May 25, 2024


Taylor Swift’s fourth album, Red, was released on Oct. 22, in both a regular 16-track version and a deluxe 22-track version.

This album will leave longtime Swift fans satisfied but will fail to draw a new audience. The album is packed full of love songs, which is the norm for Swift, with only one song straying from her usual story line about failed or future relationships.

Track 13, a personal lucky number for Swift, is aptly titled The Lucky One. It tells the story of someone’s Hollywood rise to fame, and then how this person chose to leave the celebrity lifestyle. Swift sings about how she understands why this star chose a regular life saying, “It took some time, but I understand it now. ‘Cause now my name is up in lights, but I think you got it right.” Swift has not yet revealed whose story this track tells.

The album also features two collaborations. The Last Time is a slow duet with Gary Lightbody of the band Snow Patrol about a failed relationship. Swift and Lightbody sing, “This is the last time I’m asking you why, you break my heart in the blink of an eye.”

The other collaboration is Everything has Changed, which features the vocals of British musician Ed Sheeran.  This ballad captures the feeling of when you meet a new love and everything seems to shift into place. Sheeran and Swift describe this moment perfectly when they say, “All I know is you held the door, you’ll be mine and I’ll be yours. All I know since yesterday is everything has changed.”

The album also has some upbeat tracks such as the lead single We are Never Ever Getting Back Together, and Trouble, which is about knowing a person is trouble but falling for him anyway. 22 is another upbeat track  about living life, being 22 and having fun.

Swift attempted to jump back into the pop charts with this album, however, it still features some country influences that can be heard in instruments used for songs such as the title track Red and I Almost Do.

The thing that could possibly turn new listeners away from this album is the repetitiveness of the lyrics in some of the songs. Swift is known for her normally insightful and witty lyrics but some songs on Red don’t showcase this.

One example is the song Stay Stay Stay where she sings “Stay stay stay, I’ve been loving you for quite some time time time, you think that it’s funny when I’m mad mad mad.” It leaves the listener thinking that perhaps just four albums into her career Swift has finally run out of creative ways to write about love.

If you were expecting intuitive lyrics and country music from Swift this time around, you will be disappointed. However, Red is a catchy pop album that features songs that will get stuck in your head and leave you wanting more after the first listen.