Red - Taylor Swift

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. I like the feisty ones, as I generally do. But "Begin Again" and especially "Stay Stay Stay" stay happy and hit just as hard.
  2. Oct 19, 2012
    Red is her most interesting full-length to date, but it probably won't be when all is said and done in her career.
  3. It's sexy, daring, and complete.
  4. Oct 24, 2012
    It's magnificent at times, but it's also complicated and sometimes unfocused.
  5. 83
    One gets the feeling that it's not this guy's love she's after. She's just using him for the breakup songs. This time around, it's getting harder to feel sorry for Swift.
  6. Jan 23, 2013
    Hearing Taylor Swift sing makes you remember these things, how you can wax poetic one day about the efficacy of love to change lives permanently for the better, and the next rail about how love leads only to pain and heartache.
  7. Oct 30, 2012
    She's constructed something so precise its success seems preordained, but underneath it all, Taylor is still twitchy, which makes Red not just catchy but compelling.
  8. 80
    If you're at a different stage of life than she is, it can be exhausting trying to keep up with the succession of emotions to which she deftly gives voice, but also downright exhilarating.
  9. Oct 25, 2012
    Whatever it is, this music is full of adult pleasures.
  10. Oct 22, 2012
    As ever, Swift seems to know just the right phrase to pull you inside her break-up narratives.
  11. Oct 18, 2012
    Swift has a knack for romance.
  12. Oct 22, 2012
    Red is a big record that reaches for Importance and occasionally touches it, filled with well-constructed pop songs Taylor-made for bedroom duets.
  13. Oct 29, 2012
    Taken individually, most of the songs are accomplished and engaging (though we could certainly have done without the dreary Sad Beautiful Tragic) but Speak Now was such a coherent work that Red can't help but feel modestly disappointing.
  14. Oct 25, 2012
    For all its manufactured essence, Red remains firmly grounded at the crossroads between innocence and experience.
  15. 70
    Money and success can be just as good a fable as Romeo and Juliet, and Swift is deft enough to make a point of and poke fun at her fairytale stardom.
  16. Oct 24, 2012
    Red may not be a bona fide country album, but it could very well be a pop masterpiece, more in line with P!nk's latest, The Truth About Love, than even Red's predecessor, Speak Now.
  17. Oct 23, 2012
    She's a quick-witted lyricist with a sharp eye.
  18. Oct 22, 2012
    It's not Bob Dylan, but the songwriting is leagues ahead of where Swift was as recently as two years ago.
  19. Oct 18, 2012
    Whether she's real-talking Jake Gyllenhaal ("We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together") or fantasizing about crashing "a yacht-club party" ... her self-discovery project is one of the best stories in pop. When she's really on, her songs are like tattoos.
  20. Oct 31, 2012
    More varied in its offerings, but also more disjointed than her previous work, Red sounds like a transitional album for Swift.
  21. Oct 22, 2012
    If Red is ultimately too uneven to be a truly great pop album, its highlights are career-best work for Swift, who now sounds like the pop star she was destined to be all along.
  22. Oct 19, 2012
    It's frustrating, then, when Swift reverts back to type. Too many of the songs on this bloated 16-track album revisit the gently strummed verses and characterless choruses of her previous work.
  23. Oct 24, 2012
    As it stands for now though, Red is a mixed bag, and it's up to you to sort through the majority-holding bad in order to find the good.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 325 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 69 out of 84
  2. Negative: 10 out of 84
  1. Oct 22, 2012
    Taylor Swift is one of the Greatest songwriters of Our generation. I have listened to the whole album and this album actually has a more Country Rock feel to it rather than her usual Country Pop sound. This is the most mature album of her career and its worth every penny. I have to give Taylor credit for this album, she has grown and mastered the art of being a true artist. Taylor has a mix of Country, Pop, and Rock songs but that doesn't mean she's left her County roots. Songs like "Stay Stay Stay," "I Almost Do," and "Begin Again" remind us why Taylor is wining in the Country World right now. Full Review »
  2. Oct 22, 2012
    This is definitely the best mainstream album of the year. The songs are written remarkably well, and the sound is so different from what everyone else is putting out in the industry right now. This is my first time listening to a Taylor Swift record and I didn't expect it to be this great. She is an amazing songwriter at such a young age of 22. Taylor really made me a fan after listening to this album. Full Review »
  3. Oct 22, 2012
    I was a huge fan of Taylor Swift's first three albums. I thought she was an incredibly talented young kid on her first album, and with the releases of her second and third albums, I was convinced she was turning into a genuinely great artist. I still think she can be. She has released some beautiful songs. However, with this new album, she has taken the naive perception people have of her music and her lyrics, and completely gave into that. This album seems to have been made just to make money. The songs seem to have mostly been chosen due to their commercial appeal, while I thought her first three albums demonstrated genuine artistry. Not one of these songs is emotionally powerful, thought provoking, or musically interesting, all of which I could have said about her first three albums. Even the help of hugely talented artists such as Lori McKenna, Mark Foster, and Ed Sheeran didn't really shine through. There were some cute songs on here, but I'd say the only real highlights are The Last Time, featuring Gary Lightbody, and Sad Beautiful Tragic. Nothing else is worth mentioning, but the album overall is cute, and entertaining in the moment. It caters right to the teen and pre-teen female audience, where I felt her other albums catered to them, as well as adults who genuinely like real musicianship and artistry. That was severely lacking here. Full Review »