Friday, November 16, 2012

Album Review: Red by Taylor Swift

I'm so delighted and excited to share to you my first album review (I could've started months ago--with different artist--but I had trouble with my sched and other things). And it's from the artist that I really love. I promise you though, that none of my words down there that will make you think too nice or like, of-course-you're-a-fan or whatever--was not biased.

I love Taylor and her music and I will talk about it. If there are songs that I didn't liked, I will say it, too.

If you're also a T-Swift fan, you're very welcome here to read my thoughts. If not, you're still very welcome. I could only hope that I could make you one after this. ;)

Now, down to the main event.

Official deluxe edition album art

Album: Red (deluxe edition)
Artist: Taylor Swift

Genre: Country, pop
Date released: October 22nd 2012
Label: Big Machine Records
Source: Bought (and it comes with awesome swag!)
Inside: Disc 1 (16 new tracks), disc 2 (3 new tracks, 3 original demos)

The Red standard edition album art:

Contains 16 new tracks.

"All the different emotions that are written about on this album are all pretty much about the kind of tumultuous, crazy, insane, intense, semi-toxic relationships that I’ve experienced in the last two years. All those emotions — spanning from intense love, intense frustration, jealousy, confusion, all of that — in my mind, all those emotions are red. You know, there’s nothing in between. There’s nothing beige about any of those feelings." - Taylor Swift


Standard edition/Deluxe disc 1

1. “State of Grace”
2. “Red” 
3. “Treacherous”    
4. “I Knew You Were Trouble” 
5. “All Too Well”   
6. “22”    
7. “I Almost Do”    
8. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”  
9. “Stay Stay Stay”    
10. “The Last Time” (featuring Gary Lightbody)
11. “Holy Ground”    
12. “Sad Beautiful Tragic”    
13. “The Lucky One”    
14. “Everything Has Changed” (featuring Ed Sheeran)
15. “Starlight”    
16. “Begin Again”  

Deluxe edition disc 2

1. “The Moment I Knew”    
2. “Come Back… Be Here”    
3. “Girl at Home”    
4. “Treacherous” (Original Demo Recording)
5. “Red” (Original Demo Recording)  
6. “State of Grace” (Acoustic Version)


"..I've loved on shades of wrong."

"This is a state of grace. This is a worthwhile fight. Love is a ruthless game unless you play it good and right."

I've been LSS with this song for weeks, up til now. The into got me with those awesome drums sounds. Whenever I hear it, it makes me wanna learn how to play the drums NOW and do that drumming myself.

The vibe of the whole song was empowering. It makes me feel like a rockstar and want to stand, grab the mic, and the guitar, and the drums and sing and play it all.

Must I say, what a wonderful song to start the album. Although, may I also tell you this? State of Grace didn't have this effect on me when I heard the preview on GMA. You really have to listen to the whole song to appreciate it.

State of Grace - Red


"Faster than the wind, passionate as sin, ending so suddenly."

"Losing him was blue like I'd never known. Missing him was dark grey all alone. Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you've never met. But loving him was red."

I am truly, madly, deeply in love with this song. Sure, this is the song that brought up the whole album. Red.

I freaked out (a good thing) when I first heard that Taylor Swift's upcoming album will be called Red. Red is my favorite color. And red suits her pretty good (red lips, for example). And I'm so excited for the full album. So excited for the song that was called Red. And you just can't imagine what my face must look like when I learned Red will be released as a single before the whole album and when I. FINALLY. HEARD. THE. SONG.

The lyrics (oh God, the lyrics) they are so perfect. The melody. The intro. The 'burning red' part. THE. ENTIRE. SONG. It was wonderful. It was bursting with emotions. It was awesome. Incredible. I'm wonderstrucked. I loved it.

In this song, Taylor sure does how know to let the listener to keep listening to the rest of the album. And never stop.

Red - Red


"Put your lips close to mine as long as they don't touch."

This is one of the songs that, when I first read the title from the track-listing, I was intrigued. Treacherous.

It is also a song that I instantly loved by just hearing the intro. And the song kept going on, like a water on a river, just going with the flow. From the slow, silent emotion of the first verse to building of strong emotion in the second verse to the high intensity of the bridge to the drop of last note of the ending, I am buried in all those emotions. And I, I, I loved it.

I loved playing this song with my eyes close. It was peace and reckless and treacherous to feel this way, but it's what it did to me.

Treacherous has lyrics that is really matured.

Treacherous - Red


"And I realize, the joke is on me."

I don't like this song. And I don't think I'll ever do. This is what I thought when I heard this song. It's too pop. I don't like pop on her.

