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Taylor Swift on Red Being Her Only ‘True Breakup Album’

While Taylor Swift has long been known for her blind-item-like breakup songs, Swift tells Rolling Stone that only one album was actually a real breakup album through and through. And that album is Red, which was released in October 2012.

As Swift explained in a teaser for Rolling Stone and Amazon Music’s upcoming 500 Greatest Albums podcast, “I look back on this [Red] as my true breakup album, every other album has flickers of different things. But this was an album that I wrote specifically about pure, absolute, to the core, heartbreak.”

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Red included tracks that seemingly detailed the end of Swift’s romance with Jake Gyllenhaal, like “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “All Too Well.”

Taylor Swift performing songs from Red in 2012

Isaac BrekkenGetty Images

At the time the album was released, a then 22-year-old Swift spoke to Billboard about writing about breakup and linking it thematically throughout the album.

“It’s all the different ways that you have to say goodbye to someone,” she said of the work as a whole. “When you’re experiencing the ups and downs of a relationship, especially when you’re 22 years old, they all strike you different ways. Every different kind of missing someone, every kind of loss—it all sounds different to me. 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. 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.”

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