Swift is much less successful in her duets on “Red,” mainly because she sounds like a guest on her own record. “The Last Time,” her collaboration with Gary Lightbody, plays like a Snow Patrol song with an emailed background vocal from Swift, a haphazard edit instead of an actual, give-and-take duet. Swift fares better on the Butch Walker-produced duet with Ed Sheeran, “Everything Has Changed,” but the song pales compared to the more forceful pop tracks on the album. She either does not pair well with other singers or has yet to find a good partner, and these songs suggest a pointless Brit-pop treaty when the balance of “Red” shows that Swift is busy executing a unilateral pop takeover.
— George Lang