Red Music Poster Image




Swift knocks it out of the park with another appealing album
Popular with kidsParents recommend

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Though this record includes some stark lyrics about feeling lots of emotional pain after a breakup, the sun still breaks through in some songs –– revealing an unflagging optimism about life.

Positive role models

Swift writes her own songs and stays in the spotlight for positive reasons (like the fact that her songs are breaking sales records everywhere).

Not applicable

Some very light references to intimacy, such as, "we are alone, just you and me, up in your room."

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while Red shows a decidedly more mature side of Taylor Swift –– now a young adult who's been through the romantic ringer a few times –– these songs are still very clean. None of the tracks contains profanity or graphic allusions to substance use or violence, and only occasionally do they skirt sensitive topics like intimacy or depression. Overall, the album is another fine choice for older kids and teens.

What's the story?

Among the most anticipated records of 2012, RED is the fourth album in the skyrocketing career of Taylor Swift –– the country darling who has captured the hearts and imaginations of people everywhere with her sweet, honest songs about love and relationships. Swift continues to sing about these familiar themes here. A deluxe version of the album, sold exclusively through Target, features six additional tracks.

Is it any good?


"Hit-making machine" is a phrase that's often been used to describe Taylor Swift, and with this record, she adds at least a dozen more to her repertoire. While there's nothing especially groundbreaking about Swift's songs, which feature simple melodies and arrangements, she puts them together in such a way as to have mass appeal. The hits here range from pop-inspired tunes like "I Knew You Were Trouble" to the super-country "Picture to Burn."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Taylor Swift's continued decision to keep her music clean has affected her career. How would the public respond if she recorded a racy, profanity-laden song?

  • Describe some of the creative differences between Swift and other young adult artists like Miley Cyrus and Demi Lovato. How are these young artists similar? What could other young musicians learn from Swift?

  • How do you explain Swift's amazing success? What makes her songs resonate with so many people?

Music details

Artist:Taylor Swift
Release date:October 23, 2012
Label:Big Machine Records
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of Red was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byParamayerswift November 5, 2012

Mature record, not for Tweens.

Beautiful album, great work, NOT FOR PRETEENS. "Red" revolves around the two areas Swift now knows best: being had and being famous. It's a relatively clean album, but beware the mildly violent and (not-so-mildly) sexual content. The title track Red starts off relating love to a car wreck and not a single Red song is without a mention of sex or hooking up ("just you and me, up in your room" - State of Grace ; "touching him was like realizing all you wanted" - Red ; "A new notch in your belt" - Trouble ; "days and nights when you made me your own" - All Too Well ; etc etc etc.) '22' (featuring Max Martin: I Kissed A Girl) alludes to a hook up with a guy at a club who looks like "bad news[/I GOTTA HAVE YOU!]". Violence: Swift throws her phone at her boyfriend in 'Stay Stay Stay', which prompts him to wear a football helmet around her as she begs him to stay. Not a positive message for relationship beginners. Red's biggest issues in Swift's lack of positivity (I refrain from saying self-esteem). She happily subjects herself to bad news in 22, says she stays with her man for rub-you-the-wrong-way reason: "No one else is gonna love me...". Hollywood and Hipsters (the pop culture fad of 2012) also appear (Consumerism). Finally, Hollywood is painted BLACK as Swift recalls an idol of hers feeling so "used" she had to "take her money and her dignity and get the h*** out!" (The Lucky One). Red's a good record, but it left me iffy. The kids (5 to 11) won't understand the reference to sex/manipulation/depression but the middle-schooler will. And they don't need such a negative & choatic view on adulthood. 2.5 Stars.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Adult Written byJWilliams303 October 24, 2012

I Just LOVE This Album!!

Taylor Swift does it again with another amazing album. This album talks all about relationship from breaking up to finding a new and better relationship. The thing I love about her songs in general, especially on this album, is that she writes songs that everyone, or at least most people, can relate to. I also like how she kind've separated from her sweet ballad country sound from some of her songs to do some pop or a little rock type songs as well. All in all, Taylor Swift fans will not be disappointed in this amazing album.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bydogsukulele678 February 28, 2013


Taylor swift is such a great role model!
What other families should know
Great role models