Red

Red

by Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift

CD

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Overview

Alone among her peers, Taylor Swift appears genuine. Which isn't to say she's without affectation or that she avoids artifice. She uses both when it suits her, as any real pop star would -- and if her 2012 album Red intends to do anything, it's to prove Taylor is a genuine superstar, the kind who transcends genre, the kind who can be referred to by a single name. Uneven as it is -- and it is, running just a shade too long as it sprints along in its quest to be everything to everyone -- Red accomplishes this goal with ease, establishing Taylor Swift as perhaps the only genuine cross-platform superstar of her time. Naturally, in order to accomplish this transition from country ingénue to pop star, Swift takes her country bona fides for granted, ignoring Nashville conventions as she rushes to collaborate with Britney Spears hitmaker Max Martin and Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody. Red isn't sequenced like a proper album, it's a buffet, offering every kind of sound or identity a Swift fan could possibly want. Taylor deftly shifts styles, adapting well to the insistent pulse of Martin, easing into a shimmering melancholy reminiscent of Mazzy Star ("Sad Beautiful Tragic") and coolly riding a chilly new wave pulse ("The Lucky One"). Combined with the unabashed arena rock fanfare of "State of Grace" and the dance-pop of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and the dubstep feint "I Knew You Were Trouble" -- not to mention the ludicrous club-filler "22" -- Red barely winks at country, and it's a better album for it. It is, as all pop albums should be, recognizable primarily as the work of Taylor Swift alone: her girlish persona is at its center, allowing her to try on the latest fashions while always sounding like herself. Although she can still seem a little gangly in her lyrical details -- her relationship songs are too on the nose and she has an odd obsession about her perceived persecution by the cool kids -- these details hardly undermine the pristine pop confections surrounding them. If anything, these ungainly, awkward phrasings humanizes this mammoth pop monolith: 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.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/22/2012
Label: Big Machine Records
UPC: 0843930007073
catalogNumber: 310400
Rank: 1666

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Taylor Swift   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Eric Darken   Percussion
Richard Dodd   Cello
Paul Franklin   Steel Guitar
Dann Huff   Bouzouki,Electric Guitar,Hi String
Gina Kronstadt   Violin
Jamie Muhoberac   Piano
Simeon Pillich   Contrabass (Vocal)
Bill Rieflin   Drums
Butch Walker   Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Dan Wilson   Bass,Piano,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Jonathan Yudkin   Fiddle,Violin
Marcia Dickstein   Harp
Andy Thompson   Guitar,Electric Piano
Max Martin   Keyboards
Peggy Baldwin   Cello
John Krovoza   Cello
Eric Gorfain   Violin,Concert Master
Tom Bukovac   Electric Guitar
Daphne Chen   Violin
Gary Lightbody   Background Vocals
Neli Nikolaeva   Violin
Caitlin Evanson   Background Vocals
Rodney Wirtz   Viola
Marisa Kuney   Violin
Owen Pallett   Conductor
Jeff Bhasker   Bass,Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Amy Wickman   Violin
Lauren Chipman   Viola
Aaron Sterling   Drums
Radu Pieptea   Violin
Tyler Johnson   Background Vocals
Jacknife Lee   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Nathan Chapman   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Mandolin,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Soloist
J. Bonilla   Percussion,Drums
Wes Precourt   Violin
Shellback   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar,Keyboards
Brett Banducci   Viola
Jake Sinclair   Bass,Background Vocals
Nick Buda   Drums
Jimmie Sloas   Bass
Charlie Judge   Synthesizer,Piano,Strings,Accordion,Synthaxe,Piano (Upright),Hammond B3
Ilya Toshinskiy   Mandolin
Anders Mouridsen   Guitar
Jeff Takiguchi   Contrabass (Vocal)

Technical Credits

Dann Huff   Producer
Steve Marcantonio   Engineer
Butch Walker   Producer
Patrick Warren   Composer,String Arrangements
Dan Wilson   Composer,Producer
Brian David Willis   Engineer
Sam Bell   Engineer
Andy Thompson   Engineer
Max Martin   Composer,Producer
Michael Ilbert   Engineer
Gary Lightbody   Composer
Bethany Newman   Art Direction
Scott Borchetta   Executive Producer
Josh Newman   Art Direction
Owen Pallett   Orchestration
Pawel Sek   Engineer
Jeff Bhasker   Programming,Producer
Chad Carlson   Engineer
Tyler Johnson   Guitar Engineer
Jacknife Lee   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Taylor Swift   Composer,Producer
Nathan Chapman   Producer,Engineer
Matt Bishop   Engineer
J. Bonilla   Programming
Liz Rose   Composer
Shellback   Composer,Programming,Producer
Sam Holland   Engineer
Jake Sinclair   Engineer
Eric Robinson   Engineer
Matt Rausch   Engineer
Ed Sheeran   Composer
John Rausch   Engineer

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