But then again, I was wrong.
I finally liked it after a play-ful. I like the fast approach of the verses, but not the sudden drop of chorus. But still, it was really good and yes, chaotic.

I Knew You Were Trouble - Red


"You taught me about your past, thinking your future was me."

"Running scared, I was there. I remember it all too well."

"But you keep my old scarf from that very first week."

This is a sad song, to break it to all of you. A very sad, powerful song. And I also hate to break to you, that I liked this sad song. All too well.

All Too Well - Red


"It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters and make fun of our exes."

"..we just keep dancing like we're 22."

Get that vibe from the quoted lyrics above? Yes, this is a fun, fun track.

Whenever I hear this song, it makes me wanna party with Taylor and be one of her best friends (lucky Ashley, Dianna, Clare and Selena) and make fun of our exes (or my lack thereof) and daydream about fairytales and unicorns while wearing horrible cartoon-printed pajamas and eat baked sweet delights and dance up all night and sing this song on the top of our lungs.

And feel like 22. Even if I just turned 19. I will do anything to be on that best. Party. Ever.

22 - Red


"And I confess, baby. In my dreams, you're touching my face and asking me if I'd want to try again with you. And I almost do."

The melody was so good and so are the lyrics. Even though it's heartbreaking and sad.

This song was written about the same guy from the song All Too Well (correct me if I'm wrong). And guess what? Check out the next track.  ...


"We are never ever getting back together. Like, ever."

Welcome to the next track. If you'll read the lyrics from the previous song, and go straight to this song, you'll understand what T is trying to say.

Let's connect the quoted lyrics! It goes like this:

"And I confess, baby. In my dreams, you're touching my face and asking me if I'd want to try again with you. And I almost do." BUT "We are never ever getting back together. Like, ever."

I love the melody and energy of this song (and so does my 17-year old sister, my recently broken-hearted cousin and 2-year old sister), the message she's trying to say and everything about this song.

I think it's a clever way to release this song as the first single because when you listen to the entire album, several songs are about the guy this song is preferring to. It's like a warning. Like, listen to this song first. Then you can listen to the rest of the album, but remember this song every after hear-breaking song. We are never ever getting back together.

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together - Red


"..that's when you came in wearing a football helmet and said, 'Okay, let's talk.'"

"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's been occurring to me, I'd like to hang out with you for my whole life."

I've been seeing comments in Youtube about the intro sounding like a background music when you play a Sim's game on Facebook while you're in a grocery or something. It's really hilarious. But I have to agree. It does sound like one. I knew because I used to play Chefville and Cityville before.

I agree but I think it's cute. The sound of the intro, I mean. I love the fun and feel-good vibe and melody, and the cute and funny lyrics. (It has lyrics that's 'I'm pretty sure we almost broke up last night. I threw my phone across the room at you,' and followed by the first quoted lyrics you've read above.) It reminds me of her rare song called Til Brad Pitt Comes Along. They had the same cute, sweet and funny lyrics.

Stay Stay Stay is one of my fave songs off the album. I also loved the message she's trying to say in this song. And to think this song isn't written for anyone particular.

Stay Stay Stay - Red

THE LAST TIME (ft. Gary Lightbody)

"This is the last time I'm asking you this: put my name at the top of your list."

Amazing. The intensity of Gary's voice at the beginning of the song til the end was amazing. I can feel it through my skin.

Amazing. The blending of their voices were just right. I've never heard Taylor sang with a male voice that fits perfectly with hers. Amazing.

Amazing. Their voices has the right emotion, right power, right blending (I said that already, didn't I?), and the tune was just right to the meaning of the song. Amazing.

The Last Time is one of the highlights of this album.

The Last Time (feat. Gary Lightbody) - Red


"Tonight I'm gonna dance for all that we've been through. But I don't wanna dance if I'm not dancing with you."

I don't know what to expect when I read the title of this song. I'm curious of what it might be and and how it will be.

The intro kicked off with a solo guitar then accompanied by fast drum tempo and followed by fast lyrics about reminiscing about her relationship with this guy. The chorus dropped like from IKYWT, but it's no pop. It's country and rock. The near end til ending of the song contains with lyrics you just read above. It's fun and rock. And yes, I loved this song. I could listen and sing and dance with this song forever.

Holy Ground - Red


"A beautiful magic love there. What a sad, beautiful, tragic love affair."

Like Treacherous, this song title intrigued me, too. But I knew right away that this will be a slow, sad song.

I thought All Too Well was a sad song. SBT is sadder. This song reminds me of Dear John (track from her last album, Speak Now). It has the same sad story and almost the same tune.

It's just a shame that those lovely lyrics was a product of a broken heart.

