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Taylor Swift ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ Album Review

A few months after Taylor Swift’s first re-recorded album Fearless Taylor’s Version, the global superstar announced that her fourth studio album Red would be the next one fans could anticipate. With no lead singles and the 30-song tracklist revealed via social media, the hype around Red Taylor’s Version grew and grew until its official release on November 12th, 2021.


Red, originally released in 2012, is a fan favorite in Swift’s catalog. Not only that, but many respected outlets and critics deem it her best. The album gave the world the infamous “All Too Well” and it was a jump for Swift sonically; throughout the LP she straddles between country and pop and even mixes in outside influences like EDM and rock. Red is an incredible exhibition about love in your early 20s and the rollercoaster of emotions felt so intensely at a young age. And Swift truly captures that messy yet exhilarating feeling like no one else.

Just like the original, Red (Taylor’s Version) opens with the epic “State Of Grace (Taylor’s Version.” The busy percussion sounds make this the epitome of a perfect initiation. It’s busy, it’s upbeat, and Swift gets to show off her vocal range in the massive chorus that explodes with each note. “State Of Grace” has also coined some of Swift’s genius one-liners like, “just twin fire signs, four blue eyes,” “these are the hands of fate, you’re my Achilles heel,” and “mosaic broken hearts.” The pace of the album is continued with the title track “Red (Taylor’s Version) which incorporates acoustic banjo paired with electronic vocal autotune in the chorus.

One thing that Red manages to do so well is keeping listeners on their toes. In a note to fans on social media, Swift shared, “Musically and lyrically, Red resembled a heartbroken person. It was all over the place, a fractured mosaic of feelings that somehow all fit together in the end.” Those words sum up the entirety of the middle section on the record. From the perfect pop party anthem “22” to the misty and desperate “I Almost Do,” Swift takes her audience on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Her lyrics and vocals are the highlights as she ties each song together with painstakingly, emotive vocal performances.

One re-recording that stands out from the rest is “Begin Again:” the closer on the standard version from almost a decade ago. Despite most of Red circling around heartbreak and feeling disoriented, “Begin Again” has a delicate hopefulness told through Swift’s soft voice surrounded by a rush of acoustic guitars and subtle twangy instrumentation. The re-vam