Swift captivates her audience once again

‘Red’ (Taylor’s Version)

Charlotte Reynolds, Managing Editor

Taylor Swift released ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ November 12. This is her second re-released album, and so far the most anticipated. What was once a 16 track album, is now a 30 track masterpiece featuring new collaborations and songs “from the vault”. Swift revisits her 2012 pop-country classic and introduces new lyrics and mature vocals. She united with country star Chris Stapleton, actress and director Blake Lively, and actor Miles Teller for ‘I Bet You Think About Me’. Stapleton offers backing vocals to create Swift’s iconic country sound, while Lively directed the music video starring Miles Teller and Taylor Swift. The video depicts a wedding scene turning red by Swift’s touch. The message can be interpreted as either retaliation to a past romance or Big Machine Records and Scooter Braun’s betrayal of Swift’s artistry and likeness.

By reclaiming her music, Swift’s influence is becoming greater as her success in doing so is a merit of her talent. She also collaborated with singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers in ‘Nothing New’, a tale of women watching their youth pass them by. Both Bridgers and Swift achieved status as musicians at a young age. The two represent wisdom from the perspective of a female artist. In her 2020 documentary Miss Americana, Swift said, “Everyone is a shiny new toy for like two years. The female artists that I know of have reinvented themselves 20 times more than the male artists, they have to, or else they’re out of a job. Constantly having to reinvent, constantly finding new facets of yourself that people find to be shiny. ‘Be new to us, be young to us, but only in a way we want. Reinvent yourself in a way we find to be equally comforting and also a challenge for you.” The song explores double standards given to young women in the public eye.

Possibly the most anticipated song of Swift’s yet, ‘All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)’ was finally gifted to the Swifties. The pioneer of her incredible songwriting, ‘All Too Well’ tells the story of an emotionally abusive relationship. While Swift has been criticized for being “boy crazy” and “too emotional”, her work holds more value than that. She validates and brings artistic integrity to the way young women experience the world and explore self-worth. Her five-minute song became ten minutes of symbolism, storytelling, and vulnerability.

The true nature of her toxic relationship is represented by actors Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien in the short film directed by Swift. The song states “I was never good at telling jokes but the punchline goes: I’ll get older but your lovers stay my age. From when your Brooklyn broke my skin and bones, I’m a soldier who’s returning half her weight.” Swift alludes to her ex Jake Gyllenhaal not finding her jokes funny, which she mentions in ‘Begin Again’. “I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny because he never did”. Swift, however, fires back at Gyllenhaal as he continued to date significantly younger women after he split with her. She also uses metaphors when comparing herself with a soldier. She fought hard for a relationship that her partner did not. As a film director, Swift applies the same creativity she does to her songwriting. Every word and symbol is intentional, and that is what her fans find the most intriguing. Swift’s brilliance allows her to use her voice as an artist in any circumstance, paying homage to her younger self and audience.