The Random Bibliophile

by Renee Alexis

Renee Alexis
20-something Filipina, an introvert who loves young adult fiction, brush pens, Taylor Swift, and BTS. Coffee runs in my bloodstream.

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RED (Taylor's Version) 11.12 ❤️ Fuck the Patriarchy

RED (Taylor's Version)
RED (Taylor's Version)
It never would have been possible to go back & remake my previous work, uncovering lost art & forgotten gems along the way if you hadn’t emboldened me. Red is about to be mine again, but it has always been ours. Now we begin again. - Taylor Swift

RED has been my favorite Taylor Swift album not just because All Too Well was born in it, but because we get different spectrums of feelings from all the songs in it, taking us from one emotion to the other and back again. A whole 360 of happiness, confusion, loneliness, devastation, liberty, and everything in between. 

Nine years ago, Tay wrote a mishmash of an album, giving us Treacherous, I Knew You Were Trouble, 22, Stay Stay Stay, The Last Time, Sad Beautiful Tragic, Come Back...Be Here, and so many more gems. Each song gave off a different vibe. Some songs had us bopping our heads up and down, while some had us sitting on a corner nursing our aching hearts. The diversity of tunes we got from this masterpiece, ugh, I am just left utterly speechless when it didn't win the AOTY award. 

Anyway, today Taylor released her re-record of this wonderful album and I was super excited for the From The Vault songs which included the 10-minute version of the critically acclaimed and crowd favorite All Too Well (which is also my favorite TSwift song, by the way). If you didn't know, From The Vault Songs are the songs that did not make the final track-list. So now that Taylor is re-recording her old albums, she included these unreleased gems for the world to hear.

Unlike my previous Taylor Swift Album Reaction blogs, I'll be skipping the OG album songs and I'll be going right to the Vault songs just because. Let's go!

Ronan

RED (Taylor's Version) | Renee Alexis

I loved this song since it was released as a single and as a tribute to a young boy who died from cancer years ago. My heart aches every time I listen to this song because the lyrics are just so beautiful. It captivates grief, sadness, and longing too accurately, you feel like crying every time this song plays. I even remember recording a Soundcloud cover of this because I loved it so much. 

Favorite Lyrics:
What if I'm standing in your closet trying to talk to you?
What if I kept the hand-me-downs you won't grow into?
And what if I really thought some miracle would see us through? 😭


Better Man

When I learned Taylor wrote this when it was included in Little Big Town's album a few years ago, I listened to the song again and again because the lyrics just hit home. When I went through a break-up, this was one of the many songs that helped me go through the many emotions I was experiencing. 

Favorite Lyrics:
And I gave to you my best and we both know you can't say that

Nothing New (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)

I know RED has a bunch of sad songs but this one is a different kind of sad when I really think about it. I feel like I'm losing something and I have nothing left to do but accept it and find a way to move forward again.

Favorite Lyrics:
Lord, what will become of me
Once I've lost my novelty?

Babe

I've been looking forward to this because I really loved Sugarland's version of this, and it's another song in my break-up playlist (LOL). And I wasn't disappointed because Taylor's version is great. The "What about your promises, promises?" part is *chef's kiss*! I loved how it's upbeat but the lyrics are contradictory. It's another sad bop but I'm here for it!

Favorite Lyrics:
we're a wreck, you're the wrecking ball

Message in a Bottle

RED (Taylor's Version) | Renee Alexis

I can't believe Taylor hid this beautiful track from us for years. This song could've been in my Chill Drive playlist for years! This might be my favorite among the From The Vault songs, aside from the All Too Well 10-minute version, of course.

Favorite Lyrics:
You could be the one that I keep, and I
Can be the reason you can't sleep at night

I Bet You Think About Me (feat. Chris Stapleton)

I love this song! The harmonica? The country twang? Taylor and Chris' harmonization??? Beautiful, just beautiful! And the lyrics, as well! "I bet you think about it me" feels like it's a continuation of I Almost Do... I change my mind, I think this is my favorite From The Vault song (aside from ATW 10-min).

Favorite Lyrics:
It turned out that I'm harder to forget than I was to leave

Does it make you feel sad
That the love that you're lookin' for
Is the love that you had?

Forever Winter

This song is such a Taylor Swift style song that when I first heard it, I was reminded of the Taylor Swift I fell in love with years, years ago. This song reminded me of her other songs like I'm Only Me When I'm With You, The Outside, Invisible, Permanent Marker, and other old songs of hers. 

Favorite Lyrics:
I'll be summer sun for you forever
Forever winter if you go

Run (feat. Ed Sheeran)

It's always a pleasing experience when I get to hear Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift in one song because their voices complement each other. Apparently, this was the first song they made together and Everything Has Changed was the second. I'm just happy Taylor decided to share this beautiful song with us. I'm happy that Taylor and Ed are still friends. I love them both!

Favorite Lyrics:
And I'll sing like no one cares
No one to be, no one to tell

The Very First Night

The fact that this bop is placed before the ATW 10-min version, I'm ready to throw hands. A song with a fun beat and then devastation. The spectrum, I tell you!

Favorite Lyrics:
I drive down different roads
But they all lead back to you

All Too Well 10-Minute Version 

And now the main event. Swifties have begged Taylor to release this 10-minute version for years and now that we finally got it, it left me wrecked and devastated and heartbroken and just really, really sad. I thought I was ready for it. But I wasn't. The additional lyrics? The new melody in this extended version? The gut-wrenching longer bridge? The original track was already hurtful as it is but this 10-minute version? Is she trying to kill me? I couldn't help but cry because how can someone hurt Taylor this much to make her write a full ten-minute song just to release her pent-up emotions? I could only imagine the hurt and devastation she felt and I wanted to give her a big, warm hug. There's a lot to unpack here, but to sum it up, fuck you, Jake Gyllenhaal.

Favorite Lyrics:
And I was thinking on the drive down, any time now
He's gonna say it's love, you never called it what it was

And there we are again when nobody had to know
You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath
Sacred prayer and we'd swear
To remember it all too well, yeah

And you call me up again just to break me like a promise
So casually cruel in the name of being honest
I'm a crumpled up piece of paper lying here
'Cause I remember it all

The idea you had of me, who was she?

Just between us, did the love affair maim you, too?


I'm still on an All Too Well 10-minute version high and I couldn't form coherent sentences anymore, so I'll leave you with a Spotify playlist of her album. Stream Red (Taylor's Version)! xx


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