Taylor Swift releases much-anticipated album

Taylor Swift performs on her original Red tour in 2013.

Photo used with permission from Google Creative Commons

Taylor Swift performs on her original Red tour in 2013.

Think back to 2012, Taylor Swift’s new album Red is taking over the country and pop music charts. Fast forward to 2014, and Swift released the Grammy-winning album of the year 1989, beating out albums like Beauty Behind the Madness (The Weeknd) and To Pimp a Butterfly (Kendrick Lamar). In the years following, she would experience public scandals and feuds with her previous recording company, and Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. And just one year ago, she announced she would be re-recording her first six albums. 

News was made public in the summer of 2019 that Taylor Swift’s former recording group had sold the masters (original recordings) of her albums, Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989 and reputation to Scooter Braun, a talent manager and foe of Swift. She wrote on Tumblr that she hadn’t been made aware of the deal, and wasn’t offered a chance to buy her work. Braun and Scott Borchetta, the owner of Swift’s former recording company, then insisted she was lying, and that she had walked away from buying. 

Just a year later, Swift told the world she would re-record her first six albums so she could own her life’s work. The first re-record came in April of 2021, her version of Fearless. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) skyrocketed to the top of the charts, gaining 142.9 million online streams in its first week. In June, she announced the next; her fourth album, Red. It was released on Nov. 12 and students here at school were excited to hear the re-recorded old songs and new songs she is putting on the album. “I am excited because I always love to hear new music that artists create,” freshman Eva Veizis said. 

Red (Taylor’s Version) has 30 songs, an increase from the original’s 16. Red is often regarded by critics as Swift’s breakthrough into pop music, and one of her most well-written albums. Here at school, students agree. “I can’t wait to hear what the lyrics are going to be,” freshman Elizabeth Griffin said. 

The one catch to all the re-records is that Swift must wait five years after the release of an album to re-record it. While this isn’t a problem for 1989 and the albums before, fan-favorite Reputation was released in 2017, which means there will be a while till Taylor’s Version releases. “I’m annoyed about it because I want to hear the songs redone by her…I don’t really like her voice in some of them but I love the lyrics/songs,” Griffin said. 

Amidst all the re-recording and the COVID-19 pandemic, Swift released two sister albums in 2020. Folklore, which came in August, and Evermore, which came in December. Critics wondered if COVID-19 would affect her music. “Like many of us, [Swift] wound up cooped up at home. The isolation seems to have sparked [Swift’s] creativity, leading [Swift] to write and record an entirely new record…Folklore is a big left turn in style and…has already earned Swift some of the best reviews of her career,” NPR wrote.