Red (Taylor's Version) [4xLP]
Re-recorded in meticulous detail, along with a dozen songs cut from the 2012 original, Taylor Swift’s most pivotal album has still more to say about growing up and moving forward.
Originally released in 2012, Red was the clear nexus between where Swift’s career started and where it was heading. After a three-album progression away from country, she revealed the extent of her pop ambition, calling in producers Max Martin and Shellback—Swedish heavy-hitters who had sent Britney Spears and P!nk up the charts—to cue the synths and drop the bass. (“Message in a Bottle,” the first song Swift wrote with the pair, is among Red (Taylor’s Version)’s new offerings; its abundant polish nearly makes up for its dearth of personality.) Red was also where she began to seek source material beyond her own biography; the character studies (of Ethel Kennedy on the lightly ditzy “Starlight”; of a Joni Mitchell–esque elder on “The Lucky One”; of a mother who loses her young son to cancer on vault track “Ronan”) point in the direction of Folklore, where, years later, the gulf between Swift and her narrators would widen.