Red (Taylor’s Version) breaks records with massive charting success

Photo by Matthias Groeneveld from Pexels

Last week, Taylor Swift released her latest rerecorded album, Red (Taylor’s Version). Clocking in at two hours and ten minutes, the 30-track album achieved massive critical success.

Accompanied with heaps of praise from musical review outlets such as the Rolling Stones and the Independent, Red (Taylor’s Version) has further earned a 94 out of 100 from Metacritic and 9.6 out of 10 from Pitchfork.

In addition to the critical acclaim, Miss Swift broke several records on the Spotify streaming service.

The US native became the most-streamed female in a day and had the most-streamed album in a day, which was previously held by another one of her albums, Folklore.

Of the album’s 30 songs, 20 were previously featured on the original Red album.

Most of these songs stayed close to their previous form, maybe with slightly different production or a different rhythm on a certain line. However, one song entirely changed direction.

The previously simple, country-style “Girl at Home” surprised listeners with a full pop-synth production.

Postgraduate student at the University of Limerick, Mariah Lewis, enjoyed listening for the differences between the original album and the rerecordings.

“It was a fresh take on my old favorite songs from that album.”

“I really loved ‘State of Grace’, ‘Treacherous’ and ‘All Too Well,’” Mariah added.

However, the songs that stole the show were the 10 “From the Vault” tracks, a mix of never-before-heard songs and reclaimed songs she wrote performed by other artists.

A few of the vault tracks featured other singers, Phoebe Bridgers, Chris Stapleton, and Ed Sheeran.

The vault songs continued the trend of Red (Taylor’s Version) being a chaotic, not sonically cohesive album, however, the juxtaposition of songs works by not working.

“Message in a Bottle” is an epic pop song with full production, and it is immediately followed by the full-blown country-accent “I Bet You Think About Me.”

It does not follow naturally, and in a sense, it furthers the story of the album being a whirlwind of heartbreak and emotions.

Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

The contradiction of pop and country also speaks to the chronological sense of the album, between her banjo-plucking country album Speak Now and her transition to a pop star with the album 1989.

The cult classic “All Too Well” got refreshed with a ten-minute version filled with heartbreak and anger.

Many fans agree that the extended version is an improvement on an already perfect song.

“’All Too Well’ – the ten-minute version – just devastated me,” Mariah said. “She is such an incredible songwriter.”

The accompanying short film, starring Stranger Thing’s Sadie Sink and Maze Runner’s Dylan O’Brien, also led viewers to tears.

“I watched the short film with my roommate,” Mariah said.

“We stayed up and watched the premiere and we were both transfixed to the screen. It was really amazing the way she was able to portray the emotion in the song. The actors did a really incredible job as well.”

The Verdict

Red (Taylor’s Version) is here to stay, stay, stay.

“Listen to Taylor Swift’s version of Red,” Mariah said. “It’s amazing, but have some tissues with you.”

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