Taylor Swift‘s Red album was fast approaching three million copies sold worldwide by mid-November 2012. While that's an impressive feat in its own right, the record-breaking sales numbers are even more extraordinary given that the album was just released one month earlier.
The 16-track collection has officially sold 2.8 million copies in the United States, already making it one of the best-selling albums of all of 2012. At the mid-year mark, only Adele‘s near diamond-selling 21 sold more than a million copies, scanning 3.6 million units.
Red has also topped sales charts in 42 countries worldwide, adding an additional 920,000 copies sold to its total tally. The album has earned platinum certifications in Australia and New Zealand.
Rolling Stone writes: "Like Kanye West, Taylor Swift is a turbine of artistic ambition and superstar drama. So it's no surprise she manages to make her fourth album both her Joni Mitchell-influenced maturity binge and her Max Martin-abetted pop move – and have it seem not just inevitable but natural.
"Red is a 16-song geyser of willful eclecticism that's only tangentially related to Nashville (much like Swift herself at this point). The album pinballs from the U2-tinged liftoff of 'State of Grace' to the dubstep-y teen pop of 'I Knew You Were Trouble' to 'The Last Time,' a sad piano duet with Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol. Swift's bedrock is driving, diaristic post-country rock – see the breakup flashback 'All Too Well,' where she drops the great image of 'dancing around the kitchen in the refrigerator light' with her ex.
"But whether she's real-talking Jake Gyllenhaal ("We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together") or fantasizing about crashing 'a yacht-club party' that sounds uncannily like the Kennedy bash she attended with her current future-ex-boyfriend Conor ('Starlight'), her self-discovery project is one of the best stories in pop. When she's really on, her songs are like tattoos."