Candice Anvari co-editor-in-chief
Screaming. Crying. Smiling. A rollercoaster of emotions describes the experience of listening to Taylor Swift’s re-recording of her album “Red.” From her heartbreaking love songs, like “All Too Well,” to her upbeat jams, like “Stay, Stay, Stay,” the re-recording is nothing short of perfection.
Swift decided to begin re-recording her albums last November when Scooter Braun took control of her former label. Swift publicly announced that she would not work with Braun and switched labels to Universal’s Republic Records, which gave her ownership of the music she produced from then on. However, Swift wanted to re-record all the albums she produced with Big Machine Records, her former label, in order to have full ownership of all her music.
The album opened with “State of Grace,” one of Swift’s classics. Swift’s more defined and mature voice makes this re-recording better than the original. She beautifully captures the exciting and hopeful feelings that accompany new love. In the order of the album, “State of Grace” comes right before Swift’s hit “Red.” Not only is “Red” one of the most iconic songs in the album, but by coming after “State of Grace,” it helps continue the story of having an intense love.
In 2012, Swift’s classics, like “22,” “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together” were overplayed on the radio and in TV shows and movies. However, Swift’s new versions of these songs are just as good as listening to them for the first time. These three blasts from the past not only feel like going back in time, but the sense of nostalgia attached to each verse is incredibly heartwarming and uplifting, especially during the holiday season. “Stay, Stay, Stay” was not as popular as the other tracks when “Red” initially came out. But this time around, “Stay, Stay, Stay” is better than ever. The song is cute and upbeat to highlight Swift’s lyrics about the thrill of starting a new relationship. It’s sad that this song was underappreciated the first time around. But now, “Stay, Stay, Stay” is having its moment in the spotlight, as it is currently trending on TikTok.
Swift also released multiple songs on the album that did not make the cut when she released “Red” in 2012. “Nothing New”, one of these songs, is one of the best songs on the album. As she sings about the struggles she had with fame and her fear of no longer being relevant, Swift’s vocals are beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time,. Swift’s decision to feature Phoebe Bridgers on the track was the best move she could have possibly made because the song would not be the same without their harmonizing. “I Bet You Think About Me” and “Run” are also amazing tracks from Swift’s “vault” of songs that she did not include on the album in 2012. Swift’s wittiness shines through in her lyrics for “I Bet You Think About Me,” and her lyrical storytelling is, without a doubt, in her second collaboration with Ed Sheeran in “Run.”
The song that requires a box of tissues on standby was “All Too Well (10 Minute Version).” This song is by far the best track in the whole album. Listening to it was both tear jerking and heartbreaking, but impossible to stop listening to on-repeat. Although a 10 minute song is out of the ordinary, Swift makes it work, with her lyrics telling the story of a tragic relationship. This song is not like other songs. It’s a narrative. With every lyric, Swift transitions from one event to the next, while also maintaining a smooth, catchy flow of lyrics of melodies. After listening to the 10 minute version of “All Too Well,” the original version is not as appealing. The 10 minute version is the way to go.
Overall, Swift’s creativity shines throughout her entire album. In each song, she craftily develops a narrative that is both intriguing and easy to follow.
Highlights rates “Red” a 5/5.