Review: Red (Taylor’s Version)

Finn Murphy | Music Editor

For someone with such an epic career as Swift’s, you may start to question if it will only go downhill after the hugely successful Folklore and Evermore, but it seems that Taylor Swift just keeps getting better. And Red is no exception to that.

The big talking point of the 30-track album is the new 10-minute version of All Too Well and the accompanying short film directed by Taylor Swift herself. Starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, Swift offers a deeper dive into the relationship of the original All Too Well that fans already theorised about. It can only be described as a musical masterclass in giving the fans what they want. The subtle images in the short film pieced together with the new verses of the 10-minute version allow for new metaphors to be read into and new fan theories to be interacted with. Particular focus is given to the scarf that is left at ‘your sister’s house’ which fans have posted about all over social media, even finding pictures of one of Swift’s exes wearing a scarf that looks oddly similar to one she was pictured wearing many years ago. ‘Swifties’ have also used social media to show their appreciation for the album, with some even asking their significant others to break up with them for a day so they can get the full experience of the album.

Just when you thought an almost perfect album couldn’t get any better, Swift not only provides new songs from the vault, but also uses her developed vocal abilities to give extra emotional value to the music. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together was given a boost of anger, and State of Grace was handed another moment to shine with an acoustic version. The standout of the new releases comes in the form of a duet with Phoebe Bridgers. Their vocals meld together to create a symphony of emotional power. Fans have been desperate for these two powerhouse voices to collaborate, and they did not disappoint with Nothing New. Let’s hope that this is not the last time that we hear these two working together.

In an attempt to regain financial control of her discography, it appears that the re-recording of Red could be more successful than the original version with a record-breaking release. On release day, Swift became the most-streamed female in a single day in Spotify history and broke her own record for most-streamed album in a day by a female with over 90 million streams on Spotify. The record was previously broken by Swift with the release of Folklore in July 2020, setting the mark with approximately 80 million streams.

After a break from listening to Red to support Swift, it’s great to have her back. Whether you’re a hardcore ‘Swiftie’ or just a casual listener, from the old favourites to the new songs from the vault, there is something for everyone on this album to enjoy.

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