Taylor Swift-a-Thon: Red

Thursday, September 10, 2020

I do not own this image. I edited the image in Canva. 
Ever since she released folklore in June, I have been on a Taylor Swift binge. While Red is my favorite album of Taylor's, folklore has come very close to being second or even tied for first place. In honor of her eighth studio album, I decided it would be fun to finally listen to all of her discography! So today, I have her fourth album, self titled Red.  

On October 22, 2012, my favorite Taylor Swift album was released. If y'all don't know, I hadn't heard a full Swift album until this one came along. I was 18 at the time, in high school, and there was a lot of personal issues going on in my life. For some reason, I felt like listening to this album. I don't know what happened, or why, but I fell head over heels in love. I wasn't in any romantic situations but I found that I could listen to these songs regardless.  I also included the secret messages that were included for all of the regular version songs. 

I also just want to take a moment to say that this album deserved Album of the Year at the Grammy's. 

1. "State of Grace"

  • Secret message: Love you doesn't count after goodbye 
  • "Just twin fire signs, four blue eyes"--hello, astrological sign reference! Taylor herself is a Sagittarius! 
  • "I never saw you coming / And I'll never be the same" 
    • People always say that love comes at you when you least expect it and this line exemplifies that. 
  • "love is a ruthless game / unless you play it good and right" 
  • This has to be one of the strongest opening tracks of any of her albums 

2. "Red"

  • Secret message: SAG
  • Such incredible imagery 
  • "Losing him was blue like I'd never known / Missing him was dark grey, all alone / Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met / But loving him was red"
    • Even if you don't know much about color theory, you can see and feel the lines of this song. 
  • Can I quote this entire song here? I really, really want to. 

3. "Treacherous"

  • Secret message: Won't stop till it's over
  • "Two headlights shine through the sleepless night"--"Style" from 1989
  • "And I'd be smart to walk away / But you're quicksand"
  • "And all we are is skin and bone / Trained to get along" 

4. "I Knew You Were Trouble"

  • Secret message: When you saw me dancing 
  • This is such a jam. Frankly, a lot of Taylor Swift's singles become overly played on the radio and they lose their appeal but for some reason, this song has lasted through time. 
  • "Once upon a time a few mistakes ago" 
  • "Flew me to places I'd never been"
    • "Blank Space" anyone 
  • "A new notch in your belt is all I'll ever be"  
  • "And the saddest fear / comes creeping in / that you never loved me / or her...or anyone...or anything" 

5. "All Too Well"

  • Secret message: Maple latte 
  • We all know what a masterpieces this song is don't we? 
  • This song also unintentionally began Taylor's process of putting some of her most emotional songs on track 5.
  • "And you call me up again / Just to break me like a promise / So casually cruel in the name of being honest" 
    • Hello, iconic lyric 
  • "You taught me about your past / Thinking your future was me" 
    • Isn't this so true through? If we've ever been in a relationship, we 
  • "But maybe this thing was a masterpiece / till you tore it up / I'm a crumpled up piece of paper lying here" 
    • "Death by a Thousand Cut" had "Paper cut stings from our paper-thin plans" 
    •  "Cornelia Street" has "We were a fresh page on the desk"

6. "22"

  • Secret message: Ashley Dianna Claire Selena 
  • She's basically owned this age since this song came out 
  • Now that I'm older I really so understand what this song means so much more. I really should've enjoyed my younger years a lot more than I did
  • "We're happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time It's miserable and magical"
    • God, hindsight is 2020 and being in your 20s is just like this  
  • "Tonight's the night, when we forget about the heartbreaks"

7. "I Almost Do"

  • Secret message: Wrote this instead of calling 
  • This is such a damn relatable song 
  • "I bet it never, ever occurred to you / That I can't say hello to you and risk another goodbye" 
    • This fucking line meant so much to me when I was going through my breakup. 
  • She knows so much about his place that she's talking about. Another song where she paints such a clear image. 

8. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"

  • Secret message: When I stopped caring what you thought 
  • "With some indie record that's much cooler than mine"
  • "You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me"
    • the reminds me of "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" in "Here's a toast to my real friends / They don't care about that he said, she said"

9. "Stay Stay Stay"

  • Secret message:  Daydreaming about real love 
    • And now she's finally found it. 
  • Probably one of the weakest songs on this album. I wish that it had been replaced with a song from the extras. 
  • "I'd like to hang out with you / For my whole life"
    • Lover has "I've loved you three summers now, honey, but I want 'em all" 

10. "The Last Time" (featuring Gary Lightbody)

  • Secret message: LA on your break 
  • Hello, the older sibling of "Exile" 
  • This is one of my all time favorites of Taylor Swift's songs. It's very obvious to me that I have a type of Taylor music--and probably why this album and folklore are my top favorites. 
  • "You break my heart in the blink of an eye"
  • "And you open your eyes into mine / And everything feels better" 
    • I love, love the contract between these two lines! 

