On Friday, the Grammy award-winning singer unveiled “Red (Taylor’s Version),” a rerecording of her acclaimed 2012 album “Red,” as part of her ongoing mission to regain ownership of her early music.
While the original album was 16 tracks, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” is an epic 30 tracks, featuring musical collaborations with Phoebe Bridgers, Gary Lightbody, Ed Sheeran and Chris Stapleton. It also includes nine previously unreleased songs that didn’t make the final product in 2012.
And guessing from the reactions on social media, revisiting the past isn’t always a bad idea.
“I am crying @taylorswift13 #RedTaylorsVersion . Freaking AWESOME,” one fan wrote on Twitter, while another said: “taylor swift just hits different and especially when its Red we are talking about.”
Among music critics, the reception was also largely positive.
Writing specifically about the long-lost 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” he said Swift “takes her own masterpiece, tears it all up, breaks it like a promise, shreds her tapestry, and rebuilds it into a new heartbreak epic, twice as long and twice as mad.”
However, he writes: “A general initial impression is that the more acoustically based stuff is easier to exactly recreate without producer Nathan Chapman than her very first forays into electro-pop are without Max Martin, although the differences may be hard for the non-Swiftie ear to immediately be heard.”
Nonetheless, he says, the collection of nine previously unreleased songs “doesn’t have a real dud in the bunch.”
“You hear it clearest on the spoken-word moments, like ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’s withering put-down: “With some indie record that’s much cooler than mine,” she writes, before adding that “It’s the sort of eye-roll moment typical of being a young adult, and while delivered with vim in its creation, in these moments the shifts in Swift’s lyricism and vocals in the 10 years since it was first released are obvious.”