Red: Taylor Swift on Love and Heartbreak

After my Maroon 5 all-time high, I was really overjoyed to find out that Taylor Swift will be releasing her fourth album soon. I have always been a loyal follower of that amazing girl even while she was still not that famous in our country. It was my friend who made me listen to her Teardrops in my Guitar back when I was in third year high school (I’m in my final year in college now!)  and I couldn’t stop myself from singing it over and over again. From then on, I searched for the rest of her songs (even those which were unpublished) and has remained a fan ever since.

Perhaps it was about her raw honesty that really got me – the way she said what was in her heart every time a new song or album comes out. Upon hearing Taylor Swift’s Red, I saw how she evolved and expanded her horizons in it. She has matured and though she remains a country princess, she was fearless to step out of the box to try other various elements to add to her music. Since it was not until the first week of November that her album reached the country, I had to content myself with listening to her songs on the Internet. Now, however, her music has been constantly on loop on my playlist for the past weeks.


 Taylor Swift’s Red:

1. State of Grace

This is a state of grace
This is a worthwhile fight
Love is a ruthless game
Unlesss you play it good and right
These are the hands of fate
You’re my Achilles heel
This is the golden age of something good
And right and real

Something new for Taylor and her audience, the electronic beats and beautiful melody got me hooked as the lyrics spoke volumes of love. It was a great way to begin the album – to speak of love and of it being worth it against all odds.

Grade: A+

2. Red

Regretting him was like wishing you never found out that love could be that strong
Losing him was blue, like I’d never known
Missing him was dark gray, all alone
Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you’ve never met
But loving him was red, oh red, burning red

Loving someone is indeed a myriad of colors and Taylor was able to express that through this song. It can be bright and happy but it can also be dark and sad. Much like all these colors, the feelings one experiences in caring for another is just the same or perhaps even more than just red or blue or dark gray.

Grade: B+

3. Treacherous

This slope is treacherous
This path is reckless
This slope is treacherous
And I, I, I like it

Falling despite the danger – who does not? Treacherous yet one still goes that path… most of the time. Hearing this for the first time surprised me perhaps because of the carefully chosen lyrics but the melody was beautifully crafted so I like it.

Grade: B+

4. I Knew You Were Trouble

Cause I knew you were trouble when you walked in
So shame on me now, flew me to places I’d never been
Till you put me down
Oh I knew you were trouble when you walked in
So shame on me now, flew me to places I’d never been
Now I’m lying on the cold hard ground
Oh oh, trouble, trouble, trouble
Oh oh, trouble, trouble, trouble

Upon hearing it, it got my head bobbing up and down with the electric beat despite the lyrics of regret about allowing trouble in one’s life. Perhaps it’s because sometimes one chooses to overlook things only to realize in the end how blind one was. The good thing at least is that you could at least belt it out through a song and earn more Grammys in the future. It’s payback time – and I think I know who won.

Grade: A

5. All Too Well

And maybe we got lost in translation
Maybe I asked for too much
But maybe this thing was a masterpiece
Till you tore it all up
Running scared, I was there I remember it all too well

Some things are vividly etched in one’s memory than others. These things perhaps have made much impact on a person that even if moving on is possible and forgiveness is achievable, forgetting is not that easy or maybe even not an option.

Grade: B+

6. 22

Yeah we’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time
It’s miserable and magical oh yeah
Tonight’s the night when we forget about the deadlines, it’s time
Uh oh, I don’t know about you but I’m feeling 22
Everything will be all right if you keep me next to you
You don’t know about me but I bet you want to
Everything will be all right if we just keep dancing like we’re 22, 22

One of my favorite in this album, the song is just too fun and happy. A great song for all those who are 22, turning 22 sooner or later, and myself when I turn 22 in two years. Gotta remember to play this song that day. Till then, I’ll continue enjoying it.

Grade: A+

7. I Almost Do

And I just want to tell you
It takes everything in me not to call you
And I wish I could run to you
And I hope you know that everytime I don’t
I almost do, I almost do

 A slower song which has a melody that reminds me of songs from previous albums, it tells a story about what happened after the ending. Despite still having the same feelings, sometimes we choose not to tell the other anymore even if most of the time, we still want to. Perhaps it’s because we know deep inside that it’s better that way.

Grade: B

8. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

Oooh we called it off again last night
But oooh, this time I’m telling you, I’m telling you
We are never ever ever ever getting back together
We are never ever ever ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me
But we are never ever ever ever getting back together

Fun, spunky, and something altogether for Taylor Swift – she makes a break-up sound like it’s all right even if in reality, it isn’t. Because in her song, it actually sounds awesome.

Grade: A

9. Stay Stay Stay

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
But I think that it’s best if we both stay

A fun song and quite different from the all the others and a little reminiscent of Mean in terms of the beat, it was a love that was light, young, and easy. It was about sticking with each other because you know that it is indeed best if you just both stay.

Grade: B+

10. The Last Time (featurine Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol)

I’m right before your eyes
I’m breaking
No thoughts, no reasons why
Just you and me…
This is the last time I’m asking you this
Put my name at the top of your list
This is the last time I’m asking you why
Your break my heart in the blink of an eye eye eye

Somehow, the melody was hauntingly beautiful coupled with the amazing voice of Gary Lightbody joining Taylor Swift in this song. It was a final plea before all things break loose. It was the last chance to make things right before all is given up.