11. "Holy Ground"

  • Secret message: When you came to the show in SD
  • I loved the version Taylor covered in the Live Lounge. It's such a stunning sound. 
  • "Back when you fit my poems like a perfect rhyme" 
    • How excited do we get when we accidentally make a rhyme? I love this line so much. There's so much  
  • "And right there where we stood / was holy ground" 
    • I love the idea that we give so much weight to where our relationships begin because it becomes so important. 
  • "And the story's got dust on every page" 
    • Contrast to Lover's "Cornelia Street" where the romance is new in "We're a fresh page on the desk"

12. "Sad Beautiful Tragic"

  • Secret message: While you were on a train 
  • "Words how little they mean when you're a little too late" 
    • This is so, so true. Maybe a little too true. 
  • "In dreams, I meet you in warm conversation / We both wake in lonely bed, different cities" 
    • Aw man, this song destroyed me. I remember how many times I would daydream 
  • "Could you just try to listen?" 
    • This is honestly so heartbreaking because listening is such an important part of a relationship. 
  • "And time is taking its sweet time erasing you" 
    • I love how much this line reminds me of "invisible string"

13. "The Lucky One"

  • Secret message: Wouldn't you like to know 
  • This reminds me a lot of "the great american dynasty" from folklore
  • "And your lover in the foyer doesn't even know you"
  • "Chose the rose garden over Maddison Square" 
    • "the lakes" ("A red rose grew up out of ice frozen ground") on folklore and "Call it what you want" ("All my flowers grew back as thorns") on reputation come to mind with this lyric 

14. "Everything Has Changed" (featuring Ed Sheeran)

  • Secret message: Hyannis Port 
  • "And your eyes look like coming home" 
    • There's already a callback to "The Last Time" 
  • "And all my walls stood tall, painted blue / I'll take 'em down, take 'em down / and open up the door for you"
    • She describes a lot of things as blue and I love that imagery here as well. I love the idea that sometimes we meet someone that gets us to take down our walls. 

15. "Starlight"

  • Secret message: For Ethel 
  • "Like we're made of starlight" 
  • I didn't know the history behind this song but I found out that Ethel is Ethel Kennedy. 
  • Probably one of the weaker songs on this album. 

16. "Begin Again"

  • Secret message: I wear hells now 
    • As you should! There's nothing more I hate in a relationship than a significant other thinking they can control what I do or don't wear. But we also don't talk about the kind of impact that has on us. 
  • This is such a good fucking ending to this album. 
  • "I've been spending the last 8 months / Thinking all love ever does / Is break and burn and end / But on a Wednesday in a cafe / I watched it begin again"
  • "James Taylor records" 
  • "And for the first time / What's past is the past" 
    • This line means so much when you think about moving on from an extremely difficult break up. That first moment when you figure out that you're okay with moving on is so freeing. 

Red — Deluxe edition 

17. "The Moment I Knew"

  • Can we take a moment to talk about how we can pretty much picture this entire song in our heads? 
  • "And it would've felt like / A million little shining stars had just aligned"
    • This song has so much imagery and I love this. We all talk about stars aligning so we can defiantly feel this pain.  
  • "But your close friends always seem to know / When there's something really wrong"
  • "And what do you do / When the one who means the most to you / Is the one who didn't show?"
  • "In red lipstick"
    • I think we all know about how much Taylor loves red lips.  

18. "Come Back... Be Here"

  • "The feeling you can know so much / Without knowing anything at all" 
  • "This is falling out of love in the cruelest way / This is falling for you when you are world's away" 

19. "Girl at Home" 

  • "But honey, I am no one's exception / This I have previously learned" 
  • This isn't a strong song and way too repetitive  

20. "Treacherous" (original demo recording)

  • I loved this song this way. I kind of wish this version is the one that had ended up on the album. 

21. "Red" (original demo recording)

  • There's only a few differences that I can gather from this one to the one that's on the album. I personally prefer the one that is one on the album. 

22. "State of Grace" (acoustic version)

  • I'm telling you, a stripped back, acoustic Taylor is the best Taylor. I love her music when it sounds like this. 

Can y'all tell how much I love this album? I know that it can seem like i only love this album because of nostalgia but I genuinely think this is one of Taylor's best albums. The lyrics are exceptional, and regardless of what the critics say, there is such a wonderful cohesive emotional string that runs through the entire album. Not all of the songs are strong, yes, but the lyrics still shine. 

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