December 17, 2021 | LIFE | By Carlee Castillo | Illustration by Sierra Romero
“Red (Taylor’s Version)” reaffirms Taylor Swift’s knack for storytelling and ability to unite. Whether in exclaiming a collective hatred for an infamous Swift ex, dancing to a lively beat, or tearfully reciting a nostalgic chorus, Swift’s fans banned together following the release of her most recent album.
Debuting first in October of 2012, the previous Red album presents the fragmented recountings of heartbreak. However, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” released Nov. 12, redefined this narrative.
In an effort to regain control over her music after the rights were controversially acquired and sold by music mogul Scooter Braun without her consent, Taylor Swift has embarked on a long journey of re-recording her first six albums. In conjunction with her new collaborative team at Universal Music Group, Swift has now officially completed two of these new albums.
With chart-topping hits such as “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together,” to cult classics like “All Too Well,” “Red (Taylor’s Version)” invites fans ranging in devotion.
However, the album presents anything but tired material. With nine new vault tracks, Swift continues to enthrall her fan base. Most notably, “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” epitomizes her reclaimed, matured voice while presenting a new facet of the narrative established by her previous version of the song.
During this saga-like tune, Swift delivers an emotionally riveting performance and a gritty depiction of love and heartbreak. Similarly, the vault track “Nothing New,” accompanied by Phoebe Bridgers, offers a melodically beautiful and complex chronicle. Swift and Bridgers viscerally detail the anxieties of aging and exude relatability.
By regaining her own voice as an influential woman, Swift allows women everywhere to similarly reclaim our space. Following the release of “Red (Taylor’s Version),” a coalition of fans took to the streets.
Traveling from across the country, Taylorfest beckoned Swift fans from across the nation for a night of dancing, drinks, and merchandise. Crafted by Steinmiller Productions, Taylorfest describes itself as a “party dedicated to Swifties.”
Its stop in Denver delivered nothing short of a perfect night. Nestled in the BlueBird theater of Denver, Colorado, Taylorfest established a safe and welcoming environment. Vaccine cards were required and surveyed prior to entry. Bags were investigated and metal detectors were erected. The team behind Taylorfest made it clear that security was a prioirity.
In addition to their security details, Taylorfest contradicted the typical fear that accompanies clubbing. Nightlife has perpetuated a history of violence against women. Rather than dancing and laughing, women must focus on covering their drinks, traveling in packs, and carrying their keys as claws.
Yet, Taylorfest alleviated this perpetuated uneasiness. Worried glances were replaced with carefree grins. Trembling hands over plastic cups were instead free to wave through the air. The team behind Taylorfest created an environment as comforting as Taylor Swift’s music.
When asked to reminisce on her experience at Taylorfest, Tara Seigel of Castle Rock, Colorado, described the evening as “one of the greatest moments of her life hands down.” She continued, stating “Taylorfest is pure Swiftie heaven.”
Whether you’re new to her music or a long-time fan, both “Red (Taylor’s Version)” and Taylorfest will have you “spinning like a girl in a brand new dress.”