Taylor Swift

Red [Taylor's Version]

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Red [Taylor's Version] Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

The second in a series of catalog re-recordings and revisions, Red [Taylor's Version] finds Taylor Swift revisiting her self-styled pop breakthrough Red. Released nine years after the original album, Red [Taylor's Version] does bear a few signs of maturation, notably on the explicitly pop moments, such as "I Knew You Were Trouble," "22," and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," which seem ever so slightly muted when compared to the 2012 versions. Nevertheless, much of the point of the re-recordings is to get these new versions as close to the original versions as possible so they can be easily licensed and to that end, Swift succeeds admirably. The more interesting part of Red [Taylor's Version] arrives in the second half when Swift records songs left in the vault, including "Better Man" -- a song she gave to Little Big Town, who won a Grammy for Best Country/Duo Group Performance in 2018 for their recording -- and duets with Phoebe Bridgers ("Nothing New"), Chris Stapleton ("I Bet You Think About Me"), and Ed Sheeran ("Run"). The highlight of these is a ten-minute version of "All Too Well," a bitter ballad that was already one of the peaks of Red and is now turned into an epic kiss-off. This, along with excavated songs, are reason enough for Swift to revisit Red and they, not the re-recordings, are the reason to return to Red [Taylor's Version].

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