Red (Taylor’s Version): A Review

A screenshot from announcing the release of Red (Taylor’s Version).

Anyone that knows us knows we both LOVE Taylor Swift. So, naturally, when we found out Taylor was re-recording another album, we were ecstatic. For months, the two of us had been counting down the days until it was going to be released. We had high expectations, and the album far from disappointed us. With re-recordings of some of the album’s classics and vault tracks featuring new artists, there is a lot to enjoy about Red (Taylor’s Version)

In April of 2021, Taylor Swift re-released her hit 2008 album Fearless. She re-recorded each original song and added unreleased tracks that she wrote in 2008, pulling songs “from the vault.” The album was titled Fearless (Taylor’s Version). After it was released, everyone waited with anticipation to see which album would be announced next. After many theories and guesses from Swifties (Taylor Swift fans), it was announced in June that Red (Taylor’s Version) would be released on November 19, 2021. Near the end of September, Swifties were greeted with the news that the album would be re-released on November 12, a week earlier than originally planned. Many wondered why — and of course many theories were proposed — but it was finally revealed that Adele was to release her new album on the original release date of Red (Taylor’s Version).  Taylor’s bumping her release date forward helped to avoid competition between the two soon-to-be hit albums.

Taylor brought back refreshed classics like “The Lucky One” and “22,” as well as new tracks from the vault, including songs like “Nothing New (From the Vault)” with Phoebe Bridgers and “The Very First Night (From the Vault).” The album has a total of thirty tracks with twenty-two of them from the original album. She featured four other artists: Gary Lightbody, Ed Sheeran, Phoebe Bridgers, and Chris Stapleton.

She took her heart-rending hit “All Too Well” and wove in several more verses to bring it from five minutes to ten, and the verses aided in magnifying the heartbreak that was already in the original.  “All Too Well (10-Minute Version) (From the Vault)” is the longest song to top the BIllboard 100, surpassing the classic “American Pie” by Don McLean. Its length makes it the perfect song to jam out to in the shower while you wash your hair. 

Five days after the release of the album, Taylor dropped a surprise single: “All Too Well (Sad Girl Autumn Version)” which was recorded at Long Pond Studio, where she recorded folklore: the long pond studio sessions in 2020. This edition of “All Too Well” is perfect for chilly fall or winter afternoons with a warm drink in hand. 

Since Red came out in 2014, it features a variety of genres. Taylor was emerging out of her country phase and moving into her pop phase, giving the album a great combination of music. Some songs feel more like her album 1989, which succeeded Red. One of these brighter, pop-like songs is “We Are Never Getting Back Together.” She brings us a country-esque throwback with “Babe (From the Vault).”  This song actually has a version that was recorded with Sugarland and released in 2018. It was added to Red (Taylor’s Version) with just Taylor’s vocal part. 

Although Red (Taylor’s Version) has a reputation for being a “sad girl fall” album, it covers a broad spectrum of emotions. The album is ‘happy, free, confused and lonely,’ making it a great pick for any occasion! If you’re in a more upbeat mood, you might opt for “Message in a Bottle” or “22.” If you love a nice wholesome beat, you might be interested in “Stay Stay Stay” or “Everything Has Changed (feat. Ed Sheeran).”  If sad songs give you life, check out “Nothing New (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)” or “Come Back… Be Here” or “The Last Time (feat. Gary Lightbody).” 

Red (Taylor’s Version) is a masterful album that deserves all the love it can get. If you ever find yourself looking for new music, be sure to check it out! It’s a great way to support Taylor having her own music, and you won’t be disappointed.

All songs mentioned in this article can be found on all streaming platforms with (Taylor’s Version) added to the end. For example, the re-recording for “The Lucky One” is called “The Lucky One (Taylor’s Version).”

by Elyse Preston ‘25 and Lovey Moore ‘24, Staff Writers