Album 5/100 — Tayor Swift “RED (Taylor’s Version)”
Back when she first started getting attention, I didn’t like much of what Taylor Swift was writing. What I heard on the radio was a bit simplistic
Because of all this, Taylor Swift hadn’t done much more than ping my radar.
I’d read quite a bit about her intricate marketing. Things like the one-of-a-kind Polaroids. Or that time 15-year-old Taylor told a room full of record executives why her half a million MySpace followers mattered.
I considered her savvy, but her music wasn’t my cup of tea.
A funny thing happened on her last couple of albums, though. I found tracks and videos that were poppy, clever, and completely engaging.
Taylor Swift’s decision to rerecord her early albums intrigued me. I loved the move to rob them of their victory, but also treating it as an artistic opportunity.
Looking over the tracklist on her debut left me feeling a little cold as I looked at titles I’d always hated, like the pick-me anthem “You Belong with Me.”
But, songs like “You Need to Calm Down” and “The Man” have shown a wicked sense of humor that has given her later work more appeal.
RED seemed like a better place to start. I skipped the original sold by Big Machine, although I may compare it later. The re-recordings were my main interest anyway.
I remember reading some critical praise when “RED” originally came out. It’s a concept album, following the emotions after a bad breakup. But, it’s been over 20 years since I was last in the market for an angry break-up album, so I never got around to this one.
I’m still not needing angry breakup music, but I’m still enjoying the hell out of this record.
I haven’t heard the original recording, but I’m loving her update. You can hear the ways she’s improved since it was first recorded. Qualities that she’d developed in her voice over the past 10 years gave weight to lyrics written by a teenager.
I’d thought that this would be a simple exercise in curiosity. But, I could absolutely see this making its way into my permanent rotation.
What Is the 100 Album Challenge?
Writer Nia Simone McLeod challenged herself to listen to 100 new-to-her albums in 2022. She invited other writers to join in and is linking to their playlists for the year. You can see more here:
I’m Going to Listen to 100 New Albums in 2022
Who doesn’t love a chaotic New Year’s resolution?
My participation has been fitful so far, as travel, health stuff, and life in general has been keeping me from writing (but not from listening). I still have seven months, so I figure I’ll get back on track. Ish.