The Taylor Swift We Remember All Too Well

Gabriella Goldberg, Entertainment Assistant Editor

“But something about it felt like home somehow.” For me, the “something” in this lyric from Taylor Swift’s song, “All Too Well,” is her Red album. While most of the songs have been rerecorded for ownership purposes, there is a newfound genuinity in her voice, almost a relatability that was missing from her original album and those original recordings. That being said, I was eight years old when her first Red album was released. I was not a huge Swiftie at the time. Her album is aimed at young women and teenagers, making her second release a chance for me to truly listen to her album and relate. However, I find that everyone can hear these beautiful lyrics and think of something that rings true to their own life. Every Taylor Swift song tells a story that can be universally understood even if the individual hasn’t actually experienced the situation she’s singing about, and I think that’s what makes this album especially beautiful.
Ms. Reitter, who teaches music theory, choir, and orchestra, shared her perspective on Red. Even though Ms. Reitter isn’t a hardcore fan, she has “really been enjoying this album. I knew the big hits from the past decade, and even upon my first listening to the re-release, my immediate reaction was that these songs sound more mature vocally, lyrically, and production-wise.” I completely agree with Ms. Reitter, as Swift’s voice has improved exponentially within the nine years of her last release of the album. As Ms. Reitter points out, “Combining vocal maturation with poignant lyrical alterations/additions leads me to believe that she has new feelings/perspective on the events that inspired her songs over the years. I’m guessing the process of rereleasing her songs all these years later was both a therapeutic/cathartic endeavor as well as a bit of a power play within the music industry. After all she has been through (bad contracts, emotional turmoil both in romantic and professional life, etc.) it feels like a big move to turn around, create art, and send it into the world on your own terms. I’m always a fan of musical growth, and a side of ‘stick it to the man’ never hurt either.” Ms. Reitter perfectly explained how Swift’s “stick it to the man” mentality inspired all of her fans that taking ownership of not only your creations but your dignity is one of the most profound presentations of independence a person can show.
Every aspect of Red depicts Swift’s reclaiming of her rightfully owned property, from each lyric to the label “Taylor’s Version” that accompanies each song. It is so important to be a role model for her fans, and she shows that standing up for yourself is important in any aspect of life. She didn’t settle in this situation, she handled it with maturity and confidence, and I praise her for that. As a fan, I am inspired by this and can’t wait to see Taylor Swift’s future as a musician.