Swiftie or not, we’re sure you’ve heard about Red (Taylor’s Version) and the song and short film for All Too Well (10 Minute Version). The short film starring Sadie Sink (Stranger Things) and Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner) is also currently dominating many social sharing and streaming platforms including YouTube and Letterboxd. The song, along with 29 other tracks in the new release, was the talk of the internet after it became available on streaming platforms last weekend.
We won’t dive deep into who the song and the rehashed album from 2012 is allegedly about but we’re here with a little tldr (too long didn’t read) if you’re confused about why Taylor Swift is re-releasing her past works.
Taylor’s previous record label, Big Machine Records, owns the masters of her six albums. Masters are the official recordings of the songs that are distributed for profit. After Taylor left Big Machine in 2018, the company refused Taylor’s request to acquire ownership of her songs. The company also sold the rights of her recordings to another label without her consent. It’s a messy and complicated business, but it’s what prompted Taylor to re-record her old songs — a version that she owns. In April this year, Taylor re-released the tracks to her 2008 hit Fearless.
Now that you’re all caught up, let’s talk more about our favourite tracks from Taylor’s Red (Taylor’s Version).
Red (Taylor’s Version)
Of course, we’re starting off with the album’s title track. Red (Taylor’s Version) offers metaphors in the form of colours for the feelings one may have when loving someone. When Taylor said, “losing him was blue” and “loving him was red,” we can’t help but nod and sing along because we know exactly what she means even if the words are simple. It’s effective songwriting and we know it.
Fun fact: Red is one of Taylor’s earlier albums that offered diverse music styles; at the time, Taylor considered herself a country singer. She said it was deliberate since this is her “only true breakup album” and she wanted to depict the messiness of breakups by having an eclectic mix of songs on the tracklist.
I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)
Just when we thought Taylor is done surprising her fans after the release of the All Too Well short film, she suddenly announced the music video for her formerly unreleased track I Bet You Think About Me (IBYTAM). The song revisits a relationship that never worked out because of different backgrounds and circles. However, instead of lingering on ‘what ifs’, it focuses on realising your worth and how an ex’s perception of you does not and should not define who you truly are.
Fun fact: IBYTAM’s music video was directed by Gossip Girl alum Blake Lively who’s also good friends with Taylor. Taylor also used the names of Blake’s children James, Inez, and Betty in the Folklore track named after Blake’s youngest kid.
Nothing New (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)(Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)
While Taylor is more known for her love songs, she also has a lot of tracks that talk about adulting, including Nothing New. This song perfectly captures feelings of being lost in your 20s and trying to navigate through life and transitioning from a young adult to an actual adult. It’s definitely the perfect track to put on when you’re feeling introspective.
Fun fact: One of the hard-hitting lines from this song is ‘How can a person know everything at 18 but nothing at 22?’ Taylor is known for being meticulous with details when it comes to her albums so we’re betting this is the reason why Nothing New is the album’s 22nd track.
Run (feat. Ed Sheeran)(Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)
Run sounds like a song that Taylor wrote as a result of her relationships always being scrutinised by the media. Still, it’s a track that even non-celebs like us can also relate to. It’s about taking a breather and running somewhere far away with someone you love. It’s about making spontaneous choices once in a while and just freeing yourself from things that hold you back. It’s a feel-good song and it’s also arranged like a roadtrip track.
Fun fact: Ed Sheeran revealed in an Instagram post that despite only being released now, Run was actually the first track he and Taylor worked on together even though Everything Has Changed was the first one to be released in 2012.
Ronan (Taylor’s Version)
Tay’s breakup songs can cause a tear or two, but it’s nothing compared to the ones we’re shedding for Ronan. The song is written from the perspective of a parent who lost their child way too early. While the story of the song is very specific, it’s a track that anyone who’s ever lost someone they love and care for can relate to. It’s a song about recovering from grief immortalised by Taylor’s poetic songwriting.
Fun fact: The song was inspired by Ronan Thompson, a boy who died from neuroblastoma in 2011 just before his fourth birthday. Taylor reached out to Ronan’s mum Maya when she read about Ronan on Maya’s blog and credited Maya as her co-writer for the song. The song was used for a charity event during its initial release. Meanwhile, the lyric video of the song released for Taylor’s Version serves as a tribute to Ronan and also raises awareness about pediatric cancer through the Ronan Thompson Foundation.
Whether you love her, hate her, or don’t know what to feel about her, Taylor Swift and her music undeniably have a major impact in today’s pop culture and music industry. For us though, we can’t wait to see what else is to come.
(Cover photo from: @taylorswift)
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