In 2012, I was a freshman in high school. It was late October. There were crunchy red leaves on the ground and a chill in the air. The days were shorter and the nights were colder. I had just experienced my first high school breakup. And then, Taylor Swift dropped her fourth studio album, Red.
I remember thinking that no one in the world could possibly understand what I was going through, except for Taylor Swift. Despite our nearly 10-year age gap, Taylor and I were seemingly experiencing the same feelings at the same time, albeit in greatly different contexts.
Nearly 10 years later, Taylor Swift has recently released Red (Taylor’s Version) in November 2021. Despite the years that have passed, Red (Taylor’s Version) still strikes a chord within me.
Upon first listen, I found myself relating deeply to the same lyrics I had heard before but in a much different way. It was like seeing everything from a brand new perspective.
As a twenty-something, I have seen myself and my friends connecting deeply to Red (Taylor’s Version) since its release. If you haven’t already dived into this masterpiece, here are five reasons why Red (Taylor’s Version) might just be the perfect album for twenty-somethings!
5 Reasons Why Red (Taylor’s Version) is the Perfect Album for Twenty-somethings
1. It’s a blast of much-needed nostalgia
Have you noticed that you’ve been feeling a bit more nostalgic than usual during this pandemic? I have. It seems that every time I end up doom-scrolling on the Internet, the perfect medicine has always been revisiting some of my old comforts. For many, that means TV shows, films, and even music.
Red (Taylor’s Version) harkens back to happier days. Remember when you were young and your only concern was making sure you pre-ordered Taylor Swift’s new album? For Swifties in their early twenties, like myself, Red was released in their high school days; for Millennials, it was the soundtrack to their college days.
Whatever the case, we are united by the rush of nostalgia that comes from hitting “play” on Red (Taylor’s Version) and hearing the opening beats of “State of Grace”. It reminds us of young love, first heartbreaks, and every little moment in between.
2. Your twenties are hard—Taylor gets it.
When you think of Red, you probably remember sad breakup ballads. But at its core, Red was always an album about growing up. A young girl in the city, Taylor Swift was exploring more mature themes on Red that began to separate the youth of her early career from her maturity and womanhood. The release of Swift’s vault tracks on her re-recording brought this theme to the forefront once again.
I have never felt more seen than I did when I first heard Swift’s collaboration with Phoebe Bridgers. A song that Swift wrote at 22 years old, “Nothing New” is a reflection of the fear that accompanies the transition to adulthood. No matter your circumstances, most of us can relate to the fear of getting older—and the desperate urge to cling to our youth.
3. It deals with heartbreak and all of its many faces.
That being said, Red (Taylor’s Version) does talk a whole lot about breakups. In the aftermath of her now-notorious separation from Jake Gyllenhaal, Swift put pen to paper and created the most heart-wrenching tunes. While earlier albums dealt with first loves, Red was her first album to explore an adult relationship—and the grief that comes with it ending.
Not only does Red (Taylor’s Version) discuss heartbreak; it throws you through an entire timeline of emotions, from pain and desperation to anger and bitterness. A lot of people criticize the album for being disordered, but that’s the beauty of it. Red (Taylor’s Version) captures the chaos of your early twenties. And if you don’t scream “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” at the top of your lungs, you’re probably lying.
4. It continues the effort of reclaiming Swift’s masters.
While everyone has been having a blast revisiting Red, it’s crucial that we don’t forget why we’ve been blessed with this album in the first place. In case you missed it, Taylor Swift is currently in the process of re-recording her first six studio albums in order to reclaim ownership of her own work.
Not only is the effort a massive accomplishment for Swift’s own career, but it is also an inspiration to women and creators everywhere. At great risk, Swift showed the world that you should stand up for yourself and your own work, and never be silenced. It’s a great message that is entirely inspiring to a new generation of workers who are navigating the working world.
5. Red (Taylor’s Version) is SO. MUCH. FUN.
“We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time,” is the best lyric that sums up Red (Taylor’s Version). Red is full of melancholy ballads and tearful confessions of heartbreak. But there are also some super fun tracks made for dancing your blues away. Your early twenties are kind of like that, too.
You might not have any idea what you’re doing with your life, and you might be petrified by the idea that you’re not the bright-eyed teen you used to be. But at the core, you’re young and living life for the moment.
While “22” has always been a classic tune for dancing with your friends, newcomers like “Message In A Bottle” and “The Very First Night” will have you up on your feet and having the time of your life. With a dash of 1989 vibes, these songs are perfect pop anthems to add to the soundtrack of your life’s highlight reel. Grab a bottle of wine and your group of best friends, and live your best life.
The release of Red (Taylor’s Version) has been an amazing experience for every Swiftie out there. It’s a rush of emotions, from the joy of hearing new music to the nostalgia of old tunes. There’s even been enough room for rehashing old feelings while screaming her lyrics on your drive home from work. It’s okay, we do it, too.
Fan or not, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to connect to these songs. Red (Taylor’s Version) captures a moment in time where you feel like you’re everything and nothing; at the top of the world and the bottom of the heap, all at once.