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Tunes with Tate: Red (Taylor’s Version) is everything the world needs this sad girl autumn

Two hours and 10 minutes– that’s how long Red (Taylor’s Version) ended up being after 14 songs were added to Taylor Swift’s new version of her fourth studio album. I lost track of how many times I got goosebumps because it is absolutely ethereal.

The album opens with “State of Grace” followed by “Red,” two anthems about young love, passion and spontaneity crashing and burning. Among the more upbeat songs are “I Knew You Were Trouble,” “22” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” singles that were a big part of kickstarting Swift’s transition into pop. Lyrical context aside, other upbeat songs on the album include “Stay Stay Stay,” “Holy Ground,” “The Lucky One,” “Everything Has Changed ft. Ed Sheeran” and “Starlight.” The amount of sad songs heavily outweighs the amount of happy ones, but this uneven ratio is a core part of Red (Taylor’s Version) and defined that era for Swift when the album was originally released in 2012. 

Even for those who are not the biggest fans of Swift, “All Too Well” creates bonds between Swifties and casual listeners of her music. In addition, Swift’s announcement that the original, full-length 10-minute version of “All Too Well” would be on her re-recording of Red sent fans into a frenzy. Swift’s lyrics dive into more detail of how naivety and love hid a lot of the reasons the relationship she’s singing about was doomed from the start. This extended version of an existing masterpiece feels cinematic, which makes its accompanying short film even more fitting. Starring Swift, Dylan O’Brien (Maze Runner) and Sadie Sink (Stranger Things), it’s set to be released November 12, 2021 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time. 

Beyond my excitement for the release of both versions of “All Too Well”, I was just as excited for the eight “From the Vault” tracks Swift added to her re-recordings. Collaborating with other artists and the promise of previously unheard songs from Swift are a perfect combination for fans. It is a genius way to encourage fans to choose “Taylor’s Versions” of her albums and something I don’t anticipate will get old as Swift continues to drop her new versions of the first six albums in her discography.

Phoebe Bridgers, Chris Stapleton and Ed Sheeran is a collection of artists I never thought I’d see on one album together but I could not be more thrilled about it. “Nothing New” incorporates Bridgers’ incredible voice and immaculate harmonies in a song about the misogynistic criticism young women face on an unfortunately frequent basis. “I Bet You Think About Me” is full of transcendent harmonies from Chris Stapleton and goes back to Swift’s country origins. They sing about a girl whose past lover misses her despite their clashes because of his elitist friends and family and her small-town farm roots. “Run” features Ed Sheeran for a second time on the album. It’s a wholesome ballad about wanting to run away with your partner and a wonderful duet with Swift and Sheeran’s interwoven voices. Though it isn’t a “From the Vault” track, Gary Lightbody of the band Snow Patrol was brought back by Swift for the melancholic track, “The Last Time.”

The “From the Vault” tracks “Babe” and “Better Man” are songs Swift wrote but gave to the bands Sugarland and Little Big Town, respectively. Both are wonderfully sung by both groups, but it’s refreshing to hear how Swift imagined the final products when they were initially written. 

Bonus tracks “The Moment I Knew,” “Come Back… Be Here,” “Girl At Home” and the acoustic version of “State of Grace” from the deluxe version of Red are more impeccable additions to the original album’s tracklist. The tragically beautiful song “Ronan” was also included. It’s about a young boy named Ronan and was co-written by his mother, Maya Thompson, and Swift. Thompson wrote a blog about her son’s battle with neuroblastoma and the song was written from her perspective. 

Red (Taylor’s Version) could not be a more seamless new version of this beloved album. It maintains the original meanings and feelings behind Swift’s lyrics and vocals while incorporating her evolved voice and musical style. Swift’s talent has never waivered, but her growth that has consistently progressed throughout her career is shown in a new light with this re-recording. This feels like the version of Red that Swift always wanted to record but never did until now and it’s unequivocally perfect. 

Tate Raub is a sophomore studying strategic communication at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Tate know by tweeting her @tatertot1310.

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