Taylor Swift has been teasing the release of her second rerecorded album, “Red (Taylor’s Version),” for months. On Nov. 12, the 30-song collection finally arrived, and it’s everything that I could’ve hoped for. What makes the album unique from the original are the exquisite “From the Vault” tracks — songs Swift had written for the first version of “Red” but ultimately had to chop when piecing together the final cut.

Swift’s first rerecording venture was April 2021’s “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” and there were really only two vault tracks that I continue to listen to. However, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” has several vault tracks worthy of repeat-button notoriety, including the 10-minute version of fan favorite “All Too Well.”

Swift has said time and again that “All Too Well” is her favorite song on “Red,” and now, the fans get to hear the uncut, full version as it was originally written. The extra five or so minutes add on gritty, cheeky lyrics that elevate the song from really sad to truly devastating. 



The extra time also allows Swift to dive into story details further, with one especially heartbreaking lyric detailing the death of love: “And did the twin flame bruise paint you blue?/ Just between us did the love affair maim you too?”

The other “From the Vault” tracks touch on different kinds of heartbreak than “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).” Two of them have been released previously through different avenues but have never been on any of Swift’s albums until now: “Ronan (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” and “Babe (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault).”

“Ronan (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” tells the story of a young boy who died of cancer through the perspective of his bereaved mother. The song is based on the true story of Maya Thompson and her son Ronan, and since its original release as a charity single in 2012, “Ronan” has been dubbed by many fans as Swift’s saddest song. In the song, Swift takes a shaky breath seconds after the bridge, and I can imagine the tears in her eyes.

“Babe (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),” on the other hand, lets us in on the intimate desperation of asking a lover how they could cheat. Even though “Babe” was written for “Red,” Swift ended up giving it to country duo Sugarland, who released it in 2018 with Swift as a background vocalist.

Although the lyrics are almost identical, the songs are completely different. Sugarland’s lead vocalist Jennifer Nettles has a vibrant country twang, but Swift’s added echoes of “What about your promises, promises?” throughout the song turn it into a classic “Red” album track.

The original 2012 album was a toss-up of songs I liked and didn’t like (looking at you, “Starlight”) and the rerecord didn’t change that. However, whether I’m a huge fan of every song on this album or not, one thing is consistently outstanding: Swift’s vocals. 

Swift was nine years younger when “Red” was released and, along with her ever-evolving sound, it’s not surprising her voice sounds different and more mature on “Red (Taylor’s Version).” The amazing thing is that she was able to replace the shakiness on the high notes with powerful and supported vocals, and the re-created songs don’t lose the rawness and sincerity Swift is known for.

Sure, the previously released songs might’ve gotten an extra snare or a new backing echo, but for the most part, production was re-created as close to the original as possible (minus a weird electro-pop reimagining of the acoustic song “Girl At Home”). This replication serves to help the fans relive a defining moment for Swift — her first true crossover from country to pop. 

If you didn’t like the original album before, chances are you won’t like the rerecord now. If you want to give it a chance, though, I’d recommend listening to the first three songs previously endorsed along with “Treacherous (Taylor’s Version),” “Nothing New (feat. Phoebe Bridgers) (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)” and the spunky pop anthem “Message in a Bottle (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault).” 

The runtime of 2 hours, 10 minutes feels excessive, but I see it as an album meant to be consumed slowly. Take it one song at a time and you’ll be sure to find easter egg after easter egg, the decoding of which will keep me busy for the foreseeable future. 

Emma Trevino is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at culture@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @itsemmatr