The album is out now. Are you downloading? I’ve been trying to decide, reading a lot of reviews that range from B+/A- to “mediocre” which is a word that been repeated a lot. My favourite review though, and one that made my decision for me, is by HitFix’s Melinda Newman. Overall, Newman praises RED, but she also offers some often hilarious insight. Here’s my favourite part:

Lyrically for Swift, every sense remains heightened, every emotion goes to  11. Every chance feels like the last chance, the last opportunity for one last glance, one last kiss, one last moment together. She’s constantly on the edge of a heated, passionate precipice, which has to be exhausting. Even a simple declaration such as “I just like hanging out with you” turns into “I’d like to hang out with you...for my whole life.” A man simply opening the door for her can cause her to spin off into  the promise of love everlasting.

And Newman also feels (as I do, and I’ve written about here, only not as well as she does) that:

It would be nice if something —anything — else other than love moved Swift to write a song.  She doesn’t have to embrace a cause like saving the whales, but musically, she has defined herself largely as the perpetually lovestruck-cum-hurt-cum-angry girl and that can get tiresome...though obviously not to her.

Still Newman assert that RED is a solid, entertaining effort, and that Swift is evolving her musical sensibilities, even if she’s always singing about the same thing. Sort of. Last time it was John Mayer. This time... there’s a lot of Jake Gyllenhaal. We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together was about Jakey. And All Too Well appears to be about him too. Check the lyrics:

I walked through the door with you
It was cold, but something 'bout it felt like home somehow and I
Left my scarf there at your sister's house
And you still got it in your drawer even now

Oh your sweet disposition
And my wide eyed gaze
We're singing in a car getting lost upstate
The Autumn leaves falling down like pieces in their place
And I can picture it after all these days
And I know it's long gone, and that magic´s not here no more
And it might be okay, but I'm not fine at all

Cause here we are again on that little town street
You almost ran the red cause you were looking over me
Wind in my air I was there I remember it all too well

Photo album on my counter
Your cheeks were turning red
You used to be a little kid with glasses in a twin size bed
And your mother's telling stories 'bout you on the t-ball team
You tell me about your past thinking your future was me

And I know it's long gone, and there was nothing else I could do
And I forget about you long enough to forget why I needed to

Cause here we are again in the middle of the night
We're dancing round the kitchen in the refrigerator light
Down the stairs I was there I remember it all too well

And maybe we got lost in translation
Maybe I asked for too much
But maybe this thing was a masterpiece
´til you tore it all up
Running scared, I was there I remember it all too well

Hey you called me up again just to break me like a promise
So casually cruel in the name of being honest
I'm a crumbled up piece of paper lying here
Cause I remember it all all all too well

Time won't fly it's like I'm paralyzed by it
I´d like to be my old self again
But I'm still trying to find it
After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own
Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone
But your keep my old scarf from that very first week
Cause it reminds you of innocence and it smells like me
You can't get rid of it, cause you remember it all too well yeah

Cause there we are again when I loved you so
Back before you lost the one real thing you've ever known
It was where, I was there, I remember it all too well

Wind in my air you were there you remember it all
Down the stairs you were there you remember it all
It was where, I was there I remember it all too well

Sister’s house? Two years ago, Taylor spent Thanksgiving at Maggie Gyllenhaal’s in Brooklyn. She even bonded with Ramona. This is what she means, right? Jakey’s cut and run?

I know, I know. You can’t stand her. She’s annoying. She’s Renee Zellweger in Jerry Maguire at hello. I get it. At the same time, he did invite her to Thanksgiving. Most of us would see it the same way, non? Is it possible to be irritated at Taylor Swift, not even like her, AND believe that Jakey f-cked her up at the same time? Or is that mutually exclusive?

Attached -- Taylor Swift in New York today promoting the album.