1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2012
This is one of the best new albums I've heard in years.
I've always liked the odd song by Taylor Swift. She's an excellent songwriter who really knows how to tell a story and how to portray her emotions to the listener. Her work is strikingly honest, and it is made all the more interesting by her clearly deeply passionate nature.
Despite this, I have in the past only usually listened to two or three songs on her albums as I have found the rest a little bit, shall we say, "Disney Teen."
That is absolutely not the case with this album. It maintains her special, confessional songwriting style, but with a new-found maturity. She experiments, extremely successfully, with a number of new styles, yet the album is strangely even more cohesive for it.
The melodies and hooks are her best ever, and her emotional insight is even more perceptive and eloquently expressed than in the best of her previous works.
Most importantly, nearly every song has that special, indefinable quality that makes a song great - that perfect blend of lyric, melody, and performance that makes the listener soar, for an instant, into another realm.
For me, the stand out tracks are All Too Well, Red and, my favorite, I Almost Do. Stay, Stay, Stay is probably my least favorite at the moment but that may change with repeat listening.
All in all, it is a fabulous and exciting album, and listening to it has rekindled in me an excitement in music that hasn't burned brightly in years.
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2012
I've been eagerly anticipating this album ever since Taylor dropped the amazing Speak Now. When talking about this album Taylor described it as a collaborative effort unlike Speak Now which was very internal (she wrote every song alone without co-writers and co-produced every song). She worked with a lot of new people on this album including Max Martin (pops biggest producer who's worked with many huge pop stars such as Britney Spears and Ke$ha), Butch Walker (a rock singer but he's produced for pop artists such as Avril Lavigne (My Happy Ending) and Katy Perry (Thinking Of You)) not to mention collaborating with newcomer Ed Sheeran and Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody. Despite this she wrote 9 songs alone.
Anyway getting back to the point this album see's Taylor experiment with a lot of new sound from the Dubstep influence I Knew You Were Trouble to the U2 inspired State Of Grace. This was a risky move but it paid off. The catchy bubblegum tracks like the hit single We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and 22 are completely irresistible. State Of Grace is an incredible track and a perfect opener. Despite what the lead single may have you believe a lot of these songs are quite slow such as the introspective Treacherous, the incredible All Too Well which produced some of the best lyrics she's ever wrote and several more. There are some more pop songs on the album such as Red and Starlight which are 2 of the albums strongest tracks. Red is a guitar based pop song using colours as a metaphor for emotion and Starlight is an incredible synth based pop songs which is infectious but it still has great lyrics telling of an adventure she had with a boy aged 17. It's like Enchanted funner sister. Both the collaborations are very good. The Last Time featuring Gary Lightbody is a dark song reminiscent of Safe and Sound that is haunting and has some of Taylor's best vocals yet. Everything Has Changed featuring Ed Sheeran is an uptempo number that will have you bopping along. There's still some songs for fans who prefer Taylor's country stuff such as the beautiful ballad Begin Again and the fun up-tempo Stay Stay Stay.
These are my thoughts on each track
State Of Grace-10/10 A great opener inspired by U2. Taylor sings about how love should be over epic guitars
Red-10/10 This is the catchiest song on the album. I like how it compares colours to emotions. It's a great pop-rock song with clever lyrics.
Treacherous-8/10 This is a slower song and is beautiful. You can see how much Taylor has grown as a writer on this album.
I Knew You Were Trouble-10/10 I never thought Taylor could pull off dubstep but this song is amazing. It's catchy, has good lyrics and is just a great bop.
All Too Well-10/10 This is one of my favourite tracks. It's a beautiful song with some of Taylor's best lyrics yet. My favourite part is "Hey you called me up again just to break me like a promise, So casually cruel in the name of being honest
I'm a crumbled up piece of paper lying here, Cause I remember it all all all too well"
22-9/10 This is a really fun song celebrating the complications of being young and confused
I Almost Do-8/10 This is a slower song where Taylor contemplates about a former lover and how she almost goes to contact him but never quite manages.
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together-8/10 This is the ultra poppy ultra fun lead single. While it's not her best song it's still a fun jam and is greater to dance around and be silly too.
