By Sophia Doan
Red (Taylor’s Version), the second album to be rerecorded by the pop idol, is full of gorgeous vocals, stunning lyrics, and melodies that will be stuck in your head forever and always. Upon release, the album became the most-streamed record in a day from a female artist on Spotify, breaking the record she previously held. Spotify even crached briefly upon the release.
With 30 songs on the album, it’s difficult to know where to start. Almost impossibly, I narrowed it down to 5 of my personal favorites.
“All Too Well (Ten Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)”
An obvious choice, ATWTMVTVFTV is a gorgeous track. Expanding on the original “All Too Well”, Taylor vivaciously describes the ups and downs of her relationship, making it easy to sympathize whether you’ve been in love or not. She originally wrote the song at 21, ad-libbing the ten minutes. Swift describes herself as “a crumpled-up piece of paper lying here.” Hitting hard with her lyrics and stunning voice, she captures the listeners with the wonderfully put-together song. Anyone who hasn’t listened to “All Too Well (Ten Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” should play it immediately.
“Starlight (Taylor’s Version)”
Swift brilliantly interprets a night out from the view of Ethel and Bobby Kennedy, the 35th president and his wife, using 40’s idioms to make an upbeat, fun song. She got the inspiration while dating Conner Kennedy—their grandson—after seeing an old photo of them. “Starlight” isn’t a song people usually mention when talking about “Red,” but I believe it is extremely underrated as it gets stuck in my head all the time. She asks “Don’t you dream impossible things?” daring the listener to dream and dance like they are made of starlight.
“The Moment I Knew (Taylor’s Version)”
A beautiful melody accompanied by even better vocals with a disappointed undertone comes together to create the perfect heartbreak song. Swift sings about being let down when her boyfriend infamously did not show up to her 21st birthday. While she mentions the incident in several of her other tracks, “The Moment I Knew” truly encompasses all of her emotions. Taylor explains the moment she knew he wasn’t going to come. She asks “what do you do when the one who means the most to you is the one who didn’t show?” The song walks the listener through her feelings as if we were the ones in her place.
“Begin Again (Taylor’s Version)”
With a melancholy tune, Taylor reflects on her previous unpredictable relationship. She sings “I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny, ‘cause he never did.” Throughout the song, she realizes how degrading her last relationship was, and how her new one is helping her heal and get over her previous boyfriend. “Begin Again” is a wonderful song, full of heartbreaking lyrics and beautiful melodies.
“Stay Stay Stay (Taylor’s Version)”
On a more cheerful note, “Stay Stay Stay” describes an argument, when Swift realizes that “[she] thinks that it’s best if [they] both stay”. Upbeat and a great song to sing along with, the tune is catchy and shows what it’s like to be madly in love.
Even though these are the best, I recommend listening to the whole album!