Swift revamps past self in “Red” remake

With the release of “Red (Taylor’s Version),” thirteen-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift is reliving the musical era that left her fans feeling “happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time.”

Two years ago, when industry magnate Scooter Braun bought out Swift’s master recordings behind her back, the singer promised her listeners she would re-record her first six studio albums. As the second chapter of this journey, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” comprises 30 songs—19 being from her 2012 album and ten being vaulted songs, including an extended version of “All Too Well.”

Compared to the original album, it is apparent that Swift’s vocal control and musicality has matured, evoking a richer sense of emotion and feeling.

The song that has captured the internet’s attention is her highly anticipated “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” which inspired her self-written and directed video: “All Too Well: The Short Film.” 

As an adaptation of the song, the film features actors Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink recounting a passionate relationship. Given that the song is about 22-year-old Swift dating the 31year-old Jake Gyllenhall, the film does an excellent job at portraying exactly what is an acceptable difference in an age-gap relationship.

Not only are the visuals Academy Award-worthy, but the vocals behind each lyric reveals new emotions that were not alluded to in the original. Swift’s matured vocals paired with her emotional lyrics and the steady beat of a piano adds to the emotion of the song, truly encapsulating her ability to produce musical masterpieces.

Other highlights of “Red (Taylor’s Version)” include its nine unreleased songs, such as “Better Man (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” and “Babe (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” all of which show a peppier side of Swift’s artistry.

According to her past record label, the songs did not fit well with Swift’s then-image, showing a side of Swift that was everything but innocent. For example, these now released tracks show Swift at her most vulnerable, especially “Nothing New (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault),” and “I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).” Both these songs fit in perfect tandem with each other—the prior using shameless lyrics to paint Swift as a vengeful lover and the latter incorporating an acoustic guitar to depict the conflicting emotions that follow a messy break-up.

Besides the Vault tracks, the album as a whole was recorded with meticulous details, incorporating slight changes from the original. These flourishes were present in almost all the songs, namely title track “Red (Taylor’s Version)” and “Stay Stay Stay (Taylor’s Version).”

“Red (Taylor’s Version)” covers the different moods present when in a relationship—sadness, despair and pure intensity. Unlike the lighter tone of her original album, this version takes on a more passionate feel, incorporating heavier beat drops and perfected enunciations.

On the other end of the spectrum falls “Stay Stay Stay (Taylor’s Version).” From the poppy beats to the joyful lyrics, Swift paints a clear picture of what it means to truly be in love. The only thing different from the original version is Swift’s more genuine tone, showing how content the singer feels in her five-year relationship with English actor Joe Alwyn.

Nine years later, when Swift, notorious for her breakup songs, fell in love, listeners were afraid she would retire, disappearing from stardom. However, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” makes it indisputable that she will remain one of America’s biggest superstars for a long time to come.