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Red Like We Never Knew: Taylor Swift Finishes the Story on Her Terms

Swift imbues the beloved autumn album with new life with tracks from the vault and an expanded "All Too Well"

Red Taylor's Version
Taylor Swift, photo by Beth Garrabrant
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    Think, for a moment, about the fall of 2012. Nearly a decade ago now, it feels remarkably far away — at least it does for this writer, who had just moved to Nashville and still sort of thought Taylor Swift would be super easy to bump into at Frothy Monkey or climbing the Percy Warner steps.

    2012 probably feels like a different time for Taylor Swift, too. This was only her fourth studio album, arriving off the heels of Speak Now, an album Swift approached with the intention of proving herself as a solo songwriter.

    Towards the beginning of Red’s assembly, Swift says that she was starting to feel too formulaic — her solution was found in surrounding herself with collaborators and musicians who could help her step outside of the box she was building. Now, it’s easy to look back and see where Red falls in Swift’s evolution. The country roots are there, but it’s a pop album at the end of the day.

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    There’s a special kind of joy that’s been surrounding the releases of Taylor’s Versions. It’s a mix of nostalgia and celebration, a reclamation of work and a reminder of how far Swift (and any of her listeners) have come. This release has felt like an event, one not felt too often in the music industry these days. There was no time other than late autumn that would’ve made sense for this drop — so grab your scarves, make some tea, and settle in for Red (Taylor’s Version).


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