Taylor Swift is known for her songwriting. And, more specifically, she’s known for love songs. She’s known to write happy songs about being in love but she also writes about heartbreak a ton. “Teardrops on My Guitar”? Classic. “Dear John”? An absolute banger of a sad song. But which album does she deem as her “true breakup album”? Red, of course.
Taylor Swift commented on the fact that her 2012 album was her ‘only true breakup album’
Billboard reported that Swift spoke on Red for Rolling Stone and Amazon Music’s upcoming podcast about the 500 Greatest Albums.
“I look back on this as my true breakup album, every other album has flickers of different things,” she said in the snippet posted on Oct. 27. “But this was an album that I wrote specifically about pure, absolute, to the core, heartbreak.”
Red came out in 2012 and is Swift’s fourth studio album. She was 22 at the time, as noted by her hit single “22” on the album. There are a lot of notable Swift songs on it as well, such as “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble.”
This album was the first time Swift was audibly toying with more pop-like sounds, straying from her country genre that the first three albums sounded more like. But her songwriting only improved with each album and Red went on to be nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys in 2014.
When ‘Red’ came out, Swift said it was all about ‘different ways… to say goodbye’
At the time, while talking to Billboard in 2012, Swift touched on the heartbreak that is very evident throughout the album.
“It’s all the different ways that you have to say goodbye to someone,” she explained. “When you’re experiencing the ups and downs of a relationship, especially when you’re 22 years old, they all strike you different ways.”
She said that she touched on “every different kind of missing” someone can do about another that they once loved. Because to Swift, every type of loss “sounds different.”
“When you are missing someone, time seems to move slower and when I’m falling in love with someone, time seems to be moving faster,” Swift artfully explained. “So I think, because time seems to move so slow when I’m sad, that’s why I spend so much time writing songs about it. It seems like I have more hours in the day.”
‘All Too Well’ is definitely one of Swift’s saddest songs
And now for the elephant in the room for Swifties: “All Too Well” is on this album so of course it’s her “only true breakup album.” It’s a song that was once 15 minutes long. It’s also allegedly about her ex-boyfriend, actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Bustle reported in 2018 that Swift performed this at an AT&T event and talked about how “All Too Well” was once difficult to perform, but it’s a bit different years later.
“Now, I play it and I think of the times I’ve played it in a stadium or an arena or my living room with you guys screaming the words back to me,” Swift said. “And so it changed it, and I wanted to thank you for changing it, because it’s kind of nice to sing a song that you’re proud of, but not feel pain while you sing it. It’s very nice.”
With lyrics like “You call me up again just to break me like a promise” or “I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here,” it’s easy to see how this is one of Swift’s ultimate breakup songs. Oh, and don’t forget “’Cause there we are again, when I loved you so/Back before you lost the one real thing you’ve ever known.” She went in on this song. And Swifties are forever grateful for the ultimate breakup album.
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