And birthdays somehow got a bit sadder
Red (Taylor’s Version) has finally graced musical airwaves, and Taylor Swift has demonstrated her legend-status artistry once more. Nine years after the initial release of Red, Swift has re-recorded everything from cult classics like “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” as well as slow burns, like “I Almost Do” and “Begin Again.”
Aside from enhanced sonics and slight changes in intonation–if you’re an overly-analytical longtime swiftie (like me), who would even notice–everything sounds just as it did on Red 2012 edition, like Swift intended in order to strip the value from the original Red. Swift still giggles through “that’s so fun” at the end of “Stay Stay Stay,” and Ed Sheeran still asks “we good to go?” at the beginning of “Everything Has Changed” and all is right in the world.
Along with the re-recordings, Swift has gifted fans nine new tracks she’s tagged as “(From The Vault).”
The vault includes songs “Better Man” and “Babe,” Swift had written but chose to pass onto other artists to record, unveils six never before heard tracks, and concludes the album with the long-awaited All Too Well (10 Minute Version).
In “Nothing New,” the tales of 22 have been enriched with a delve into the societally-urged despairing over aging as a woman and more distinctly, as a woman in music.
Swift pulled in Phoebe Bridgers for the song, attributing her love for her and her ability to relate to the pressure put on women in the music industry, as the reasons behind the decision, told during her appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
Bridgers is the first female artist to sing a full verse alongside Swift. I held back a squeal while writing that.
Throughout the song, in somber voices, they plead, “how can a person know everything at 18 but nothing at 22… and will you still want me when I’m nothing new?” Swift takes a familiar punch at the nonsensical need to hate, posing the wonderment of if they’ll “miss me once they drive me out.”
The remaining five new vault tracks are lighter by default, providing images of far-off lovers and digs at the superiority complex that comes with indie-music listening; ya know, standard Swift stuff.
The final chapter to Red (Taylor’s Version) is somewhat familiar territory. In the last track, the deep-cut that is All Too Well somehow becomes heavier with an additional five minutes equating to ten-minutes of pure pain and heartache, with the new, severe question raised of “just between us, did the love affair maim you?”
Making a point to mind the age gap between herself and the notorious scarf thief and subject of her song, she pokes at his self awareness of the difference, recalling “you said if we had been closer in age, maybe it would’ve been fine, and that made me want to die.” And as if one shot at the nine year gap wasn’t enough, she cuts, “I’ll get older, but your lovers stay my age.” Cue the applause.
Also, from All Too Well (10 Minute Version) we now have a clip of Swift singing “fuck the patriarchy,” which I’d say is a full-on win.
Jake Gyllenhaal is probably shaking, screaming, crying and convulsing on the floor right now. Meanwhile, swifties are celebrating, and we can only hope Swift herself knows that she really has done it again.
And, knowing her, she will keep one-upping herself while we all watch on in awe and feel like the lucky ones getting to see her greatness continually unfold.
Jillian Rodriguez is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. You can find her sat in her bedroom under a mirrorball listening to Taylor Swift, sipping Dunkin’ iced coffee, and contemplating which seemingly mundane moments from life to add to her many drafts; maybe you’ll show up in her writing one day. You can reach her at @jillygabrielle on Instagram for more info.