Taylor Swift released Red (Taylor’s Version) on November 12. The album is the latest in Swift’s series of re-recordings following the April release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version).
Eager to learn what fans thought about Swift’s latest album, I put out an interview request on my Instagram story. My friend, Brenna, whom I met in college and attended Swift’s reputation Stadium Tour with back in 2018, graciously agreed to answer a few questions.
Here’s what she had to say:
How long have you been a Taylor Swift fan? Among her albums, which is your favorite and why?
Brenna: I’ve been a Taylor Swift fan for about 15 years! My favorite album is folklore because the songwriting on that album is incredible, and it’s so different from everything else she’s released. It’s not as catchy as her other ones, but the lyrics alone make it worth the listen!
What was your reaction when you learned that Taylor would be re-recording her first six albums?
Brenna: I was so excited! Each of her albums reminds me of a certain time of my life, and I was excited to experience them again, in a way, for the first time.
How did you feel about the original RED album? What was it about that album that struck you the most? (i.e., lyrics, production, a particular track) How does this compare with your reaction to Red (Taylor’s Version)?
Brenna: I loved the original RED album because it really highlighted Taylor’s strength as a storyteller. Every song has such great lyrics, and the album is the perfect mix of ballads and more upbeat songs. I liked Red (Taylor’s Version) because it stayed true to the original album in terms of messaging but just with a more mature sound that’s more appealing to me now.
Which track/s from Red (Taylor’s Version) is/are your favorite/s? Why?
Brenna: My favorite track is “The Moment I Knew.” The way Taylor wrote it, you feel for the main person even if you haven’t had a similar experience. The lyrics can appeal to anyone who’s dealt with disappointment in general, and the music accompanies the words really well. I also love “22” because it’s so catchy and instantly brightens my mood!
In your opinion, do the emotions Taylor wrote about on the original RED album translate to the re-recording? Explain why or why not.
Brenna: Yes, I think she still expressed the overall theme of heartbreak and moving past disappointment well. The mature sound in the re-recording intensified those emotions even more.
Is there anything you wish Taylor would’ve done differently with the re-recorded album in terms of lyrics, production, and/or choosing which vault/bonus tracks to include?
Brenna: I was overall pretty happy with what Taylor did with the re-recording. The only thing I would change would be keeping the music consistent throughout the 10-Minute version of “All Too Well.” I felt the sound change a bit on the new lyrics.
Speaking of vault/bonus tracks, Taylor included the 10-Minute version of “All Too Well” in the track list for this album. What surprised you most about this version of the song and do you prefer this version or the original?
Brenna: I was surprised by how much she revealed in the new version. She let us know a lot more about that relationship and what went wrong. I still prefer the original version of the song. The music behind the new lyrics felt a bit disjointed from the rest of the song.
Did listening to the new version of this album make you nostalgic at all? What’s it like hearing these songs from Taylor now that she’s in her thirties?
Brenna: Yes! I think that’s the beauty of Taylor’s music and this particular album. Her lyrics and the overall themes of the album are timeless and can still appeal to fans as they get older.
Did you correctly guess that Red (Taylor’s Version) was the next re-recorded album to be released or did you think a different album was coming? Which album do you think will follow this one?
Brenna: I really thought 1989 was going to be next so I was surprised it was actually RED. I think Speak Now will be next. I’m buying into the theory that Taylor hinted at that by wearing purple to the “All Too Well” film premiere. Hope I’m right this time!
Do you feel this album was worth the wait? Why or why not?
Brenna: Absolutely! I love how she updated the sound of the songs but stayed true to what we all love about the original album.
What was your reaction when Taylor announced that there would be an “All Too Well” film to accompany the album?
Brenna: I was really excited because I’ve always had a visual in my head about what the “characters” of this song are like so I was excited to see what she thought they’d be like as well.
What did you think of the film?
Brenna: I didn’t want it to end! I think Taylor did an incredible job of telling such an emotional story in just 10 minutes. Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink were the perfect casting for it. I love that Taylor wrote and directed the film because I’ve always admired her storytelling ability in her lyrics so it was awesome to see it in visual form as well!
Thank you again, Brenna for taking the time to answer these questions and share your perspective on all things Red (Taylor’s Version). : )
If you’re reading this and you’re also a Taylor Swift fan, what did you think of the album?