The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

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The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Taylor Swift releases the long-awaited re-recording of “Red”

We are feeling our “Sad Girl Autumn” with the new version by the Grammy award-winning songwriter
PHOTO COURTESY/ YouTube Taylor Swift
PHOTO COURTESY/ YouTube Taylor Swift

On Nov. 12, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released her version of her previous album “Red” from 2012. Swift is in the process of claiming back her work, as her art had been sold without her knowledge or consent. She is re-recording each of her albums; she previously released “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” back in April. Now, she has moved on to her fourth album titled “Red (Taylor’s Version).”

Swift’s career has peaked even with the rights to her original recordings being taken away from her. She climbed right back up the cliff and exceeded everyone’s expectations. According to Billboard, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” surpassed half-million units in the first five days in the United States.

“Red (Taylor’s Version)” is even more emotional than the original. This album is a mosaic of feelings from the mind of a heartbroken person, who has lost all faith in love and is tortured by memories of the past.

This album showcases love at different stages following a dramatic and devastating breakup. She displays anger in songs like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble.” She shows despair in verses of “Sad Beautiful Tragic” and “The Moment I Knew.” And, hopefully, finding something new and real like in “Begin Again.”

The album consists of 30 songs in total, including all 16 original songs, bonus tracks, and nine “From the Vault” songs—songs she had written during the release of “Red” in 2012 but did not make it through the editing room. Now, they come to light as Swift has finally released them to her fans, including the once-abandoned, highly-anticipated song titled “All Too Well (10 Minute Version). As she states in a recent Instagram post, “I never thought it would be possible to go back and remake my previous work, uncovering lost art and forgotten gems along the way.” 

Like “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” “Red (Taylor’s Version)” stays faithful to the original with some subtle differences between the old and the new. For example, on the new tracks, instruments are slightly louder or quieter in the mix and melodies, even with the original chords being played, the key of some songs creates a different sound. The most significant difference is that her voice sounds more mature and distinctive. 

For this new version, she collaborated with musicians such as Phoebe Bridgers in “Nothing new,” Ed Sheeran in “Run” and Chris Stapleton in “I Bet You Think About Me.”

The album cover is inspired by the original with a new, modern perspective that keeps it similar to the previous cover of “Red” for the fans while adding something new. The original cover is a close-up of Swift’s face while her hat shadows half of her face. This new cover is also a close-up, but this time her face is no longer covered while wearing a ring with the album title that she can finally call her own.

This new version is everything I had imagined and more. It beat all my expectations. It was peaceful, cozy, and quiet. I cherished getting the opportunity to drive down memory lane and experience this album again with a new feel to it. Now that I am older, I value these stories more as I understand them with a new meaning and perspective on life and love.  Also, considering these new songs and new versions belong to her makes it more personal and memorable.

“Red (Taylor’s Version)” is the perfect album to listen to in the fall, watching the autumn leaves fall down like pieces into place. Even if you have never experienced the chapters of a love affair, it is still meaningful to listen to such raw emotions. We feel happy, free, confused, and lonely as we watch this new chapter begin again.

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