New Year, Nothing New (Taylor’s Version)
Updated: Mar 25
Taylor Swift kick-starts the year with her “new/old autumn heartbreak album,” Red
With the hope of reclaiming her ownership, world-renowned artist Taylor Swift recreates her previous albums with the stamp, Taylor’s Version. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) was the first album released with said imprint on April 9, 2021, and recently, on the 12th of November, 2021, Red (Taylor’s Version) was issued. These albums encompass the beloved and original Taylor Swift songs that our generation has grown up with; now, we are able to enjoy Taylor’s true songs as if it were the first time around.
“It never would have been possible to go back & remake my previous work, uncovering lost art & forgotten gems along the way if you hadn’t emboldened me,” Taylor said to her fans, explaining that these are not just prettier versions of her preceding work, but instead the original songs that were supposed to come out in the Red (2012) album. She never published these songs because she was too scared to speak up, but now she feels different; braver. She says, “Red is about to be mine again, but it has always been ours. Now we begin again.”
This is the cover image for Taylor’s new album.
Taylor’s original album, Red (2012), captures the secret loves and heartbreaks that Taylor went through when she was working on the album. Swift captivates the raw emotions that a heartbroken person feels through these harsh times, especially since she got to experience them herself. She describes these as “a fractured mosaic of feelings” fitting together perfectly in the end for her songs. “Happy, free, confused, lonely, devastated, euphoric, wild, and tortured by memories past,” Swift shares in one of the latest Parade Newsletters, naming only a few of the emotions present.
“Red was an album of heartbreak and healing, of rage and rawness, of tragedy and trauma, and of the loss of an imagined future alongside someone,” said Swift. Although there have been certain lovers and heartbreakers in Swift’s picture, there has been one that has left everyone astounded and is rumored to be Taylor’s main source of inspiration while writing the album: Jake Gyllenhaal.
Wind in my hair, I was there
The most renowned song from Red (Taylor’s Version) is, without a doubt, “All Too Well.” “All Too Well” is about Taylor Swift’s past relationship with actor Jake Gyllenhaal. In 2010, Gyllenhaal and Swift dated for three months. She was 21, and He was on the verge of turning 30, which moved Him to break up with Her (you’ll see why we capitalized these words in a bit). Jake Gyllenhaal, now 40 years old, is dating a 25-year-old French model, Jeanne Cadieu. In the 10-minute song, Taylor sings the verse, “I’ll get older but your lovers stay my age,” referring to Gyllenhaal’s attraction to younger women. Do some things never change?
An extended, 10-minute film version of “All Too Well” was released on November 12th, 2021. American actors Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink starred in the romantic short film Him and Her, a passionate couple with a considerable age gap, which conflicted their relationship to the point where they split up. In the video we can see the couple fall out of love, and how Him and Her live their lives without each other. At the end of the film, we are transported some years into the future after Her writes a book about her experience. For these scenes, Taylor Swift herself portrayed Her, because the song is based on one of Swift’s true heartbreaks, and in the background, we can see Him coming to visit.
This image is from the “All Too Well” 10-minute version. It portrays Him and Her when they were in love. (Credit)
The Tonight Show did a special show with Taylor Swift in which they intently discussed “Red (Taylor’s Version).” On said show, the pop-star said the 10-minute version of “All Too Well” is the track she was most excited to share with her fans because she was going through a sad time in her life, due to her experience with Jake Gyllenhaal, and that she hopes she helped others with the lyrics of her record-breaking song. She says she started ad-libbing her situation and her feelings to what ultimately became the beloved “All Too Well.”
Everything Has Changed
Giving new meanings and perspectives to her songs as well as recreating her iconic songs which most of our generation grew up with, Taylor collaborated with new artists such as Phoebe Bridgers, Chris Stapleton, Gary Lightbody, and the one and only Ed Sheeran. Yes, “All Too Well,” especially the 10-minute version, might have been the highlight of the album, but many people think otherwise. Bridgers and Swift’s new song, “Nothing New (Taylor’s Version),” had a great impact on Phoebe’s and Taylor’s fans, as well as on the Tik Tok platform while also greatly impacting these artists’ careers, since most of them are just rising into fame, like Bridgers. These collaborations were greatly loved by the artists Swift worked with and her audience, including myself.
Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers are experts at expressing our heartbreak feelings in their songs. This image was trending on Pinterest, and Bridgers found and posted it on her Instagram account.
“All Too Well” was not the only song that reached great popularity. Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift collaborated to recreate the iconic song, “Everything Has Changed.” “It is so fun to revisit these songs,” Sheeran said on an Instagram post on November 12th. “Check out the whole album on all platforms and have an awesome weekend.”
Red (Taylor’s Version) was just published two months ago, yet Album of the year has already named it the best 4th album of 2021, only a month after being published. In addition, Rolling Stone magazine confirms that Red has been her greatest album yet, and that although it has faced the biggest challenges because Swift had to remake a masterpiece, it has come to demonstrate Taylor’s journey as an exceptional artist. If you didn’t get a chance to listen to the album over the holidays, here is a link to go listen right now!
Hold on to your seats, because Reputation (Taylor’s Version) is coming out on November 11, 2022! Until next time, remember Red all too well.