by Alyx Johnstone
Red (Taylor’s version) finally dropped on November 12th after months of anticipation from Swifties worldwide. What we were given was more than I (as a die hard Swiftie) could have ever asked for.
After a long battle against her old record label and producer Scooter Braun, Taylor decided to use a generous loophole in entertainment and copyright law and re-record all of her old music so that she was the rightful owner once again. She asked her fans to stop streaming her old songs and instead listen to her new versions, in a smart decision that has seen her popularity rise and her name trend globally across social media.
The newly recorded Red dropped early Friday morning, consisting of 30 songs, some of which are brand new releases that have never been heard before. Without a doubt the highest anticipated song was the new version of ‘All Too Well’. The heartbreaking pop song was re-released with a new 10 minute version and a short film to go alongside it featuring Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink. I’m not ashamed to admit that when I first listened to the 10 minute version, curtains closed, lights out under the duvet, I sobbed. I haven’t stopped sobbing since and my tears got especially bad when the short film was dropped on Friday night. The moving 14 minute video is a re-enactment of the song, and her version of the relationship and heartbreak that she endured at the hands of actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who broke her heart back in 2012 when he was 9 years her senior.
Talking on the Late Night with Seth Myers show, Taylor said
“At the time when this album was released about a decade ago, I was honestly really sad cause you know I had actually gone through the stuff that I had sung about”.
She then goes onto say about how happy she is now (perhaps a subtle reference to her loved up but private relationship with actor Joe Alwyn) and how she is fully enjoying the experience this time without that sadness holding her back.
Despite her happiness now, the album is filled with her usual heartbreaking songs. Collaborating with indie singer Phoebe Bridgers, she has released what is likely to become one of the most popular songs on the album called ‘Nothing New’. A slow sad ballad about a young woman’s anxieties about not being enough for the world around her anymore. Balanced out with her girl power break up pop songs like ‘We are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ and the classic ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’, the album conveys a whole spectrum of emotions.
No matter your opinion on Taylor Swift, there is no denying that she is amongst some of the most talented musicians and songwriters of the 21st century. No longer are we tolerating the narrative that we used to see in the media that Taylor is the one that’s had ‘too many boyfriends’ or writes too much about ‘her heartbreaks’. This time, us Swifties are reclaiming the power of her music and letting it affect us without feeling any of the shame. So pack up your internalised misogyny, we’re crying to Taylor Swift and leaving the negativity behind in 2012 where it belongs.
Politics & Journalism Student