Taylor Swift’s re-mastered, re-released, re-Taylored version of her landmark 2012 album Red has finally arrived, releasing tonight in a flurry of downloads, album streams, and attempts to sift through the 30-song odyssey in some kind of reasonable span of time.
The second installment in Swift’s set of (Taylor’s Version) releases, the new Red contains re-recordings of all the songs on Red’s original and deluxe editions, along with “From The Vault” tracks that were originally intended for the album. That includes a 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” a fan-favorite that was famously cut down from its much longer version to fit on the original album. (There’s also an “All Too Well” short film, starring Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, set for release soon.)
Swift announced the release by popping up on both of the NBC late night shows tonight, hanging out with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, and then hopping over to chat with Seth Meyers, talking about the project, and, of course, playing one of Jimmy Fallon’s endless bag of games.
Meanwhile, Red will, presumably, serve as a test for how much of Taylor’s Version the world is actually interested in; her first such project, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), released to strong reviews back in April, spurred on by the fact that it wasn’t just a retread. Swift is a different, more confident performer in 2021, and hearing her revisit her older material reveals significant changes in her outlook and talents. (The gulf between Red’s release in 2012 is a lot shorter than the one spanned by Fearless, but it’s still interesting to hear her figure out how to address her younger self.)
Of course, there’s also the somewhat delicious schadenfreude of knowing that every stream of (Taylor’s Version) of these songs is a deliberate thumbing of the nose to Scooter Braun and her former label Big Machine, the latter of whom sold the masters of Swift song’s to the former a few years back. Swift’s ability to not only find a way to reclaim her work—but to also turn it into a much-hyped celebration of said music—might be the most Taylor Swift thing about this entire endeavor.