November’s Albums of the Month


“Red (Taylor’s version)” by Taylor Swift

By: Ava Serafino & Emma Ludgin

Rating: 9.5/10

Taylor Swift, one of the world’s most renowned pop stars, released “Red (Taylor’s Version)” on November 12. After a long career of Swift being controlled by her record label, she has started re-recording her music in order to reclaim her rights and this recreation of the 2012 hit album does not disappoint. 

“Red” was a significant advancement in Swift’s career. Shifting her genre from mainly country, Taylor included elements of pop, proving her versatility. She described the album as “a fractured mosaic of feelings that somehow all fit together in the end. Happy, free, confused, lonely, devastated, euphoric, wild and tortured by memories past.” 

Recorded almost 10 years later, the new version demonstrates how Swift’s vocal talent and abilities have developed. In the original “Red”, there are more backup vocals to support her, but in the re-recording, Swift’s matured voice no longer needs this support.

Amidst the re-recordings of the original 20 songs from “Red (Deluxe Edition)”, Swift included six ‘vault’ songs. Most notably, she included a 10 minute version of “All Too Well”, which received enormous praise from her fans. “Nothing New” touches on the struggles of young girls and the harsh ideology of societal standards, recorded with indie rock musician Phoebe Bridgers. She also introduced a song called “Run” featuring Ed Sheeran, whom she has worked with in the past. Her 2012 charity single “Ronan” and Swift’s own recordings of “Better Man” and “Babe” were also included, which she had written but given to other country artists such as Little Big Town and Sugarland. 

Whether “Red (Taylor’s Version)” brings back memories of listening to the original album in elementary school or its completely new to you, it is an outstanding album that deserves recognition, especially after all Taylor Swift has gone through. •

“Still Over It” by Summer Walker

By: Waleeja Chaudhry 

Rating: 9/10

Summer Walker’s second studio album, “Still Over It”,  is filled with harmonious and well-blended R&B songs that have deeply personal lyricism. It is dramatic and raw, making it relatable and comforting.  The album almost serves as a diary, displaying the intensity of her emotions, ranging from pettiness and frustration to love. 

“Still Over It” is about Walker’s complicated relationship with her ex-boyfriend, London on da Track, with whom she has a baby. She directly confronts him with lyrics that demonstrate agony and sadness through soulful vocals. In the song “You Don’t Know Me”, Walker sings “but you could take a minute, just to pay attеntion to me for once,” expressing that she is aware of the mistreatment but is still uncertain about moving on. This changes by the end of the album on “4th Baby Mama”, as she sings “I wanna start with your mama, she should’ve whooped your ass.” The song’s placement is symbolic because of Walker’s conclusive statement that she is, in fact, over it for good. 

“Unloyal”, featuring Ari Lennox, is hands down the most soulful R&B song on the album. It is a sultry ballad with bluesy vocals accompanied by an alluring saxophone solo. Songs like “Ex for a Reason”, featuring City Girls, and “Dat Right There”, featuring Pharrell Williams, have more groovy pop beats compared to the rest of the album. “No Love,” featuring SZA, is one of the strongest tracks on the album and has been met with overwhelming praise. 

“Still Over It” is a melodramatic, soap opera narrative, showcasing Walker’s strength as a storyteller. It channels Walker’s emotions intensely and beautifully, making it undeniably a no-skip album. •

“An Evening With Silk Sonic” by Silk Sonic 

By: By Jean-Pierre Roberts 

Rating: 10/10

     On November 12th, the newly formed band Silk Sonic released their debut album: “An Evening with Silk Sonic”. This album takes a new look at funk and soul music as Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak play into their personal strengths of vocal melodies and flashy verses. 

      On this project, Bootsy Collins is introduced as a co-host and, as the uncle of funk music, has a massive creative influence on the sound. Along with this neo-funk take, they dive into the topics of sex, heartbreak, gambling, and drugs. Songs like “After Last Night”, “777”, and “Blast Off” perfectly exemplify these themes.        

      “After Last Night” has two amazing features from Thundercat and Bootsy Collins. They truly add personality to the track with lines like “Now I don’t know what you did when you did, what you did, but you did it, girl,” from Bootsy and an extremely expressive bass line from Thundercat.

     Bruno Mars outperforms himself on tracks like “Put On a Smile”, where he hits extremely high notes on lines like, “I’m tryna put on a smile…tryna fight these tears from crying, but the Lord knows I’m dying.” He also absolutely crushed his vocal performance on “Smokin’ out the Window.” 

      Anderson Paak builds by providing songs like “Fly As Me” and “777” with strong wordplay and double entendres with lines like, “Moonwalk to the money like I’m Mike Jack. Yes, I’m faded, pupils dilated, but the man in the mirror saying ‘go and get your paper.”

     This is a perfect album that gives a much-needed throwback to classic 70s-80s funk and soul while adding that beautiful 2021 flare that brings it alive and makes it fresh to the ears. •