Red (Taylor’s Version): Album Review

If you aren’t aware, Taylor Swift announced that she was re-recording her six first albums. She doesn’t own the masters of those songs due to a lot of legal stuff that I’m not smart enough to really understand. For more information on why she’s re-recording them, read this article. Basically she’s doing this so that she gets the money if the song is used in a movie or on streaming sights, and it’s a way for her to reclaim the songs she wrote. Which, hey, you know what, go you Taylor. I can’t blame her for doing that.

The first album she re-recorded and released was Fearless (Taylor’s Version), which was originally released in 2008. It was her second studio album, released after her self-titled album. A few of my favorite songs from the album are “Fearless,” “Breathe,” “Untouchable,” “You’re Not Sorry,” and “Forever & Always.”

Re-released, April 9, 2021, let me tell you, not only do I have a new appreciation for those songs in Fearless (Taylor’s Version) but her songs “From the Vault” are incredible. The “From the Vault” songs are ones that didn’t make it onto the album. Ones that were written for it, but no one has ever heard. There’s something about hearing Taylor’s more mature voice sing songs she wrote a decade ago. But even more, hearing songs that we’ve never heard from her.

Songs like “Mr. Perfectly Fine,” a subtle sassy jab at a guy who broke up with her and acts like he’s not hurting.

'Cause I hear he's got his arm 'round a brand-new girl
I've been pickin' up my heart, he's been pickin' up her
And I never got past what you put me through
But it's wonderful to see that it never phased you 

“You All Over Me” tells how she tries so hard to get over a guy but he’s still there.

The best and worst day of June
Was the one that I met you
With your hands in your pockets
And your 'don't you wish you had me' grin
But I did, so I smiled, and I melted like a child
Now every breath of air I breathe reminds me of then

“Bye Bye Baby” where she realizes she has to let go and leave.

Bye, bye, to everything I thought was on my side
Bye, bye, baby
I want you bad but it's come down to nothing
And all I have is your sympathy
'Cause you took me home but you just couldn't keep me
Bye, bye, baby

November 12th, 2021, she released Red (Taylor’s Version). Now, Red has always been my favorite album. Taylor’s said that it’s her only album that’s really about heartbreak. I totally get that. Especially with songs like “All Too Well” and “Red.” “All Too Well” hurts when I listen to it. Just like when I listen to “Last Kiss” from Speak Now.

Holy crap. Just, y’all. I already loved Red as is. But now. . .yeah, I know what album I’ll be listening to forever now. Taylor has done it again, and honestly, I know we just got Red (Taylor’s Version) but like, I need more already. I can’t wait to see what we get from her version of Speak Now, 1989, reputation and her first album, because is this what with her versions of Fearless and Red, hot damn, it’s going to be gold. I can’t even listen to the original albums anymore because the new ones are superior.

Red (Taylor’s Version) takes an album was already incredible and raises it so high that I have no idea how she will top this album. It’s heartache. It’s tragic. It’s beautiful. It’s perfect.

Now, I’m not going to talk about the songs we know, because well, they were perfect then and now they are practically perfect in everyway now. I want to talk about her “From the Vault” songs, also the video of “All Too Well,” and “Better Man.” We’ll start with “Better Man.”

I first heard “Better Man” when Little Big Town sang it. I didn’t even know that Taylor wrote the song. I love her version so much better. It feels more. . .raw and powerful. Her voice, in the words of my boyfriend Corey, is like an angel. This song is about how she loved this man and that they could’ve been something, is he was, obviously a “Better Man.” It’s beautiful and powerful, and honestly just as heartbreaking as “All Too Well.” I also love that it’s a call back to her country roots.

I hold onto this pride because these days it's all I have
And I gave to you my best and we both know you can't say that
I wish you were a better man
I wonder what we would've become
If you were a better man
We might still be in love
If you were a better man
You would've been the one
If you were a better man

Take a listen to it. Seriously. Do it.

Now for her “From the Vault” songs. Oh, boy. Taylor, love you.

“I Bet You Think of Me” reminds me of “Mean” from Speak Now. That’s not a bad thing. It’s got that folky twanginess (is that a word) that I kind of dig. Also, it’s got the same tone as “Mr. Perfectly Fine,” by being one of those songs where it’s all chipper even though it’s like. . .throwing shade. I love songs like. Chris Stapleton (“Tennessee Whiskey” and “Say Something” with Justin Timberlake) sings harmony with this song.

There’s something so. . .easy about this song. Yeah, it’s about heartache. It’s a jab at an ex, but it’s like cool and sweet. For some reason I can picture a bunch of girls singing it at like a bachelorette party or something, arms around each other and they’re totally drunk swaying back and forth. Sometimes the best revenge songs are the ones that are like this.

But now that we're done and it's over
I bet you couldn't believe
When you realized I'm harder to forget than I was to leave
And I bet you think about me

We’re supposed to be getting a video of this song and honestly, I can’t wait.

The next song is one that I love so much, that I had it basically memorized a day after it was released.

“Forever Winter” hits me like a train. Like “All Too Well” and “Last Kiss” but in a different way. Because this doesn’t have to be about a lover. This could be about someone you care about. Whether that’s your sister or your brother or your friend. Someone who struggles with depression. It’s a tragically beautiful song. I can’t stop listening to it.

In this song, it captures the struggle of loving someone who struggles with mental illness, and all you want to do is make them feel better, but sometimes, you can’t. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do, and it hurts knowing that they’re suffering and you are helpless.

He seems fine most of the time
Forcing smiles and never minds
His laugh is a symphony
When the lights go out, it's hard to breathe
I pull at every thread trying to solve the puzzles in his head

“All Too Well” is my favorite song on Red. And now with this 10 minute version of “All Too Well” on Red (Taylor’s Version), one of the best songs of that album and of her, hits even harder. It’s more raw and stripped down. It’s sad beautiful tragic. Also, the short film she did for this song reminds me of why I want to do short films.

And there we are again when nobody had to know
You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath
Sacred prayer and we'd swear
To remember it all too well, yeah

For more on my love of our girl Taylor Swift, check out the other blog posts I’ve done!

How Taylor Swift’s Music Helped Me Embrace Being ME!

Lover: Album Review

evermore: album review

Reviews on Red (Taylor’s Version)

‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ Makes a Classic Even Better

Taylor Swift: Red (Taylor’s Version) review – getting back together with a classic

On ‘Red (Taylor’s Version),’ Taylor Swift’s Vault Tracks Are All Too Swell: Album Review

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to start this entire album from the beginning and put it on loop. Until next time!

-K

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