St. Thomas University students were part of the millions of fans eagerly awaiting the release of Taylor Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version). The album, originally debuting in 2012, garnered critical and social acclaim but was re-released on Nov. 12.
Swift is in the process of re-recording her first six records after the original masters were sold to the investment service Shamrock Capital. This situation is drawing attention to the changes in the music industry and how some artists don’t own their art.
Fourth-year STU student Grace Schnyder said Swift is using her platform to fight for artists’ rights to control their music.
Fans got to listen to the original Red album songs, including nine newly released vault songs, and a short movie written and directed by Swift.
Schnyder considers herself a “Swiftie” and has listened to the album multiple times since its release.
She listened to the songs driving back to Fredericton from Maine after reading week. She said while driving upstate in her car, the leaves on the trees were red and she saw mountains in the distance.
“All Too Well came on, and I just cried,” said Schnyder. “I think it’s a really beautiful song, and I felt I was in the place where I was supposed to listen to it.”
She encourages everyone to listen to the album, especially people who do not like Swift. Schnyder watched the short film, All Too Well, with a group of “non-Swifties,” but she said everyone watching was emotional.
Leonardo Furtado, a fourth-year student at STU, said he followed Swift from the beginning of her career.
Furtado is 21, the age Swift was when she wrote the Red songs. He said this makes the songs even more relatable and it’s validating to know Taylor Swift went through heartbreak and felt the way he has in the past.
“She translates a lot of what I feel into music,” said Furtado.
He said this album is more powerful than the original because of Swift’s older, more mature voice and new instrumentals. He hopes the next album she re-records is 1989.
Tessa Burns, a social work student at STU, was a Swift fan in high school and said listening to the album as a 28-year-old brings back a feeling of nostalgia.
“It’s taking me down memory lane,” said Burns. “The stuff we’ve all been through in our early twenties.”
She said Swift’s ability to write about heartbreak, love and nasty break-ups allows her to connect to both older and younger audiences. Fans can relate from a variety of angles to her lyrics.
Burns said Swift’s fan base is loyal enough to help her take control of her music.
“I think they will listen to Taylor’s version,” said Burns.