Taylor Swift is doing the most during this pandemic. In fact, she’s been more productive and successful during the pandemic than she has been, like… ever. An artist that typically releases new albums every two years or so – in the last two years she has released not one, not two, but four albums. A dream for a humble Swiftie like me.
After the immense success of ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’, Taylor’s been hard at work reclaiming her original albums. ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ was released in April this year, and now in November we receive the second re-recording out of her catalogue – ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’.
Red, in my opinion, was one of her best albums of all time, so you can imagine my immense excitement when she releases the original 16 song album as a 30 (THIRTY) song extravaganza, filled to the brim of not only her originals (made better in my humble opinion) but songs from the vault, aka previously unheard songs she wrote for this era.
Taylor’s three most heart-wrenching songs ever lie on this album, and include ‘Come Back… Be Here,’ which I used to imagine was my love ballad to Harry Styles while he was away on tour; ‘The Last Time,’ and ‘All Too Well,’ the saddest song in the history of man. It’s so sad and passionate, that it almost makes you wish you were a singer standing on a shadowed stage after hours, belting it out, only for your future one true love to walk into the rafters and fall in love with you immediately. Well, that’s what I imagine anyway…
Oh wait, I can’t believe I left out ‘The Moment I Knew’, from The Most Heart-wrenching Songs Of All Time category. A great song about feeling betrayed, but also feeling like your heart has literally been ripped out of your chest. Taylor, why do you do this to me? I don’t have sad enough breakups to deal with this! Can you actually imagine if I had a breakup story to relate to these songs? Honestly, I’d never recover.
The original songs from ‘Red’ were amazing anyway. An album that sold 3.1 million copies in the first two months, and made Taylor Swift the first female artist – and the first artist since The Beatles – to have 3 consecutive albums spend 6 or more weeks on the Billboard charts. ‘Red’ was not an album that needed improving, and I didn’t think it would be possible, but it’s been made bigger and better, rekindling fans’ love and devotion for songs nostalgic of experiences we never had, but could relate to anyway.
Taylor’s voice is more confident, more mature, and brings a gravitas to the songs that we didn’t know we wanted or needed. Perhaps it’s due to the healing of time over experiences that hurt her, or perhaps it’s because over the year she’s dealt with so much strife and battle that she’s come to a point in her life where she’s confident in who she is and what she’s doing – and fuck what people think of it. These re-recordings are for her.
I can’t write a review of this album, and not mention All Too Well (10 Minute Version). Okay, first of all, the original 4-minute song makes me cry literally every time I hear it, so 10 whole minutes of this absolute heart-wrencher needed a literal sit-down and listen moment to fully take it all in. Preferably with a large, large glass of wine to cry into, and/or Chris Hemsworth’s arms.
And babe…. I didn’t cry. I sobbed. Why is Jake Gyllenhaal such a dick? Honestly, I’m actually a little thankful for Jake being an A-grade asshole because otherwise this song would never have existed. Not even joking, I cried to this all weekend. It just had to be done.
She even made a film short starring Sadie Smith and Dylan O’Brien visualizing ‘All Too Well (10 Minute Version)’, and it takes a lot to make me hate Dylan O’Brien, but hate him I did in this short – the magic that Taylor Swift exudes to make me hate Dylan O’Brien is strong, my babes.
She also performed the song on SNL – I think the longest performance ever on the late night show, clocking in at 11 minutes overall, and sung with passion, dry eyes (for her at least), and no breaks for breath. Some vocal chords she’s got; I lose my voice after repeating “Rum Collins, Rum Collins!” at the bartender in a loud bar. Not only did I cry again at this performance (honestly, I’m a little cried out) because that song ruins me every time I hear it, but also because the last time she performed ‘All Too Well’, she almost couldn’t get through it without crying. This time she performed it like a phoenix rising from the ashes of her tumultuous emotive breakup, sexier, more confident, and stronger than ever before. I was just, *sobs*, so proud of her.
It’s going to be a tough year for Jake Gyllenhaal, and personally, I think T. Swizzle deserves her damn scarf back, asshole! Anyway, ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ is a masterpiece that tore my heart up (song reference for you, ha!) and you should listen to it as if it’s a new album. Between the previously unreleased songs (‘Forever Winter’, and ‘The Very First Night’ are my faves) and the new and improved versions of her classic record, ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ has won me over. I feel like I’m 17 again.
jake g would’ve gotten away with the way he treated taylor if scott borchetta hadn’t sold her catalogue to scooter braun it’s so funny to me these men just all took each other down— jess (@jesshakeitoff) November 12, 2021