Stay Stay Stay-8/10 This is another fun country song telling a story about an ex-boyfriend
The Last Time-9/10 This is a dark track featuring Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol. It's like hearing 2 sides of the same story from Taylor and Gary. Taylor's voice is amazing on this as well.
Holy Ground-7/10 This is probably the weakest song on the album but still enjoyable and the drums are great in this song.
Sad Beautiful Tragic-8/10 This is a beautiful ballad reflecting on a relationship and everything that came with it.
The Lucky One-10/10 This is a great song where Taylor talks about the Perils of fame praising an artist (rumored to be Joni Mitchell) for getting out before it became to consuming.
Everything Has Changed-9/10This is a great guitar based track featuring Ed Sheeran. It's a really sweet song and is really catchy.
Starlight-10/10 This is an amazing synth based pop song where Taylor's tells about an adventure she had as a teen. It's one of my favourites on the album and is irresistible.
Begin Again-10/10 This is a perfect end to the album. This is a beautiful very personal country ballad where Taylor says about how she starts to fall in love again after a turbulent relationship.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
It's been two years since her last album Speak Now which had a new sound whilst keeping the feeling your listening to the artist you loved since her first release, I was a little worried whether or not she would be able to up her performance in this new album, and I can assure you she has.
This album has an awesome mix of different styled tunes, for example if you listen to 'State of Grace', 'Treacherous', 'I Knew You Were Trouble.', 'All Too Well' & 'We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together', just to name a few, you will realise that sound completely different. There are quite a lot of bands & artists who have albums which most of the songs sound very similar to others, and Taylor manages to give you a different feel for each song you listen too.
One thing that has pleased me is that a few of my friends had reluctantly admitted to me that have enjoyed one or two of her new songs, not that it bothered me too much of the quite frequent digs I get for appreciating her music(I know they're in denial ;)), however it's a nice change to hear something positive about an artist you enjoy listening too.
Overall, it's a pretty solid album which I would highly recommend to those who are into pop/country type genre, and especially to those Swift fans out there, however I'm sure you already own it if you are. ;)
Those who want to hear some previews before you buy then go to 'Taylor Swift - Red' MP3 download, click on the samples and have a little taster of what the album has to offer.
on 10 November 2012
This album is just brilliant. If you were not a fan of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", don't let it put you off this album. There is something for everyone on here. You can in no way base this album off one song. There are only a couple of "pop" songs on here, if that matters to you. Half of the album is slow, "country" and beautiful, really pushing your emotions. Also, in my opinion, "Red" sports some of Taylor Swift best lyrics to date.
My favourite songs are ones that have beautiful lyrics. So, this is why these are some of my favourites.:
State of Grace
All Too Well
BUT I do like them all. My least favourites are probably "I Knew Yo Were Trouble" and "The Last Time", but, I don't completely hate them.
This album is spectacular and in the future will be one of the great masterpieces of 2012. Clever lyrics, good melody's, something for everyone.
State of Grace:
"Love is a ruthless game, unless you play it good and right"
"We learn to live with the pain, Mosaic Broken Hearts"
All Too Well:
"You call me up again just to break me like a promise, so casually cruel in the name of being honest"
"And all we are is skin and bone, trained to get along"
There are also many more incredible lyrics on this album and I'd also like to note that she writes or at least co-writes every song. I was most blown away with the fact the she wrote the whole of "State of Grace" by her self, which in my opinion is one of the absolute best songs she has ever sung. Five Stars.
on 18 November 2012
Actually i pre-ordered the Red cd from the United States Amazon, and after listening to a couple of songs that were pre-released, like "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" i was a bit disappointed (yes, i know it is a hit). Not because i don't like pop, on the contrary- i grew up in the 80's. It is just because there are better pop songs by, let's say, Kelly Clarkson. Then i noticed that the deluxe version was released and listened to a sample online. I really liked some songs on the second cd (they represent Taylor much better than the ones in the first cd), so i bought it as well even before the first cd arrived. I didn't regret it at all. The second disk is great. Especially "Come Back... Be Here", which is now a favorite of mine. You can really feel Dan Wilson's touch in it, and obviously cooperating with him was an excellent choice. So i have to recall my statement that Taylor should have written everything by herself. Working with other people actually had a great result, in some cases.
Overall. Great album, well worth the money!
If you liked "Speak Now" and, especially, "Fearless"; definitely go for the Deluxe Edition.
