Music

Taylor Swift – 2006 – 2012 (The Red Album)

You know what Taylor Swift deserves?

A greatest hits album.

I was inspired by the Beatles’ two Greatest Hits compilation albums; the Red Album covered 1962-1966 while the Blue album covered 1967-1970.

I thought Taylor deserved the same treatment.

I also wanted another Swift-related project to work on.

This first post covers Taylor’s best songs from 2006-2012.

You’re welcome.

Disc One

Track 1: Picture to Burn
Released in: 2006
First appeared on: Taylor Swift

Angry Taylor is my favorite Taylor.

I love, love, LOVE when she’s vengeful.

“Picture to Burn” is Taylor’s first – and possibly best? – revenge song from this era.

There’s nothing more devastating than the line “As far as I’m concerned/you’re just another picture to burn.”

OUCH.

Track 2: Teardrops on My Guitar
Released in: 2006
First appeared on: Taylor Swift

I first knew of Taylor Swift as a sad country artist who wrote break-up jams.

“Teardrops” perfectly embodies this stereotype.

It’s Classic Taylor.

Track 3: A Place in This World
Released in: 2006
First appeared on: Taylor Swift

I have a soft spot for songs about growing up.

This song came out while I was in junior high, making me extra nostalgic for those strange days.

I didn’t know my place in this world then, either.

Track 4: Our Song
Released in: 2006
First appeared on: Taylor Swift

In my discography post, I called this track the best song on Taylor Swift.

It’s SO CATCHY.

Here’s to fun, gooey, twangy love songs.

Track 5: I’m Only Me When I’m With You
Released in: 2006
First appeared on: Taylor Swift (Deluxe Edition)

I’m sometimes nostalgic for teen love.

I miss that intensity.

(Then again, I’m always that intense. It’s the autism, Spongebob.)

I’m also fairly jealous of how happy this couple sounds.

Being with someone who lets you be yourself sounds like a dream.

Track 6: Fifteen
Released in: 2008
First appeared on: Fearless

How did Taylor write a song about nostalgia when she was a mere NINETEEN YEARS OLD?

A better question: WHY DOES IT HIT SO HARD?

I am RARELY, if ever, wistful about high school, yet this song makes me want to reminisce.

Pretty sure it’s magic.

Track 7: You Belong With Me
Released in: 2008
First appeared on: Fearless

IF YOU COULD SEE THAT I’M THE ONE WHO UNDERSTANDS YOU.

BEEN HERE ALL ALONG, WHY CAN’T YOU SEEEEEEE

YOU BELONG WITH MEEEEEEEeee

You belong with me.

Anyone who claims not to know all the words to this jam is lying.

Track 8: Breathe (feat. Colbie Caillat)
Released in: 2008
First appeared on: Fearless

Sad Taylor evolves into Wistful and Lyrical Taylor in this song.

This gorgeous duet elicits all the feelings.

Perhaps this song isn’t the most adult in content; I’d argue it is in sound.

Track 9: The Way I Loved You
Released in: 2008
First appeared on: Fearless

What did I say about teenage intensity? I can’t get enough.

This song really speaks to the romantic in me.

I think this song is sapphic.

Fight me on it.

Track 10: Jump Then Fall
Released in: 2009
First appeared on: Fearless (Platinum Edition)

This is such a gentle song compared to the Woeful and Intensely Romantic songs on the rest of the album.

I love a quiet love story.

“Jump Then Fall” captures the vulnerability of falling in love so beautifully.

Track 11: Forever and Always (Piano Version)
Released in: 2009
First appeared on: Fearless (Platinum Edition)

You’re going to see a lot of piano songs and acoustic versions on this Best Of list.

The original version of this song is fantastic.

The piano version hits so much harder.

It’s just so devastating.

I tear up every time I listen to it.

It’s that powerful.

Track 12: Come in with the Rain
Released in: 2009
First appeared on: Fearless (Platinum Edition)

I’m old and emotionally exhausted and it rains a lot where I live.

That’s my logic for picking this song.

I mean, I also LIKE IT.

Track 13: Superstar
Released in: 2009
First appeared on: Fearless (Platinum Edition)

This song is a sadder, more country version of “You Belong With Me.”

I think it’s a jam.

Disc Two

Track 1: Mine
Released in: 2010
First appeared on: Speak Now

I appreciate this song a lot more as an adult.

“You are the best thing that’s ever been mine,” chokes me up.

Track 2: Enchanted
Released in: 2010
First appeared on: Speak Now

In high school and college, I had a number of enchanted evenings that I wanted to dream about forever.

None of them led to anything – I still lived on that hope for weeks.

Listening to this song reminds me of those times.

Track 3: Long Live
Released in: 2010
First appeared on: Speak Now

This song is the MOST triumphant.

