret to new beginnings. It is reflective of someone trying to process all that has happened to them and the drastic ups and downs that come as a result – the ‘ups’ being upbeat pop songs and the ‘downs’ being soft ballads.

Many of the songs can function in pairs. “State of Grace” and “Red” both describe a relationship that was intense and moved very quickly. However, while “State of Grace” describes this as a beautiful and worthwhile thing, “Red” shows how horribly it crashed and burned. Similarly, “Treacherous” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” show how exciting and dangerous love can be, and reflect on how she should have been more aware of the problems they had.

The songs continue to go back and forth like this, showing both the positive and negative parts of the same situations. The only song that truly doesn’t fit this is “Ronan”, a tribute to Maya Thompson, the mother of a three year old that died of neuroblastoma, a type of cancer. Many of the songs are quite simple, such as “22” and “Stay Stay Stay” which I think provide a lighthearted balance to the rest of the album. 

There are also multiple features on the albums of artists such as Gary Lightbody, Ed Sheeran, Phoebe Bridgers, and Chris Stapleton. Each of these artists provide their own feel to the songs – while Phoebe Bridgers is known for soft, sadder, more introspective music, Chris Stapleton is a true country artist.

The album is coupled with the “All too well” short film and the “I bet you think about me” music video. The short film tells the story of a young girl with an older man, their relationship moving quickly. Although she is intensely happy with him, he quickly becomes impossible to be with. The film ends with Taylor as she is now, acknowledging what happened then and remembering it “all too well”. The music video was much more lighthearted, an interesting callback to her song and album “Speak Now” as she crashes the wedding of her ex boyfriend dressed in various red outfits. 

I highly recommend this album to former fans looking for nostalgia or new listeners looking to broaden their interests.