You may not remember, but back in March, I wrote a similar article about why I was excited for Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and the album certainly did not disappoint. I was wondering how it would make me feel and if it would bring me back to the first time I ever listened to it. It did and it didn’t—it was a unique experience all on its own. There is something so powerful about hearing your favorite artist revisit their own past and re-produce it under their circumstances. In this sense, I am expecting that my reaction to Red (Taylor’s Version) will be similar in its uniqueness from my first listen back on October 22, 2012.
We must take a quick detour to focus on October 22, 2012. I want you to let that date sink in. As I am writing this, it is October 22, 2021. Currently, there are 21 days until the release of Red (Taylor’s Version). Ms. Swift made an appearance on Instagram today to get us all excited about the release… as if we weren’t already. If you cannot tell what I am getting at, I think we might be getting something tonight!! You know Taylor loves her easter eggs. If this does not get posted until after this night’s end and we did not hear from Taylor, you have my permission to laugh at me. But I really hope you do not get that chance.
To get back on track, this day nine years ago, I was sitting at my dining room table, letting the entire album play through for the very first time. If I remember correctly, my immediate favorites were “The Lucky One,” “The Last Time,” “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “Holy Ground,” and of course, “All Too Well.” My 12-year-old self was just an emotional wreck. Every moment I had perceived as heartbreak up until that point flooded my mind. And I was obsessed with the aesthetic of it all, too. The stripes, the pearls, the red lipstick, the Keds, it was just perfect. Though I say I can never pick a favorite album, my heart might belong to Red most of all. I was lucky enough to go to her tour (where Ed Sheeran was an opener) and created a whole iMovie after the experience, full of blurry videos and selfies I took on my iPod touch. Red reminds me of a very pivotal point in my life when I was navigating middle school and starting to better understand my emotions and the emotions of others.
In all the ways Red brings me back to that pre-teen time, the promises of Red (Taylor’s Version) have me looking toward the future. There is so much newness in this album. Aside from her new perspective, we are getting a full 30-track album including songs from the vault and the 10-minute (explicit) “All Too Well.” I find it incredible that she is both bringing us through the nostalgic journey of listening to the songs we already know while introducing us to those that did not make the cut (and definitely should have). Perhaps what I find most exciting about the re-recording is that for those who have ever turned to Red in their moments of broken heartedness, Taylor is serving as an example of someone who can remember and acknowledge deep-rooted hurt from an older and matured perspective. May we all have the strength to remember ourselves when we have felt most wounded and appreciate where we are now or the journey we are on to get to a better place.