P.S. About performance: Taylor is perfect, as always!!!
on 11 November 2012
As always, with Taylor Swift every feeling is heightened and every emotion is electrified.
For me, the title track, Red, effortlessly captures every fine detail surrounding the riot of retrospect. Taylor states, "I called it RED because of the tumultuous, crazy adventures in love and loss that it chronicles". This could not be more clearly conveyed in the lyrics.
'I Knew You Were Trouble' has a somewhat dubstep edge, taking Taylor far from her comfort of country/pop, defining her artistic abilities. Her collaborations with Ed Sheeran and Gary Lightbody (from Snow Patrol) develop her maturity as a song writer. Nevertheless, my personal favourite track on the album; 'All Too Well' encompasses traditional Taylor Swift at her finest. In fact, this self-penned track contains my favourite lyric on the album, '..break me like a promise' alongside the scene of 'dancing round the kitchen in the refrigerator light', pretty much highlighting the entire theme of the album.
It really isn't a surprise that Red sold 1.2 million albums in the first week of its release.
on 15 February 2013
Whilst being a 53 year old Englishman means that I am way outside the main demographic I find that her albums cheer me up and I think that there is real excellence here.
Perversely, my favourite track is the acoustic version of State of Grace, track 6 on the Bonus Album.
I am a Snow Patrol fan but I feel that the Gary Lightbody song is the worst song on the album, and he sounds uncomfortable with Ms Swift's underlay style (how the words fit to music), not his fault really, it shouldn't have been released.
To be critical I feel that there is not enough real variety on the main album: was tempted by thoughts of 'here we go again' and 'who cares'. Also, if she continues her move away from Country and acoustic I think it will be a shame, higher sales I suppose but ultimately at the risk of being forgettable and irrelevant.
Recording quality and engineering seem excellent.
I found the booklet very difficult to read: the photos are very nice but I would have preferred a larger font, capital letters and conventional formatting.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2014
Very much a Sheryl Crow meets Shania Twain, a solid example of a modern country / pop cross over album that has topped the US country and Pop charts, the UK charts and generally has been a top seller world wide since its release in 2012.
Taylor's voice is like Sheryl's but with a more angelic element to it.
I bought this to get a more up-to-date take on country after a recent Johnny Cash splurge and was not disappointed.
I like the combination of the electro-acoustic guitars with strong beat. All the tracks are pretty good.
For me there isn't really a single with a wow factor like we had from Shania with the likes of "That Don't Impress Me Much" and so on. This is possibly a weakness which may mean that I might not play it quite as often as the album merits.
The biggest single in the UK at least is "I Knew You Were Trouble" which reached No.2.
I however prefer "22", which reached No.9.
Other tracks of note are "State Of Grace" once it gets going, "Stay Stay Stay" and also "Everything Has Changed", the latter being a No. 7 single in the UK, featuring Ed Sheeran, which is a nicely balanced balled with a good acoustic guitar rhythm.
on 10 November 2012
I'll be honest, after hearing 'We are never getting back together' the first few times here and there, I was seriously concerned about Taylor Swift's direction and what the new album, 'Red', would be like...
But, having downloaded all three of Taylor's previous albums from Amazon I got 'Red' as soon as it came out... And boy was I relieved and thrilled!
First, 'Red' is just as 'Taylor' as all of her previous albums. Second, it is packed full of the most wonderful songs you could wish for! 'State of Grace' is amazing, and the title track 'Red' is one of my favourite songs ever! '22' is a cracking anthem, 'Stay' is just sublime and 'Starlight' will have you dancing around the living room and singing along in no time!
For any Taylor Swift fan, this album is a must. For anyone who is a fan of great music and a romantic and full of hope and life, I thoroughly recommend this! Enjoy!
P.S. Thank you Taylor!
25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
I'd heard about Taylor's new album via the Ellen Degeneres show when she performed a couple of the new songs live. After having heard "Red", "We are never ever getting back together" and "Begin again" I was hooked. BUT THEN, I heard that she'd also spread her wings quite a bit with this new album and added some really amazingly talented musicians to duet with to her album including Ed Sheeran and Gary Lightbody from Snow Patrol. Wow.