We WILL be remembered.

Track 4: Ours
Released in: 2010
First appeared on: Speak Now (Deluxe Edition)

I had never heard this song until last week.

I went and listened to it four times in a row.

It’s another quiet love song that I just adore.

It’s also very catchy.

The concept of a life that’s “ours” moves me.

I’m picturing a domestic routine and getting all emotional.

Track 5: Haunted (acoustic)
Released in: 2010
First appeared on: Speak Now (Deluxe Edition)

To me, the standard version of this song goes too hard.

The acoustic version, on the other hand, goes just hard enough.

On a scale from Halsey’s “Haunting” to Evanescence’s “Haunted,” it lands right in the middle.

Excellent vibes.

Track 6: Today Was a Fairytale
Released in: 2010
First appeared on: the Valentine’s Day soundtrack

“Love Story” upgrade.

No really, it’s an upgrade.

“Today Was a Fairytale” is more well-written and more effectively employs fairy tale tropes.

I’m also fond of the movie Valentine’s Day even though I KNOW IN MY HEART it is Very Bad.

Track 7: Safe & Sound (feat The Civil Wars)
Released in: 2011
First appeared on: The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond

YEARS BEFORE FOLKLORE‘S RELEASE, Taylor collaborated with folk group The Civil Wars.

I heard “Safe & Sound” in college and thought it fit The Hunger Games perfectly.

This song made me rethink everything I knew about Taylor Swift.

I decided I could like this song and still maintain my indie cred. (If you couldn’t tell, I was an asshole in college.)

Track 8: Red
Released in: 2012
First appeared on: Red

It took me literal years to come around to this song.

It was the lyrics that finally got me.

I like color imagery.

Sue me.

Track 9: Treacherous
Released in: 2012
First appeared on: Red

I like that the romance in this song sounds like a bad idea and that the song itself is so tentative.

I’m really into it.

The chorus builds so.

“And I will get you and get you alone” is delightfully charged.

Is this our first hint of Edgy Taylor? What a treat!

Track 10: All Too Well
Released in: 2012
First appeared on: Red

It so happens I like to torture myself with painful memories.

This song puts me in that mindframe.

The agony is exquisite.

Track 11: The Last Time (feat. Gary Lightbody)
Released in: 2012
First appeared on: Red

“The Last Time” knocks out “Breathe” as Most Emotional Duet. (We haven’t gotten to folklore yet, so calm down about “exile.”)

Before folklore (I SAID CALM DOWN), I wouldn’t turn on Taylor Swift if I needed a good cry. Taylor was party music, roadtrip music, pretend-I-know-anything-about-pop music.

“The Last Time” is the only pre-folklore Taylor song to make me cry (during work, no less.)

I think the build and the repetitious fade-out are masterful.

This song is unbelievably underrated.

Track 12: Begin Again
Released in: 2012
First appeared on: Red

Two things about this song:

First, it’s very similar to “Everything Has Changed,” Taylor’s duet with Ed Sheeran. Of the two, this is the better song.

Second, I just started dating again while living through a global pandemic. As such, I’m drawn to soft and hopeful things.

The date described in this song sounds lovely. What I wouldn’t give to be in this scenario.

Track 13: State of Grace (acoustic version)
Released in: 2012
First appeared on: Red (Deluxe edition)

I love the original version of “State of Grace.”

It’s a gorgeous tribute to an unexpected romance.

It pales in comparison to the acoustic version.

Stripping this song down changes the tone completely and heightens the singer’s sense of wonder.

“I never saw you coming,” indeed.

Thus concludes the first Taylor Swift compilation album.

The next album covers songs released between 2014 and 2020. (She only put out one song in 2013.)

What’s that? It’s too soon to be including songs from 2020 in Taylor’s greatest hits?

Watch me.

5 thoughts on “Taylor Swift – 2006 – 2012 (The Red Album)”

  1. I LOVED THIS!!!!
    This was great, and I was really excited to see that you added “Ours” to this list because I adore that song! I’m also really happy to see “The Last Time” on here too! Just seeing the name of the song makes my heart do a drop; that song tears my heart to shreds… but I love it ๐Ÿ˜…
    Can’t wait to see part two! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU! I’m glad it is Swiftie-approved!

      A friend of mine insisted that I revisit Speak Now and made me listen to “Ours” and SHE WAS RIGHT. It’s very good!

      Also “The Last Time” is SO HEARTBREAKING in the best possible way.

      I finished my listen-through of the later albums and am trying to narrow down the songs currently! I have…a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome!! Hahaha, I guess I’ve transitioned into becoming a Swiftie in the past 2 years ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Oh I’m so glad you found Ours because such a cute catchy song!!!

        Ooooo, I can’t wait to read part two! I’m actually very excited! ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

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