No Exes Go Unsung in Taylor Swift’s “Red”

There is an old proverb set in stone that goes a little something like this: break Taylor Swift’s heart and you get a song written about you.

It’s still a mystery to me why boys even bother dating her when they know that they will get bashed in a song, but I’m not complaining because they have allowed her to produce yet another fantastic album.

Before I begin reviewing the album, I have a small bone to pick with Miss Swift. What on Earth possessed you to release literally half of the songs as singles before the album even came out? Five of the songs came out as singles way before the album was released, making me feel like I didn’t even need to buy the album because I had already heard all I needed to.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a HUGE fan (like a screamed-so-loud-at-her-concert-that-I-lost-my-voice fan), but I was a bit disappointed with a few of the pre-released singles. Thankfully, upon purchasing the rest of the tracks my worries were calmed and I was extremely pleased with the album as a whole.

Taylor’s fourth album, Red, has all of the classic guitar melodies and twangy vocals that define her style, but it also contains some tracks that stray away from her country comfort zone.

Tracks such as “22” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” are definitely on the poppy side and have more of a fun vibe without being too serious or emotional. “Stay Stay Stay” follows the sound of her hit “Mean” with its bouncy country sound that makes you want to dance around your room while singing into a hairbrush (I may or may not have already done so).

“I Knew You Were Trouble” really threw me off the first time I heard it. The verses are classic TaySwift; catchy and filled with upbeat acoustic guitar chords. Then comes the dubstep. When the song was released as a single, my floor-mates and I were outraged that we were waiting for the bass to drop in a song by a country/pop singer. Now, I have been forced to bite my tongue because this track is absolutely obsession inducing. Its catchy beats and vengeful lyrics (cough it’s definitely about John Mayer cough) make for an instant classic that is able to go from dorm room sing-along to remixed club song.

Slower songs like “Begin Again,” “All Too Well,” and “I Almost Do,” are the soft, beautiful, emotion-filled tracks that will surely have teenage girls everywhere claiming that Taylor somehow read their minds and wrote these songs just for them. FYI, girls: I know you don’t want to accept it, but she did not read anyone’s mind. We all just fail at relationships the same way as every other teenager. Now that we’ve cleared that up, lets move on to the collaborations.

There are two duets on this album; one featuring Ed Sheeran of “The A Team” fame and the other featuring Gary Lightbody from the band Snow Patrol. Both of these songs are sheer eargasms. The harmonies, the lyrics, everything. Perfect. Something about the sound of a boy and a girl singing together makes my heart melt every time.

I highly recommend Red to all loyal Taylor worshippers and new fans as well. There’s a little something for everyone’s tastes on this album.

I’ll leave you with a fun fact only known by her most dedicated fans: hidden in the lyrics written in the album booklet are seemingly random capitalized letters that spell out secret messages which allude to the person she wrote each song about. For example, the capitalized letters in the lyrics for “Red” spell out “SAG.” Could this be an acronym for Screen Actors Guild – a.k.a. a reference to ex-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal? Go buy the album so you can put your super sleuthing skills to the test while you sing along!

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