Fans perceive Red (Taylor’s Version) ‘All Too Well’

Written By Tia Bailey, Co-Features/A&E Editor

4.5 Globes

Taylor Swift unearthed holy ground this past weekend when she released her re-recordings of her album “Red (Taylor’s Version).”

The album features 30 songs – 20 re-recordings and 10 vault tracks (songs that were written for the album but didn’t make it onto the original). For those unaware, Taylor Swift is re-recording her first 6 albums (Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989 and Reputation) because they are owned by her former record company, not Taylor herself. It is a frustrating situation that I encourage readers to research further. With this album, Swift is about more than just releasing her old and unknown songs in a more mature voice — it’s about owning her music again. But, onto the actual review.

My favorites from the 2021 “Red” were “State of Grace,” “Treacherous,” “All Too Well,” “Holy Ground,” “Begin Again” and “Come Back…Be Here.” My thoughts on “All Too Well” and “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” will be at the very end, for the sake of word counts, space and people who don’t care to read my emotional ramblings.

“State of Grace (Taylor’s Version)” is one of my favorite first tracks to an album ever. “Red” is a heartbreak album, with many of the songs being about a certain actor she dated back when she was 20 years old. However, while many of the other songs are about heartbreak, “State of Grace” is about new love. The upbeat first track states “This is the state of grace, this is the worthwhile fight.” The song is hopeful and less sad than the majority of the others on the album, with a few exceptions.

“Treacherous (Taylor’s Version)” was the first song on my first listen of the re-recording of “Red (Taylors Version)” to take me out (in a painful, but good way). The song is softer than “State of Grace” but still kind of upbeat. “Treacherous (Taylors Version)” is about a relationship that she knows may not be the best, but as she says, “Nothing safe is worth the drive.” The song acknowledges that the relationship will most likely not work out but knows she will still pursue it regardless.

“Begin Again (Taylor’s Version)” is another that hurt me in the best way. The song is about finding new love after a previous relationship seemingly took away the rose-colored glasses you once viewed the world through. She makes comparisons from her old relationship to this new song, singing “I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny ‘cause he never did.” With this new person, she is able to start to believe in love again. “I’ve been spending the last eight months thinking all love ever does is break and burn and end, but on a Wednesday in a cafe I watched it begin again.”

The vault tracks, like the rest of the album, sent me on an emotional rollercoaster. “Nothing New (feat. Phoebe Bridgers) (Taylor’s Version)” is one of my favorites, although very sad. Both Taylor and Phoebe are known for making sad music, so this was already expected to deliver on those grounds. The track is about being scared of aging and losing everything you have. With lyrics like “How can a person know everything at eighteen but nothing at twenty-two?” and “Will you still want me when I’m nothing new,” the song definitely strikes a cord in listeners.

Another one of my favorite vault tracks is a completely different vibe. “The Very First Night (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” is very upbeat and reminds me of a song that would be on her peppy pop album “1989.” This song recalls a relationship that she feels good about. The music itself is cheerful, although the lyrics out of context seem a little less so. “I wish we could go back in time and I’d say to you, I miss you like it was the very first night.”

Much like with my first listen of the album, for this review I have had to work myself up to “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version),” specifically the 10-minute version. “All Too Well” is a song I have connected with since the original “Red” dropped back in 2012. Back then, I was only 12, so I was really just making up scenarios in my head, and the song made me sad. However, now at 21, I have had several relationships, and this song has continued to make me feel something that other songs just simply have not.

Fans of Taylor Swift have known about the 10-minute version of the song since she let it slip in an interview that the first draft was that long, but she had to cut it down for the album. Ever since, Swifties have not let her breathe without begging for her to release it. With “Red (Taylor’s Version),” she finally obliged.

“All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” is about a toxic relationship she was in at 20 years old. She does not hold back in this song, with lyrics like “You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath,” “You call me up again just to break me like a promise, so casually cruel in the name of being honest” and more,which anyone who has been heartbroken will be able to relate in some way. Admittedly, I was nervous for this to come out. It has been so highly anticipated that I was sure there would be some kind of disappointment, but for me, it exceeded every expectation I had, as did the rest of the album.

The songs with lyrics that hit us hard at 12 years old combined with Taylor’s more mature vocals made listening to the album a surreal experience, and I couldn’t be more excited for the remaining rerecordings.