The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
F*ck the patriarchy. That’s the message behind the re-recording of the Grammy-nominated 2012 album released on November 12th that brought back one of Taylor Swift’s best eras: Red.
Red (Taylor’s Version) was the second in this series of re-recordings that Blondie started in April with Fearless (Taylor’s Version). But first, let’s recap why she’s doing that. In 2019, Big Machine Records, the label that launched her first six records, was sold to Scooter Braun, and she lost the masters of her music’s rights. After that, she promised to start doing her versions of those albums to gain back control over them. And turns out she’s doing it well, or all too well.
And speaking of “All Too Well”, she included a ten-minute version of this fan-favorite song alongside with other nine new tracks which she called “From The Vault”, because they were written back when she composed the original Red but were never released, so it’s like unlocking a vault with secret songs. This is one of her successful strategies to relive the era.
The ten-minute version of the anthem is something that all the swifties have been waiting for almost a decade when Taylor once revealed that the original lyrics had to be cut to last less than five minutes. When she announced on social media that she would make her version of the album and that it would include the long-awaited original “All Too Well”, her fans freaked out.
Taylor knows how to succeed in the music industry by pleasing the ones who support her, and that isn’t news. She’s been doing it since her self-titled debut record when she already spoke with her audience on Tumblr and MySpace. She never stopped doing that and, to promote Red (Taylor’s Version), she joined TikTok, engaging in #swiftok.
Besides hopping on TikTok trends, she gave us clues to a game that would reveal the titles of the Vault tracks by posting a video with the audio reversed and anagrams to the names. Swifties were all over social media, trying to solve the game.
Also, we cannot forget the easter eggs that the fans are already used to, since she posts them all the time. One that was very commented on was a video showing red clothes, shoes, gift boxes, flowers, and jewelry. Everyone thought the objects were from The Red Tour back in 2013, however, later we found out they were from the “I Bet You Think About Me (From The Vault)” music video that she released on November 15th which could also have easter eggs for the next Taylor’s Version she produces.
Speaking of the album itself, it is true to the original. There aren’t many noticeable changes in rhythms and instrumental backgrounds, though what clearly stood out is Taylor’s voice maturing over the last decade. But that was for the better and made the songs even more beautiful and honest.
And last but not least, Taylor also wrote and directed the short film for “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” which accentuated all the emotions brought while hearing the song. The combination of the lyrics never heard before from this version and the outstanding acting of Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, who portrayed a couple during a turbulent relationship, made the film a masterpiece.
Sink is eleven years younger than O’Brien. The singer was very smart to choose them as the characters since not only “All Too Well” but many other songs on Red are believed to be about Taylor’s relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal when she was underage and there was a considerable age gap between them.
On top of that, there were many references from the song on the video. From the red scarf of the lyrics “left my scarf there at your sister’s house”, to the scene of the couple “dancing ‘round the kitchen in the refrigerator light”.
Red was more than just an album. It was the album that made Taylor’s way into pop music and a true portrayal of young heartbreak. Red (Taylor’s Version) is that and much more. With its blossomed vocals and production, it feels like an old familiar friend but, at the same time, it all seems new and exciting.