Assistant Arts Editor
If you’re an 18 to 20-something girl who likes coffee, singer-songwriter tunes and sweater weather, chances are you’ve either heard about or have already listened to Taylor Swift’s rerecorded and reclaimed “Red (Taylor’s Version),” since its release Friday, Nov. 12.
Whether you’re a “Swiftie” or not, you’re probably going to be seeing social media posts and hearing the music of “Red (Taylor’s Version).” So, you might as well learn about the album, how it’s been re-recorded, what all is new to it and what else it entails.
So, buckle up. We’re going to be going down memory lane and taking some new scenic routes on the way.
As with her “Fearless” album, Taylor Swift rerecorded and reclaimed this album with the title “Red (Taylor’s Version).”
But on top of releasing new versions of the beloved songs on the original “Red” album owned by Big Machine Records, Swift included a 10-minute version of “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version),” that proceeded a matching music video featuring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien released at 6:00 p.m. (CST) that same day, Nov. 12.
The music video and 10-minute version of the song weren’t the only anticipated new aspects of the album, though. Swift also included 9 new songs on top of the new version of “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version).”
One of the most surprising and exciting new tracks entitled, “Nothing New (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault) [feat. Phoebe Bridgers],” features the indie workings of Phoebe Bridgers.
With a very dark, “Folklore” feel, the track adds a deeper, more mature element to the album and showcases Swift’s progression as a songwriter and artist.
Other new tracks include “Ronan (Taylor’s Version),” “Better Man (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” “Babe (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” “Message In A Bottle (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” “Forever Winter (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” and “The Very First Night (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).”
Two other new tracks on the album include features up to par with Phoebe Bridgers. These songs are: “I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault) [feat. Chris Stapleton]” and “Run (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault) [feat. Ed Sheeran].”
“I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault) [feat. Chris Stapleton],” gives off a very similar energy to “Mean” with the same bite of the newest verses added to “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).”
Absolutely soaked in the harmonica and banjo bitterness of old-school country heartbreak, the song pays homage to Taylor’s country background and adds a casually scorned tone to her typically self-pitying, sad, breakup songs.
The harmonies of Chris Stapleton also contribute a fuller vocal effect to the song. Without it, the song would sound like it belongs in a saloon consisting of one piano, two old men, the owner and one young girl tickling the ivories to a nearly empty and mostly uninterested room.
But with the addition of Stapleton’s croons, the song still sounds like it belongs to that crowd, but this time with a full blues band and maybe the attention of the saloon’s owner.
On top of this curtly hurt duet, the album features “Run (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault) [feat. Ed Sheeran],” with the iconic friend duo known since its collaboration in “Everything Has Changed” on the original “Red” album.
The song featuring the two breathy voices of the duo highly resembles the “Folklore” era of Swift and the “+” era of Sheeran – making for a timelessly sweet singer-songwriter feel.
With a heavily acoustic sound and nature-oriented theme, the song adds a romantically light and hopeful element to the largely heartbroken tone of the album.
The harmonies, the soft lyricism and the sleepy and secretive strings of the songs create an atmosphere of lovely teenage existentialism that fits perfectly into the discography of both Swift and Sheeran. There is no doubt that this duet will soon become known as an iconic song on “Red (Taylor’s Version),” and will be played at weddings and, as fitting with the theme of the song, elopements across the world.
All of these new tracks and re-recorded songs were followed by the 31st and final track, “A Message From Taylor.”
This message outlined “Red (Taylor’s Version),” as a collection of jagged, broken pieces collected from heartbreak. Though messy and confusing, these remnants of hurt were put together and worked as an honest picture of mixed emotions.
So with this context, Taylor ended the message by saying, “These are the original 30 songs that were meant for ‘Red.’ I love you guys.”