Tag Archives: Taylor Swift Re-release

All Too Well: A Love Letter to Inequality

Whether you’re a Swiftie or an innocent bystander whose TikTok For You page has been hijacked by Swiftok, you might have stumbled across the cinematic masterpiece: All Too Well: The Short Film. The film acts as the music video for the 10-minute version of the marquee song from Red (Taylor’s Version). Swift wrote the song about her relationship with ex-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal and many fans across the country related to its sincere and gut-wrenching lyrics, but this did not spare the short film from criticism.

Taylor Swift; courtesy Universal Pictures

While the singer is re-releasing albums to create her music the way she intended, Swift was accused of holding grudges and parodied for being vindictive and petty.

 The short film puts those critics to shame by taking the audience on a visceral journey of a toxic relationship through the eyes of the young woman subjected to emotional trauma. Audiences are able to visualize the intricate imagery embedded in the lyrics of the song. Those who criticize Swift for holding a grudge are able to see how deeply painful the act of remembering this period of her life must be, and those who accuse her of fabricating details are reminded that one never forgets trauma inflicted upon them.

The film has sparked a conversation about age gaps in relationships and their impact on an individual. Swift, herself has been criticized for dating Conor Kennedy, who was four years younger, and Taylor Lautner, who was three years younger. However, the bigger criticism was the fact that Swift was an adult dating a teenaged Lautner. It is also worthwhile to note that comparing these relationships to the one with Gyllenhaal is unfair and inherently sexist, especially since their relationship had a nine-year age gap.

Power inequality in a relationship is often experienced when one partner has more power over the other’s emotions, financial security, or life in some severe cases. The inherent toxicity in Swift and Gyllenhaal’s relationship stemmed not only from their age gap but the fact that Swift was in her early twenties while Gyllenhaal was nearly in his thirties. The profound life changes between those decades not only shape you as a person but alter your perspective and outlook on life. Furthermore, there is a profound difference in confidence and comfort with yourself between the two ages. This means the older partner always has the upper hand in contrast to the volatile and emotional younger partner in the relationship.

A scene in the middle of the film highlights this imbalance in the relationship as the younger actress (played by Sadie Sink) fumes about how her older boyfriend failed to pay attention to her during a dinner with his friends. He dismisses her concerns and anger, calls her selfish, and gaslights her emotions. While the fight is resolved after he apologizes, a particularly telling moment is when the young girl says she feels embarrassed and her boyfriend says nothing. His refusal to admit he was wrong and that he has a responsibility to not make her feel isolated, shows he truly is an emotional manipulator whether it is unconscious or not.

The film does a fair job to portray him not as a villain, but rather as a damaged man who is unable to recognize his problematic behavior due to his own trauma. Despite criticism, the film captured the truly flawed nature of human beings and is a  warning to be wary of relationships with age gaps at different stages of their life. It is not different life aspirations as the final nail in the coffin of these relationships, but rather the older partner’s ability to manipulate the younger one’s emotion because they have experienced similar emotions and feelings in the past.

Top Tracks on “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)”, in my humble opinion.

Photo by: Beth Garrabrant

In case you have been living under a rock, Taylor Swift fans new and old have been awaiting the re-release of “Fearless” , Swift’s sophomore album since it was first announced earlier this year. Some may say I am biased, but I wholeheartedly believe that 2006 to 2010 was the peak era in Swift’s career. 

I put aside approximately 1 hour and 46 minutes to listen to the rerecording on its release date. The album features 26 songs, yes. That’s correct. 26 songs. Twenty of which are from the original and deluxe versions of “Fearless”, along with six more songs that are “from the vault,” songs that Swift wrote but were not included in the 2008 release. 

Fans have said that the re-recordings are almost identical to the original release. For transparency’s sake, I am going to agree with them. But the difference is that in 2008, I was eight years old. I had not experienced anything that could make Swift’s songs even remotely relatable. But now, I am able to blast “Love Story” as I drive around in my car and sing along at the top of my lungs. Back in the day, I absolutely tore it up on Band Hero– I was always on the drums and my sister was on the guitar. 

Being able to listen to this album again 13 years later has made me gain appreciation for new songs and revived my love for some of the classics. Here are a few that I feel especially passionately about:

  1. “Today Was A Fairytale”

While this song was not technically released on “Fearless”, it was performed on her Fearless tour. Originally on the “Valentine’s Day”  movie soundtrack, the song debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, and for good reason. It’s catchy as heck and somewhat restores my faith in finding my prince charming.

  1. “The Way I Loved You”

This song screams girl boss to me, but I cannot put my finger exactly on why. Maybe it’s just relatable. I am really bad at oversharing, so I am just going to leave it at that.

  1. “Come In With The Rain”

Another song that gets me in my feelings, but I cannot elaborate in the interest of preserving what little bit of dignity I have left. Just trust me on this one, it’s really good.

  1. “Superstar”

This is the most underrated song on this album. I know that is a very bold statement, but I can’t help it. I have always preferred slower, melodic songs that you can cry to but sing along to at the same time, and this definitely falls into that category. 

  1. “The Best Day”

The backstory of this song is really sweet, and the lyrics always seem to leave me misty-eyed. Swift recorded this song as a surprise for her parents—how sweet is that? The lyrics takes you through stages of life, from being young and not knowing “why the trees change in the fall,” being a young teenager and wondering “how my friends could be so mean,” to finally when she is all grown up and “knows why all the trees change in the fall.” Such a full circle moment. 

Whether you are a lifelong fan or just now tuning in, Swift has something in her long list of tracks that will have you replaying over and over again!