So the "standard" album differs from the deluxe version in that it doesn't feature a couple of songs (as you'd expect). Actually it's quite a few songs, but most are just acoustic duplicates. The songs you'll gain from the deluxe version are, "The moment I knew", "Come back...be here" and "Girl at home" with acoustic versions or the original demo versions of "Treacherous", "Red" and "State of Grace". Do I think, having bought the deluxe version, that you'd be missing out on much without these added little extras? Yes. I really REALLY do. The demos and acoustics aren't such a big deal, but are a nice addition, but the three additional songs are wonderful - some of my favourites from the album infact. So invest in the deluxe if you can!
So here are the songs and a tiny insight into their sound:
-State of Grace: An upbeat, uplifting song that I really liked. It's not what I would call country, it's definitely more pop, but it still has her little twist to it and you can't help but sing along.
-Red: This is a typical, catchy, well-thought-out, lyrical masterpiece of Taylor's. You know how she just manages to add a little bit of humour here and there? Like with "Speak now", it's kind of like that. Very catchy with a hint of country. My favourite of the album.
-Treacherous: I loved the meaning behind these lyrics. It's slower, verging on ballady, but it's lovely. A hint of country, but not as obvious as her usual stuff which is nice for variation and shows her talent.
-I knew you were trouble: So country, so catchy and SO much fun. This is a fantastic addition because it's actually lyrically really powerful - it reminds me hugely of "Should have said no" in it's meaning.
-All too well: A country ballad. Typical Taylor, a pretty song with deep meaning.
-22: This for me is the lapse in the album. It's upbeat and fun but it's actually quite annoying. I end up skipping it and I NEVER do that with her songs.
-I almost do: Another country ballad I was glad to have. I don't know how she does it but her lyrics are just so brilliantly emotional. She manages to actually convey pain pretty effectively through her tone and I thought that was demonstrated particularly well with this song.
-We are never ever getting back together: You know what, when I first heard this and it's pop feel I thought "Oh no, what has she done ?!", but it grows on you. Quickly. It's catchy and fun. It started off right down the bottom for me and now is one of my most played from the album. You'll learn to love it!
-Stay Stay Stay: This is an upbeat, fun, country song. It reminds me of her very first album with all of the catchy, slightly cheesy songs we all pretended not to like but secretly played repeatedly behind closed doors. It's fab. Reminds me of "I'd lie".
-The last time: This is the duet with Gary Lightbody. It reminds me of Lady Antebellum's work so if you like them, and Taylor, then you'll love this. It's a balladic song which I think was intended to demonstrate some real, raw emotion. Their voices merge ridiculously well and I was so impressed with this song. It's beautiful. I hope she does more duets in the future.
-Holy ground: This is a slow-ish song with a new feel to it. It's not one which I play too often, but I do like it and it's definitely a different side to her voice that I liked.
-Sad beautiful tragic: For me, this was just TOO slow. I do like her ballads usually, often more than the upbeat, catchy ones. But I actually just find this depressing and a bit boring. There always has to be one I suppose. Maybe it will grow on me.
-The lucky one: This one's great. A nice insight into what it must be like to be a celebrity. I liked the message and I love the sound.
-Everything has changed: This is the duet with Ed Sheeran. A slow-ish ballad with GREAT lyrics. I don't think I need to say more. Ed Sheeran people!!
-Starlight: This is on the same level as "22". It sounds similar and is a tiny bit irritating. I like it in small doses. I'd describe it as lacking in maturity in comparison to her other songs on this album.
-Begin Again: I like this one. A pretty ballady sound with an interesting message.
And from the deluxe:
-The moment I knew: You've got to love a good piano in her songs. Wow. Really pretty and sad. Kind of like "Back to December" I'd say.
-Come back...be here: Nice country ballad with a lot of variation in her voice. This isn't to be missed. Get the deluxe just for this one.
-Girl at home: Upbeat with fun lyrics. I like how she's really used her voice in lots of different ways.
So overall, a new take on an already well established talent. Taylor can sing, yes, but her lyrics are what really sell this album for me. And the duets are INCREDIBLE.
As a side note: If you're a massive Taylor fan, I mentioned earlier about the Ellen Degeneres show and Taylor performing. Be sure to check out an interview she's done alongside Zac Efron where they're singing a duet! It's hilariously funny and appears to be totally unrehearsed. Had me in stitches.