Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
Red Music Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Swift knocks it out of the park with another appealing album

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 25 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

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 & Representations

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


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

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
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 relat... Continue reading
Adult Written byNathan D. July 13, 2014

Taylor Swift is Burning Red

Ok once again another review on one of Taylor Swift's albums. The album is clean as usual but the first track State of Grace has one line she says "we... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byNewRomantics13 April 5, 2021

Why is this so good!?

I love this album! It brings back nostalgia for me from the early 2010’s. Taylor really expresses her emotions in a healthy way through songwriting. She soars t... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old November 10, 2019

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."

Talk to your kids 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

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