The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
As you probably know by now, music legend Taylor Swift has been in the process of re-releasing her first six albums in order to legally gain ownership of her music. Her first re-recorded album, which came out last April, was her new version of Fearless (You can check out my review of that album here!). On Friday, November 12, Taylor dropped her version of Red. The album also includes several unreleased “from the vault” tracks that were written in the album’s original era — coming in at 30 tracks total.
Red has always been my favorite album by Taylor, so I was very excited about this re-recording. Everything about it is perfect. I love all the subtle musical differences and little similarities, like the fact that she redid her ad-libs and speaking parts in some songs. The first song on the album, “State of Grace,” is one of my favorite songs of all time. It was so fun to hear Taylor’s version of the song almost 10 years later!
Since the original version of Red is relatively recent, I wasn’t expecting a big difference in how her voice would sound in these songs now — but I was immediately surprised. There is definitely a noticeable difference in each song both musically and vocally. As it’s been almost a decade, her voice is much stronger.
As a long-time Red supporter, I’m excited for new fans to get to know and love the album. It truly has some of the best songs she’s ever written, despite not being quite as popular as some of her other albums. I think that “The Lucky One,” for example, is her most underrated song ever, and I’m hoping that this re-record gives it the acclaim it deserves. Maybe we’ll even see it go viral on TikTok soon.
Some songs that I think sound best on this version include: “Red,” “Stay Stay Stay,” “The Moment I Knew,” “Come Back…Be Here,” and “Starlight.” Some songs sound more different from their originals than others, though, like “Treacherous.”
Probably the most anticipated track on this album is the 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” which is widely considered Taylor’s best song, and it did not disappoint. It features extra verses and bridges, and so many beautifully scathing lyrics detailing heartbreak. One of my favorites is “You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath.” Chills!
I also loved being able to listen to the “vault tracks” that Taylor had written for the original album but had not been previously released. They all provide new insights into the storyline of the album and add to the listening experience. I was honestly not expecting my favorite to be the one with the Chris Stapleton feature, but “I Bet You Think About Me” definitely is. I love the fun lyrics and country flare. And I, like many fans, was very pleased to hear that the Phoebe Bridgers feature includes a verse and a chorus rather than measly background vocals.
All in all, Red (Taylor’s Version) is a perfect fall album. I recommend going for a long walk or driving through autumn foliage and enjoying the tunes. Maybe bring a pack of tissues just in case. Be ready to feel some feelings.