Taylor Swift has released three singles to pop radio since releasing her last country single, but her country fans can rest easy knowing that they get all the best songs from the 'Red' album. The title track marks the superstar's first country offering since 'Begin Again,' a track released before the album was even available.  

Did we do something wrong? Why were you holding out on us, Ms. Swift? The logical answer is that her label waited until her duet with Tim McGraw peaked before pushing another Taylor Swift song. With so much potential on her last album (we're still waiting, fingers and toes crossed for 'Stay Stay Stay'), her absence stung.

Alas, all is well, as 'Red' is arguably the best lyric on the album. It's a songwriting spotlight for Swift, who toys with colors like a skilled artist, and this song is her Sistine Chapel.

"Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street / Faster than the wind, passionate as sin ending so suddenly," the 23-year-old sings to grab one's attention at the beginning.

Then, she jumps to a chorus as vibrant and painfully alive as any she's cut: "Losing him was blue, like I'd never known / Missing him was dark gray, all alone / Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met / But loving him was red."

Less-than-organic instrumentation keeps this single from being a perfect country song. The stabs of keyboard after each chorus are especially alarming, but not offensive enough to keep one from enjoying her story.

"Remembering him comes in flashbacks and echoes / Tell myself it's time now, gotta let go / But moving on from him is impossible / When I still see it all in my head / Burning red," Swift sings at the bridge.

Songs like 'Red' add depth to the young star's catalog. As always, the magic isn't necessarily in the voice, it's in the inspired interpretation of brilliant lyrics. One hopes it won't be another eight months before Swift releases another like it.

4.5 Stars

Listen to Taylor Swift, 'Red'

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