…She’s better than us all
2012 was an iconic period of time-Owl City was incredibly popular, memes were at their most random, Tumblr bred a cesspool of Dr. Who and Supernatural fan pages; and Taylor Swift released the ‘Red’ album for the first time. Following the 2020 break away from her former record label, she sought to re-release new versions of all her albums, along with unreleased original songs.
Listening to the Red album was super nostalgic, not just because of the fact that these songs have been out for a while and so we already know them, but because hearing Swift’s older voice recount the heartbreak, excitement, and storm of emotions she felt at 21 and 22 feels nothing short of comforting. It almost feels like an older sibling walking through your first breakup; you truly feel like you grew up together.
State Of Grace- 7/10
This song re-recording felt like driving home from work and meeting your friends at Andy’s for ice cream on a school night. It’s not too high-energy, but just enough to make you feel warm and contented. This really is the perfect song to start an album.
The imagery, the nostalgia, the everything. *chef’s kiss*
This song is great, it’s just not a stand-out on this album. Still a bop, though.
I Knew You Were Trouble- 3/10
Is This controversial? Probably. That said, this song doesn’t really resonate as hard with the mature voice of an older Taylor Swift. This song is the petty ‘my friends were right about you’ breakup song of our dreams, and for some reason in the re-recording, it just doesn’t quite measure up.
All Too Well+ The 10 Minute Version- 11/10
Gorgeous. Cried. Everything I could ever dream of. The breakup was even worse than I thought it could be. This song made me feel like I dated Jake Gyllenhaal- the heartbreak was stunning. The short-film: stunning. In conclusion, give her the scarf back, Jake.
This song is still an absolute banger, but hearing a grown up Taylor Swift in this song made me kind of sad because it reminded me that I’m an adult now and I got in my feels about it.
I Almost Do- 8/10
This song is honestly even better as a re-recording. This song feels like your older sister telling you about how your first heartbreak is going to go down after going through a relationship and it ending for the first time. It feels like she’s telling a little girl about everything she felt so they know everything turns out fine, even if it feels like the end of the world.
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together- 10/10
This song still remains a banger of mass proportions, but hearing it this way reminds me of hearing my mom and her friends talking trash about their old high school boyfriends at movie night when I ask them for dating advice. I love it.
Stay Stay Stay- 5/10
It sounds the same pretty much-still awesome but nothing too notable.
The Last Time- 7/10
This song sounds so pretty and I love it.
Holy Ground- 8/10
This feels like overcoming religious trauma. The lyrics of leaving somewhere that needs you to not be the person you really resonate with how I felt leaving behind the church I went to for years.
Sad Beautiful Tragic- 3/10
Is this what missing daddy-daughter dances feels like? If so, ow.
The Lucky One- 7/10
This song feels like your friends telling you that you’re dodging a bullet after breaking up with your ex.
Everything Has Changed- 9/10
This song is definitely the most ‘folklore’ song on the album.
Absolute bop, but nothing particularly special on this album. It honestly feels more like a ‘speak now’ song.
Begin Again- 10/10
One of my favorite re-recordings on this album. This is such a go-to song for me when I don’t feel very loved, the best part is that it makes you feel so hopeful when you hear it. This reminds me of my best friends, even if the song is about a new relationship, it also makes you sit back and realize you have healthy friendships now.
The Moment I knew- 10/10
This song describes such a specific feeling that you just feel it right in the chest. I love it.
Come Back…Be Here- 4/10
Pretty song, but not one of my favorites on this album.
Girl At Home- 7/10
The shade!!!! Such a bop of a song and I love it. This makes you feel like you’re at a party with that one guy your friend is dating that you haven’t trusted since day one.
State Of Grace Acoustic- 8/10
This song is a different feeling when you realized how much you’ve changed in the last four years.
This song is so sweet especially given the context of its writing. This song was written for a child cancer survivor and even though he didn’t win his fight, it just goes to show the love and support that family brings. Tears.
The Vault Songs:
Better Man- 9/10
You leave me and my daddy issues out of this, Miss Swift.
Nothing New- 7/10
The female experience in one song.
I remember sobbing to this song after my first serious breakup and hearing it again now really puts into perspective how much the things that mattered at 13 don’t matter nearly as much as they used to.
Message In A Bottle- 7/10
This song really sums up the feeling of not being good enough in a relationship, and gotta say- ouch.
I Bet You Think About Me- 9/10
I love this so much, the way that it reminds you of the fact that you’re much harder to forget than you think you are is really an important message for young people all over the world.
Forever Winter- 9/10
The way this song really captures the feeling of realizing that a relationship is dying. It hurts in the best possible way.
This song feels like throwing caution to the wind as classical music plays. Stunning.
The Very First Night- 10/10
This song scratches the brain in a very specific way. I remember dancing in the kitchen in socks while watching Mary Poppins with my 8th-grade boyfriend. Very nostalgic.
Honestly, I did not think I could like a re-recording as much as I loved the ‘fearless’ re-record. This album broke my heart and then sewed it back together in such a perfect way. Taylor Swift singing these old songs as an older version of herself really reminds you of an older sibling talking to you as you grow up. Please listen to this album, and as always- thank you for reading another review with Jules.