Grade: A

11. Holy Ground

I was reminiscing just the other day
While having coffee all alone and Lord, it took me away
Back to a first glance feeling on New York time
Back when you fit in my poems like a perfect rhyme

A different style for Taylor this time around with all that fun beat reminiscing about all the good times with someone. True enough, there are moments when you just can’t help but take a walk down memory lane and not really think about the fights that happened or tears that were shed in a relationship. It was all about the times that you are thankful for that someone, for entering your life – and it simply leaves a smile on your face just like this song does.

Grade: A+

12. Sad Beautiful Tragic

Long handwritten note, deep in your pocket
Words, how little they mean when they’re a little too late
I stood right by the tracks, you face in a locket
Good girls, hopeful they’ll be and lonely will wait
We had a beautiful magic love affair
What a sad beautiful tragic love affair

Much like the lyrics, the melody of the song was a little melancholic as if it was too sad to try recalling what has happened yet still one does. Beautiful, magical, perfect – yet why do some things have to end? Even when things are already wonderful as it is?

Grade: B

13. The Lucky One

It was a few years later, I showed up here
And they still tell the legend of how you disappeared
How you took the money and your dignity and got the hell out
They say you bought a bunch of land somewhere
Chose the Rose Garden over Madison Square
And it took some time, but I understand it now
‘Cause now my name is up in lights, but I think you got it right

A really beautifully-written song about a life of fame and fortune and how things are not really as they seem. It all looks grand and glamorous but beneath all that, secrets are left untold as the façade must be preserved and the masquerade continued. To be able to see that in the end and be able to get out of it perhaps is one of the best choices one could make – before it eats you up and changes you. Sad yet true.

Grade: A

14. Everything Has Changed (featuring Ed Sheeran)

[Ed Sheeran]
Andall my walls stand tall painted blue
And I’ll take them down, take them down, and open up the door for you

[Taylor Swift]
And all I feel in my stomach is butterflies
The beautiful kind, making up for lost time
Taking flight, making me feel right

There are times when you just suddenly know that things are the still the same yet – altogether different in a wonderful kind of way. That feeling of discovering that through all the things that have happened, something changed along the way without you noticing it at first. Even better, it’s not just a certain something because… everything has changed. Ed Sheeran’s and Taylor Swift’s voices blended perfectly that they got me believing in this song.

Grade: A

15. Starlight

I said oh my, what a marvellous tune
It was the best night, never would forget how we moved
The whole place was dressed to the nines and we were dancing
Like we’re made of starlight
Like we’re made of starlight

Hearing the first few lines of the song made think that it was going to suddenly break out into a frenzy of electric beats and burst into a party song ala-Jennifer Lopez. Yet Taylor stayed true to her genre as the song was upbeat yet still her. One of my favorites, perhaps because I love stars… and dreaming.

Grade: A


16. Begin Again

And you throw your head back laughing
Like a little kid
I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny
Cause he never did
And I’ve been spending the last eight months
Thinking all love ever does is
Break and burn and end
But on a Wednesday in a café
I watched it begin again

Despite the many endings, people are faced with the hope of better beginnings. Cliché as it sounds, love indeed never ends though it may seem so. It continues to be there even when things change. Iit is also the same thing that allows us to move on and start over.

Grade: A

Deluxe Edition (Disc 2)

17. The Moment I Knew

And it was like slow motion
Standing there in my party dress
In red lipstick
With no one to impress
And they’re all standing around me singing
“Happy Birthday to you”
But there’s one thing missing
And that was the moment I knew

Realizations – sometimes they hit you on the face like a rock that scars or a hard slap that stings.

Grade: B

18. Come Back… Be Here

This is falling in love in the cruellest way
This is falling for you and you are worlds away

New York… be here
But you’re in London and I break down
Cause it’s not fair that you’re not around

Long-distance love – sometimes it works, but too many times it does not. Sadly.

Grade: B+

19. Girl at Home

And it would be a fine proposition
If I was a stupid girl
But honey I am no one’s exception
This I have previously learned

A mellow country-ish beat – this is about standing up for yourself and not allowing a guy to have you as his Number 2. No woman deserves that and it only happens when you allow it to. At times though, some lessons are learned the hard way.

Grade: A

 20. Treacherous (Original Demo Recording)

Put your lips close to mine
As long as they don’t touch
Out of focus, eye to eye
Till the gravity’s too much
And I’ll do anything you say
If you say it with your hands
And I’d be smart to walk away, but you’re quicksand

Not too much different from the actual version, I remained lingering on the lyrics and I think about it. It is true, at times you already know the answer and the right choice. However, we still choose to do otherwise. No one is an exception.

Grade: B+

21. Red (Original Demo Recording)

Touching him was like realizing all you ever wanted was right there in front of you
Memorizing him was as easy as knowing all the words to your old favorite song
Fighting him was like trying to solve a crossword and realizing there’s no right answer

With less playing in the background, this version allowed Taylor’s voice to take control of the song. It was still as nice as this version gives more of a raw feel to it.  

Grade: B+

22. State of Grace (Acoustic Version)

I’m walking fast through the traffic lights
Busy streets and busy lives
And all we know is touch and go
We are alone with our changing minds
We fall in love till it hurts or bleeds, or fades in time
And I never saw you coming
And I’ll never be the same

With the first few lines, I was already in love with the song. Even more when I got to the chorus and even so much more when I heard this acoustic version. With just the guitar playing in the background, the lyrics were heard and the feelings were felt. Pure, beautiful, and honest – it was perfect. And I loved it to bits.

Grade: A++


Another great album from Taylor Swift, Red has done it again. And I remain as always, an admirer of her talent. 

4 thoughts on “Red: Taylor Swift on Love and Heartbreak

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