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Red

“Red (Taylor’s Version)” has been one of the most anticipated and exciting releases of November and has taken the world by storm at a much larger scale than the original version. This album was never even close to being on the list of my favourite Taylor Swift albums but with the change she brought into the album through the rerelease, I can proudly say that Taylor swift’s ability to convey her thoughts and feelings through the use of music and her exceptional industry leading song writing makes this album one of my top three favourite Taylor albums. Some may wonder why tons of people around the world join together to celebrate an album that has already been released before. For the hardcore fans, the special sense of ownership that Taylor possesses over the album is what makes it important. Aa for the general listeners, there are new versions of some of the older songs and “vault tracks” which are a collection of her previously unreleased songs, which renews and refurbishes the entire track list of the album. It’s clear that Swift has put her heart and soul into this album to make it as special as possible for everyone that listens to it. This includes the people that may not understand the whole concept of Taylor’s re-releasing agenda with these “vault tracks” and having the song broken down and re-fixed to sound much better (I don’t know about you but, it definitely feels more refined). People did argue that this “new feeling” when listening to “Red (Taylor’s version)” doesn’t feel as nostalgic as they have expected and I can agree with that completely. However, that doesn’t make this album a bad one. To add to this, once I listened to the song “Red”, a sudden wave of nostalgia hit me as it was one of the first English album tracks I’ve heard. I cannot continue this article without talking about the rich and glossy production of this album, this is something I see in both versions but the production on “Red TV” has to be one of the best I’ve seen so far. Maybe it isn’t as good as her other albums, “Reputation” and “1989”, but it’s DEFINITELY at the top. “Red”, “State of Grace”, “Sad Beautiful tragic”, “Ronan” and “I knew you were trouble” showcase how well Swift has been able to break down the older production and put it back together piece by piece cautiously and with precision. The maturity that comes with growing up in Taylor’s (or as Swifties like to call her, Blondie’s) voice also made a huge difference in these tracks.

 Personally, I feel that “Fearless (Taylor’s version)” is a huge let down especially when it’s compared to “Red TV” in terms of both production and just the overall release of the album. Now, onto the most exciting part, the vault tracks! “Nothing New”, “Message in a bottle” (which happens to be my favorite), “I bet you think about me” and “very first night” have got to be the best songs out of the vault tracks in the album. Considering that this album has 30 songs, it can be tiring to continuously listen to. However, the addition of Pheobe Bridgers, Chris Stapleton and Ed Sheeran does brings a different tone to the country pop record. Although, Ed Sheeran’s feature on this album contained a song that was a little too personal to have another voice in even though it further increases the air of excitement this record already has. We see that this record is a form of catharsis for Taylor as she explores her experiences with love and heartbreak as a young individual through the song “all too well (the ten-minute version)”. Furthermore, I must warn you that if you are a person that cries to songs easily, you better have a box of tissues next to you because I promise you, you’ll start bawling. This album has almost nothing to complain about but if there is one thing I can ramble on about; it is the fact that “stay stay stay” wasn’t removed from this album. To put it plainly, this song is a literal stain on her discography and she didn’t wipe it off as I expected her to with the new version of the album. This song sounds like a child’s YouTube video sound track. Regardless, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” is one of the only albums that I have found easy to listen to continuously without a break although it has 30 songs and a ten-minute version of an already existing track. Taylor will continue to be a force to be reckoned with as she continues to re-record her masterpieces while re-distributing it to an entirely new generation of consumers, strengthening her stance in the industry that she dominates. Allow me to end this article with a thought that many, including myself, believe. Taylor Swift is the music industry.

- Chithru Gunawardena