Red is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift for her fourth studio album of the same name (2012). It was released on October 2, 2012, in the US by Big Machine Records as the second promotional single from Red in 2012 and serves as the album's fifth single on June 21, 2013. It was part of the tracks released during the four weeks preceding the release of the album. The song debuted at number six on the US Billboard 100 and at number one on the Hot Digital Songs chart. It also debuted at number two on the Hot Country Songs chart, behind Swift's previous single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together".
Marc Hogan of Spin felt the mixed influences didn’t work in Swift’s favor: “A glossy soft rocker with a stomping four-on-the-floor beat, back-porch twang, adult-contemporary orchestration, and Top 40-ready electronic vocal effects, it covers a bizarre number of bases. And the key lyric compares her lost love, mourned here as an object of desire but not kissed off as one of the usual jerks, to ‘driving a new Maserati down a dead end street,’ like Swift is about to brawl with Rick Ross.” Grady Smith of Entertainment Weekly, joked, saying: "Those are the only colors the song — which Swift says is all about 'intense emotion' — brings up, which kind of let me down. (...) I’m being serious — I kept waiting for some other hue to pop up, and it never did.(... And then, said: "Lyrically, (...) [some] lines (...) lack the crisp, powerful punch that Swift usually delivers. And in a song all about the vividness of feelings, they paint a rather blurry portrait. (...) Where is the drama, the sexiness, the freefall of passion? The poppy production white-washes over all that. That doesn’t mean this is a bad song, just maybe an underwhelming one."
Rebecca Macatee of E! Online, found the lyrics to be a rainbow of fruit flavors: ”She...goes through myriad colors to describe her feelings... We’re not sure what color Swift’s heart is, but we’re sure it’s pretty.” Laurence of Music City Post, noted the track’s melodic strength: “With a lot of heart on the sleeve lyricism (...) and a hefty guitar solo, ‘Red’ does nothing by half measures." Rolling Stone responded favorably to the record, noting that the song marries her heartbreak anthems with a radio-friendly sound "with banjos flying, strings swelling and guitars wailing, Swift keeps her lyrics simple but effective[.]" The Pop Fairy gave a negative review: "“Red” is (...) another love song by America’s favorite cougar of the moment. (...) The only unique thing about the song is the thing I can’t stand, the electronic ‘R-R-Red’ that repeats after the chorus.” Finishing with 'A little more effort would be nice.', giving the song a grade 'C'.
One of the more positive reviews came from Billy Dukes of Taste of Country, who gave the track 4.5 out of 5 stars. Said Dukes: "...‘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."