Swifties are Happy, Free, Confused, and Lonely in the Best Way in Wake of Taylor Swift’s Re-release of Her Fourth Studio Album, Red


I would start this article off by saying that Taylor Swift is back and better than ever, but honey, she never left.

I think it’s safe to say that the majority of Swifties have been recovering from a little bit of whiplash recently after the absolute rollercoaster ride that we have been on, with Taylor operating the ride of course, over the past year or two.

Through the duration of quarantine Taylor was by far the most productive artist out there. She took herself and her music to the top with her newest quarantine motivated genius. Folklore (2020), the first released of the sister albums, won several awards including the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, Danish Music Award for International Album of the Year, and iHeartRadio Music Award for Pop Album of the Year. And winning just as many music awards follows the second released sister album, Evermore (2020).

Swifties were more than amazed at Taylor’s relentless ability to surprise fans with recent music when she released not one, but two new albums in the middle of a global pandemic, yet she was not about to stop there. Taylor’s creative musical flow continued with a strong current in the re-release of her album Fearless (2008) towards the beginning of this year in April followed by the re-release of Red (2012) in November.

Back in a 2005 agreement, fifteen-year-old Taylor made a deal with the devil- oops, did I say the devil? What I meant to say was Big Machine Records. She signed a deal which conveyed the ownership rights for the recordings of her first six albums to Big Machine Records, the record label who signed her on.

Taylor does not own the master recordings to any of the songs on her albums prior to the release of her album Lover (2019) due to her contract with her now previous record label, Big Machine Records, which was purchased by Scooter Braun in the year of 2019. And since then, Braun has sold Taylor’s master recordings to an investment firm, Shamrock Holdings.

Swift says she refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement that would have prevented her from speaking out against Braun whom she had feuded with in the past, and added that this had been asked of her before she and her team along with the Big Machine Records team could even look at the financial records of BMLG, which is the first step in the process for a purchase of this nature.

Since parting ways with the label and signing on with Universal Music Group, she has opted to reclaim her songs the best way she knows how – re-record her first six albums.

Not only is Taylor re-recording all of her songs that were featured on her original albums and their singles, but she is also finally getting to record the fist full of songs she wrote that failed to make the final album. The songs in which failed to make the final album are being named as her songs “From the Vault.”

Taylor is not re-recording her older music to make more money; rather, she is raising awareness for the sake of any future artists who are signing onto a record label, to be aware of the contracts they are signing, allowing them to have more power and financial freedom over their own work.

“You deserve to own the art you make” Taylor says, and us Swifties could not agree more.

In October of the year 2012, Taylor released her fourth studio album, Red, a career-defining moment in her music career as she had carefully been walking the thin wire between country music and pop music with her previous music releases. Red was the clear nexus of where her career started and where it was going. Red solidified her country-pop roots, it yet introduced her fans to her recent experimentation with dance, indie rock, electronic, and folk music. The results comprised a beautiful mess of feelings and emotions stemming from a whirlwind of lyrical genius.

Taylor’s release of Red set her up for a more experimental and freer career, and from there her music only became more open to various musical genres. Red sent every critic and their mother running to their nearest coffee shop to settle down and write their review. Despite every critic’s harshest review on her album, Taylor stuck it out and dang, did it pay off.

So, when Taylor announced her release of her album Red (Taylor’s Version) this year, you could imagine the pure bliss Swifties were experiencing. With autumn leaves falling like pieces into place during this autumn season, we were all ready for a throwback to those ‘in my feels’ days. So, grab your non-fat caramel latte, and let’s begin…again.

Starting off the album with an upbeat drumming introduction, “State of Grace (Taylor’s Version)”, certainly gets you in the mood to get up and dance around the kitchen in the refrigerator light.  I could totally picture this song being featured in a romance movie, perhaps one starring Julia Roberts alongside her co-star Paul Rudd who plays her character’s love interest with an enemy to lovers’ trope. It’s just that good of a song.

Throwing it back to her absolute classics, “Red (Taylor’s Version)”, “22 (Taylor’s Version)”, and “We Are Never Getting Back Together (Taylor’s Version)”, Taylor comes in with her top hit songs of 2012. The original versions of these songs once made to the top of the charts, and I’m betting that they’ll do it again.

Taylor really comes back in full swing with her renewed versions of the original hits.

There are countless connections fans are now making between her old and new music as Taylor re-releases her re-recorded original music, and honestly, we’re all astonished with some of the song parallels. Listening to the album with a completely different mindset game me an opportunity to listen more closely to the detailed yet coded lyrics within her songs.

My younger self is screaming right now at how much Taylor has grown and matured over the years, and she shows it in her re-recorded albums. In these re-recorded versions of the original bangers, you could tell just by listening to her music, how much Taylor’s voice has matured and grown since her first release of the album. And as her voice was exquisite then, it is just as exquisite now, but with the power and confidence behind it that she has earned over the years with her personal success and the success she has had in her career.

Not only has blondie gifted us with a re-recorded version of her album, several “From the Vault” songs that didn’t make the original album, and her re-recorded singles, but she has also provided us with the original, untweaked, ten-minute version of her song, “All Too Well”, and this has fans on their knees for her.

Although the original version of the song was a masterpiece in itself, the untouched re-recorded version holds so much of those feelings that Taylor had when she was first going through the heart-shattering breakup with her current beau that she wasn’t able to include in the final cut of the song because of her management’s restrictions for her music. Fans are really feeling the raw emotion coming through “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version) (Ten-Minute Version)”, and Taylor seems to be enjoying the show of support for her music.

Each song on Swift’s re-recorded, Red (Taylor’s Version), is accompanied by its own unique lyric video with a visualizer of the song. However, Swifties knew all too well that for her most heartfelt song Taylor was going to need to do more than just a lyric video.

On November 5th , just one week prior to her release of Red (Taylor’s Version), Taylor announced the release date for an “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” short film written and directed by Taylor Swift herself.

In addition to Swift, All Too Well, the short film, stars Stranger Things actress Sadie Sink and Teen Wolf actor Dylan O’Brien as the film’s ill-fated couple.

And although her character is an unhappy one, Sink could not be more thrilled to be playing the role of a character in Taylor Swift’s surprise short film dedicated to a much-anticipated ten-minute version of “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version) (Ten-Minute Version), which happens to be one of Sink’s favorite songs of Taylor’s.

“I probably wouldn’t have done the movie if Sadie had said no” Swift admits in a recent interview at the film’s premiere.

The short film clocks in at fourteen minutes and fifty-six seconds on YouTube, and you could best believe that Swifties were sobbing for at least ten of the almost fifteen minutes of the short film.

From hurriedly working to find the hidden easter eggs in Taylor’s recent releases to experiencing all the feels listening to her renewed songs, Swifties are not fine at all.

Taylor and her fans have loved, grown, and healed together since her first release of Red in 2012, and to be able to witness Taylor go through all of the obstacles in her path, the heartbreak caused by those she sings about in her songs, and the hatful critics she has proved wrong a thousand times over is an extraordinary honor.