Taylor Swift - Red Album Review

While other women at her age are still fighting into adulthood, Taylor Swift seems to have found a way to make her journey easier and to mark the passage from teenager to fully grownup. She released her first adult pop album, Red.

This new album is Swift’s most interesting full-length to date, but it won’t be her last. At the age of 22, Taylor Swift is making it crystal clear that she has much to say and do in her career and that she will continue to pursue transcendence. Red is extraordinary, even if she has changed producers, and Billboard magazine has every right to compare her with Shania Twain. “Red puts Swift the artist front and center with big, beefy hooks that transcend her country roots for a genre-spanning record that reaches heights unseen since Shania Twain’s Up! - a 2002 release so tireless in efforts to people-please it was released with two discs’ worth of pop and country takes of its 19 songs,” writes the famous music magazine.

Whether she’ll have a long-lasting successful career as Shania did or whether her shining star fades away, this remains to be seen. What we do know for now is that Swift plays tough and she has carefully chosen the right people at the right place to ensure her ascending path to eternal glory. She changed some of the producers and convinced Max Martin, the mastermind behind Pink’s “So What” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” and his partner Shellback to produce three of her best songs. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is a smash, Swift’s first No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart, while “I Knew You Were Trouble” with its dubstep-lite chorus and “22″ with its sweet synths are a perfect explosion of Euro-pop glee.

Listening to all 16 tracks feels like you’re entering into a girls’ world, where boys are some sort of Kanye West replica that treats you bad and breaks your heart or just simple boys with whom girls only want to flirt and play around their fingers. “Treacherous” for example is a song about a girl wanting to have a nice, good boy in her life: “I’ll do anything you say/If you say it with your hands,” she sings. “I Almost Do” is an ode to a girl’s urge of reconnecting with an ex that broke her heart, but stays still and cries her sorrow for not being able to “risk another goodbye.” “Stay Stay Stay” is about a current boyfriend and a few memories about those who preceded him: “Before you I only dated self-indulgent takers / who took all of their problems out on me.” “Starlight” is a love anthem, a song about a period where a girl and a boy were “17 and crazy,” as she sings, “Can’t remember what song that was playing when we walked in / the night we snuck into a yacht club party / pretending to be a duchess and a prince.”

Moreover, all the tracks are worth the most replays. “State of Grace,” “Red” - a song about a past romance, “The Last Time” - a beautiful duet with Gary Lightbody, “Holy Ground” - a love song about the exhilarating, fleeting moments of a past relationship and “Everything Has Changed” with Ed Sheeran singing about the sudden impact of new romance, are all too perfect to be true. Even the critics were impressed with the album. As Rolling Stone wrote, “Red is a 16-song geyser of willful eclecticism that’s only tangentially related to Nashville (much like Swift herself at this point).”

Taylor Swift - Red Album Cover
Taylor Swift - Red Album Cover

Taylor Swift - Red Track Listing

1. “State of Grace” - 4:55
2. “Red” - 3:43
3. “Treacherous” - 4:02
4. “I Knew You Were Trouble” - 3:39
5. “All Too Well” - 5:29
6. “22″ - 3:52
7. “I Almost Do” - 4:04
8. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” - 3:11
9. “Stay Stay Stay” Swift Chapman, Swift 3:25
10. “The Last Time” (featuring Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol) - 4:59
11. “Holy Ground” - 3:22
12. “Sad Beautiful Tragic” - 4:44
13. “The Lucky One” - 4:00
14. “Everything Has Changed” (featuring Ed Sheeran) - 4:05
15. “Starlight” - 3:40
16. “Begin Again” - 3:57

Deluxe edition

1. “The Moment I Knew” - 4:46
2. “Come Back… Be Here” - 3:43
3. “Girl at Home” - 3:40
4. “Treacherous” (Original Demo Recording) - 4:00
5. “Red” (Original Demo Recording) - 3:47
6. “State of Grace” (Acoustic Version) - 5:23

Album Information

Released October 22, 2012
Recorded Nashville (Blackbird Studios, Pain in the Art Studios); Los Angeles (Ballroom West, Conway Studios, Enormous Studios, The Village); North Hollywood (Marlay Studio); Topanga Canyon (The Garage); Santa Monica (Ruby Red Productions); Stockholm (MXM Studios)
Genre Pop, country, adult pop
Length 65:09
Label Big Machine
Producer Jeff Bhasker, Scott Borchetta (exec.), Nathan Chapman, Dann Huff, Jacknife Lee, Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift, Butch Walker, Dan Wilson

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