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Charts painted “Red” after Swift’s new release


     As you saw on every high school girl’s Instagram story, Taylor Swift released her re-recording of Red (Taylor’s Version) on Nov. 12. The album shattered many streaming records and broke Spotify. 

     Why is she re-recording her albums? That seems to be the most asked question nowadays. When Swift was young, desperate and willing to do anything to be famous, she signed to a label called Big Machine Records. In 2019, Big Machine Records was sold to Scooter Braun, aka not a good person (I would use worse words, but this is going in the school newspaper). Braun made it so that Swift did not own her own songs for the albums that she recorded while working under Big Machine Records. She still owned the lyrics to all her songs, but not the recordings that were put on her albums, so she has the ability to record her Taylor’s Version with the exact same words as the original.

     Obviously, the songs sound a little different since she is nine years older than she was when she recorded the first version of Red. The other difference is this version of Red has extra songs that were not on the original album called vault songs. These are songs that Swift wrote while she was writing Red, but chose not to put on the original album. She added these songs to make people want to switch which version of Red they listen to, because

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only dedicated fans would take the time to switch all their playlists to the new version if no new content had been added. These vault songs make people want to listen to the new album due to the fact that they have never heard them therefore cutting Braun’s profits. 

     The star of the album is “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault).”

Lots of parenthesis there, but a stellar song. The five-minute version of the song was on the original album, but she decided to cut the ten-minute version to five minutes while at the same time cutting out all the lyrics with the most shade. Our favorite lyrics that were tragically cut out of the ten-minute version are: “I was never good at telling jokes, but the punchline goes ‘I’ll get older but your lovers stay my age'", “You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath”, and “But he watched me watch the door all night, willing you to come, and he said ‘it’s supposed to be fun, turning 21’”. The last quote hits the hardest, if we are honest. It is about how Jake Gyllenhaal (who Swift never confirmed the album was about, but made it quite obvious) did not come to her 21st birthday party — we know, a terrible thing to do. Swift then went on to write an entire song on this event called “The Moment I Knew”. 

     This masterpiece comes with its very own short film acted out by Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink. With Sink being 19 years old and O’Brien 30 years old, we can draw the conclusion that Swift was reenacting the age gap between her and Gyllenhaal. The short film walks viewers through the three-month relationship between Swift and Gyllenhaal and the aftermath of the breakup for Swift. Sink and O’Brien act out stages in their relationship such as a getaway, a huge fight, dinner with friends, the breakup, post-breakup blues and then many years later. The last clip of the film said 13 years later and switched to Swift (with dyed red hair to match Sink) at a book reading where she read her book called All Too Well. Since this relationship happened 11 years ago, fans are speculating that Swift may be hinting that she will release a book in two years since she is known to tease fans by placing Easter eggs in her work. The biggest gut punch to Gyllenhaal in this film is the fact that the music video meets all the requirements for an Oscar, the most prestigious awards in film, for the short film category. Imagine being Gyllenhaal, a successful actor, but never having won the biggest award and your ex-girlfriend, who is not even in film, wins one before you. It is the ultimate revenge for Swift and a massive petty move, which we fully support. 

     Swift’s voice sounds older in all her songs, but especially in the songs in the album in which she talks. The best example of this is “We Are Never Getting Back Together” in which she says the lines “Ah, so he calls me up and he's like, ‘I still love you’ and I'm like, I'm just, I mean this is exhausting, you know? Like we are never getting back together, like, ever” and “With some indie record that's much cooler than mine”. 

     Other changes in the album come in all the rest of the songs where little things are tweaked or added. The best example is “Girl at Home” where Swift adds a more upbeat rhythm in the background to change the whole dynamic of the song. It makes the song much better, easier to dance around to and just overall more enjoyable. Another little tweak Swift made was in the song “Stay, Stay, Stay”. At the end of this song she added backup vocals where she sings “stay stay stay”, but she drags out the last stay. That extra layer makes it so satisfying to hear and 100 percent improves the song.

     We loved finding all the new changes and additions to the Red (Taylor’s Version) album. It did not take us long to memorize the lyrics all too well, and we cannot wait for Swift to rerelease the other three albums she does not own!

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