Written by: Daniella Conde
Copyedited by: Yamika Ramesh
“Red” is easily one of Taylor Swift’s most recognizable albums, and she has taken ownership of it in true Taylor fashion – with grace, red lipstick and joyous fanfare. On June 18, 2021, Taylor announced the release date of the re-recording; since then, fans have emotionally prepared themselves to relive one of the most legendary heartbreak albums of all time. At midnight on November 12, 2021, Taylor delivered 2 hours and 10 minutes of beautiful musical chaos, and Swifties are forever changed because of it. “Red (Taylor’s Version)” affirms us once more that it is okay to feel happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time.
For fans who have grown up alongside Taylor Swift, this album inspires deep nostalgia. “Red” was one of the first musical works that I really loved as a child. I recall playing the CD on repeat; I kept it like a treasure, and it is still one of my most prized possessions.
As her songwriting became imprinted in my mind, I longed to experience a life as full of emotion as Taylor’s.
Flash forward 9 years, as I sat in my car blasting Taylor’s Version in the middle of the night, I realized how much things have changed but also how much things have stayed the same. Now that I am in my twenties, the lyrics Taylor sings speak directly to the heartbreaks I have experienced, almost as if she snuck into my room and read my diary. Despite my coming-of-age, I still regard Taylor with a childlike reverence. I look up to her today as much as I looked up to her when I was 11. Her vulnerability, eloquence, work ethic, and class are qualities that I wish to emulate.
“Red (Taylor’s Version)” includes all of the songs from the 2012 album, along with 9 previously unreleased “From the Vault” tracks. Notably, Swift has heard our pleas for the original version of one of her most acclaimed songs, “All Too Well.” This album’s tracklist culminates in “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),” now arguably the most cathartic, deeply soul-crushing break-up song to ever exist.
Being a Taylor Swift fan is a unique journey to embark on, particularly because Taylor seems to love us just as much as we love her. Her choice to re-record her old works is a genius business move (and a slap in the face to Scooter Braun and company), but it is also an affirming, loving gesture from Taylor to her beloved Swifties.
Photos by: Uma Vogeti