“I Remember It All Too Well”: Taylor Swift’s Red is the Break-Up Album We Never Knew We Needed



Taylor Swift came out with her absolutely outstanding album on November 12, 2021.

Breaking up is hard to do. Take it from me, I know. 

I’ve never considered myself a heartbreaker, but let’s just say that my July Spotify playlist contained a lot of Taylor Swift. And by a lot, I mean Taylor Swift’s entire discography was downloaded onto my phone from the 17th to the 31st of July (with the exception of Lover, of course). I vividly remember screaming All Too Well into my bathroom mirror, hairbrush in hand, and pretending that he broke up with me, not the other way around.

Needless to say, when Red (Taylor’s Version) came out on November 12th, I was beyond ready. I mean, I literally set my alarm for 12 a.m. (sorry, Mom) to listen to Taylor Swift ruin Jake Gyllenhall’s career in 10 minutes. And I wasn’t disappointed. Granted, I almost fell asleep in class the next day (sorry, Ms. Maher), but it was 100% worth it. 

I started my 12 a.m. listening party with State of Grace (Taylor’s Version)– or, as I now refer to it, the beginning of the end. Taylor brought a voice to my tragic teenage romance, telling me that I loved “shades of wrong” and I’ll “never be the same.” Way to give me hope. It was quickly followed by Red, Treacherous, and I Knew You Were Trouble (all Taylor’s Version)– the breakup songs I didn’t know I needed.

The rest of the album was as devastating as I expected. Girl At Home (Taylor’s Version) was noticeably better than the original, and Better Man (TV) and Nothing New (featuring Phoebe Bridgers) were the standouts of the shorter Vault tracks. But it was All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (TV) (From the Vault) that took the cake. I have never screamed louder during a chorus; never anticipated a high note more. For the first time in a long time, I felt like someone understood. 

Overall, the album was everything I never knew I needed. Each track was beautifully revamped. On the scale of 1 to the 10-minute version of All Too Well, I would give this album a 13. 

I’m not an expert in the whole subject of heartbreak, but I do know this: breaking up is hard to do, but sometimes it turns out to be exactly what you needed.