Taylor Swift is topping charts while taking her music back

By James Stein Nov 19, 2021
Picture By: Liam Killian
Picture By: Liam Killian

Taylor Swift has controlled the music industry for over ten years now. Anytime Swift does anything, her status as a music icon is confirmed. This past Friday on November 12, Swift re-released her 4th studio album, “Red (Taylor’s Version)”.  

This is the second album Swift has re-recorded this year and the first to come out was “Fearless”, originally her second studio album.  The re-recordings are Swift’s way of reclaiming her work after a lengthy legal battle that took away her masters. 

Swift does not own the master recordings of any of the songs on albums that precede her 2019 album “Lover”. A young Swift signed between her and her previous record label, Big Machine Records, the label that owns her master recordings. At the time of her signing Big Machine Records was owned by Scott Bruchetta. Recently the company was purchased by executive Scooter Braun. 

Swift was vocal about her disdain for Braun after the purchase due to his clientele, which infamously includes Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. According to a Tumblr post Swift made about the purchase, the sale represented an attempt at “controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them.”

Swift owns the lyrics and instrumentals of her music so legally there is no issue with her reusing and recording her old music. Under her last contract, she was given permission to re-record her own songs in November 2020 and that is what she did. 

“Red (Taylor’s Version)” has 30 songs which include the original 16 tracks on her 2012 album and then 14 songs “from the vault”. These are songs Swift wrote and did not make it on the album back in 2012. 

Now that the reasons for her re-recordings are clear— it is time to get into the masterpiece that is “Red (Taylor’s Version)”. This album is over two hours long and is pure bliss for every second of that. 

Many things do not change from the old version to Taylor’s version but it is simply for the principle of who owns it. Her voice on every track sounds much stronger and more mature than it did in 2012. 

The vault songs make these re-releases incredibly special. Swift features different artists like Ed Sheeran and Phoebe Bridgers on this album which perfectly fit the theme of this album. Swift also has a song featuring Chris Stapleton titled “I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version)” which made me a different person. I have already listened to this song over a million times. Plus it made me realize that no, I should not text my ex because he is already thinking about me. 

One of my favorite vault songs is “Nothing New (feat. Phoebe Bridgers) (Taylor’s Version)”. Most people used to assume Swift only wrote about her love life, this song is proof that is not true. The song discusses how life changes an indescribable amount from ages 17 to 22. 

It also discusses how no one knows what is going on in these years. Only being 21 myself I can confirm, life is only getting more confusing than it was when I graduated highschool. 

A very anticipated song on the album was one of Swift’s most popular breakup songs, “All Too Well”. The song was on the 2012 release of the album but on Taylor’s Version a 10 minute rendition of the song is released. Yes, you read that right, the song is 10 minutes long. And thank god it is. 

In the new version of the song the original chorus’ and verses’ were included but so were new verses’ which gave away more detail on Swift’s breakup. Fans have speculated that “All Too Well” was about actor Jake Gyllenhaal, the song almost confirms it. The new version feels like a direct call out to Gyllenhaal and all his red flags. 

Along with the song Swift wrote and directed a short film that visually portrayed her failed relationship. The short film stars Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink. The characters had no names in the film. There is no way that Swift unintentionally made the age gap between the actors the exact same as hers and Gyllanhaals. 

The short film encapsulates lyric by lyric the song and the fans are able to view it in a new light. Having visuals added to the song enhanced it much more, which almost does not feel possible since the song was already 10 minutes long. “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)” is probably the best song on the album because at this point even I want Swift’s infamous scarf that is mentioned in the song.

Even though the album is a re-recorded release that is not stopping it from topping the charts. Loyal fans have been streaming this album like it is their job. Swift is on track to become the fastest female artist to accumulate 10 number one albums in US history. 

According to Hits Daily Double, within only the first week Swift is projected to have 500,000 sales. Which will make this album the second best-selling record of the year in first-week-sales. The album is also projected to have 200 million streams in one week. 

This album is perfect earning it five out of five stars. Swift is reclaiming her name and her work, crushing records with this re-release and probably making Jake Gyllenhaal cry.

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