Sad Beautiful Tragic - Red


"..and your secrets end up splashed on the news front page. And they tell you're lucky but you're so confused. Cause you don't feel pretty, you just feel used."

If I'd talk about the melody and the tune of the song, I'd say I really liked it. I loved the way she sang it, like there's really a secret she knows.

The Lucky One - Red


"I'm feeling like I've missed you all this time."

Her duet with Ed in this song is different from her duet with Gary. This song is about wanting to know more about this person. But you already know that everything has changed even before the love blooms.

The entire song is sweet. I think a lot of people will love this as well.

Everything Has Changed (feat. Ed Sheeran) - Red


"Don't you see the starlight, starlight? Don't you dream impossible things?"

Simple: I said oh my, what a marvelous tune!
Okay, you want me to talk about it more?

I think this is another wonderful song. I liked the fact that she can write songs based from the photo she saw and stories she was told, like her past songs: Mary's Song and Ronan.

She even make this sound like it was from the nineties (like on the photo she was inspired from) and don't sound old at all. It sounded new, fresh and fabulous. What a marvelous tune, indeed.

Starlight - Red


"You don't know how nice that is, but I do."

This was the second single she released and she got it so right. Begin Again is a song about moving on from the past relationship who didn't appreciate her and starting to open her heart to a new person--who understands her.

This song reminds me of the old Taylor. The Taylor I started listening to. They said, and I second the motion, that it sound like her and it really is Taylor Swift. It's like a trademark. The tune, the lyrics, the melody, the feeling and the guitars. It was really nice and I loved it.

I recall myself having this song on repeat when it was released and never got tired of listening. Even up to now.

It was another sneaky and clever of her to put this song at the last because she's asking the obvious: Play this record again. Begin Again. Like she admittedly did on her self-titled debut album where she put Our Song on the last because it has lyrics like, "Play it again". It's simple yet sneaky way to ask you to play it again. Clever.

Begin Again - Red

[Deluxe disc 2]


"And it was like slow motion, Standing there in my party dress. In red lipstick, with no one to impress."

I could honestly say that this song is my least favorite. But the lyrics were oh-so heart-breaking.



"How strange that I don't know you at all."

"I don't wanna miss you like this."

This song was obviously written for this British dude from an uber popular boyband that I also loved. But I try not to think about it whenever I'm listening to this song.

I loved it and I can relate on some of the lyrics, especially the chorus.



This song was written for the same guy from the previous song according to the rumors.

I think it's catchy and at the same time, it's not. A very nice balance between the two. I really liked it. Though I'm having hard time in listening to the songs about this guy.


*You can have these additional songs if you buy the deluxe edition of the album! It also includes three original demos of Red, Treacherous and State of Grace.

My overall thoughts:

Red is a new album from Taylor Swift where you can sense her new level of maturity. It did so in her lyrics and tune of all of her songs. Listening to the entire album brought me to all kinds of love and heartache and moving on and being fun once again. There might be some pop-sounded songs but most of it are still country (though I noticed that banjo had gone missing except in the Red track) and some also sounded rock.

My personal favorites are Red, State of Grace, Stay Stay Stay, All Too Well, Treacherous, The Lucky One, Holy Ground, I Almost Do, Starlight, Begin Again. It seemed like I mentioned all the songs! Why, they're all lovely. What can I do?

Once again, all the lyrics are wonderful. It never cease to amaze me whenever I read lyrics written and co-written by Taylor. It's very real, honest and fearless. I love every part of this album and I don't think I'll ever get tired of listening to it (like how I didn't from her past songs).

I can proudly recommend this to all Swifties and non-Swifties.

Buy RED album now!
Red - Taylor Swift

Wanna check out the freebies I got in purchasing this album?
Here it is...

Taylor Swift 2013 calendar, imported plastic folder, (3) Red-inspired button pins, Covergirl bag, Covergirl Taylor Swift poster and a Covergirl coupon. A Wayfarer should be an additional freebie, but when I came in the album launch event, they were out of stock already.

Note: These were freebies from Odyssey, a local record store here in the Philippines. The Covergirl swag were claimed during the album launch event. I'm not sure if you buy the deluxe edition, you can still get the calendar and plastic folder.

SO. Have you listened to RED? What're your thoughts about it? Personal faves? Least faves? Haven't heard of it or not a fan? Would you consider in listening?
Don't be shy, there's the comment box below! :)

*The songs you're currently hearing on the blog is an 8-track preview from the album. Songs include: State of Grace, Red, Treacherous, Stay Stay Stay, The Last Time, The Lucky One, Girl at Home, and Starlight. Enjoy!

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