Fearless (Taylor’s Version) Review

Fearless+%28Taylor%27s+Version%29+Review

Emmi Highness, Writer

“…the time will come for us to finally win…the battle was long, it was the fight of our lives, but we never gave in,” recorded Taylor Swift for the second time. On April 9th2021, Taylor Swift released her first re-recording of 6Fearless (Taylor’s Version).  

 

The album includes all original 13 tracks from Fearless, 6 deluxe songs from Fearless: Platinum Edition, the single “Today was a Fairytale”, and 6 new “(From The Vault)” tracks. The album features original collaborator Colbie Caillat on “Breathe” and two new features from Maren Morris and Keith Urban on “You All Over Me” and “That’s When,” respectively.  

 

If you’re unfamiliar with Swift’s situation and are wondering why the same songs from 13 years ago are again topping the charts, you have Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta to thank (well, not really). In 2019, it was announced that Swift’s masters for her first 6 albums had been sold, unbeknownst to her, to Scooter BraunMasters or master recordings are the rights to original recordings of songs not including rights to lyrics or the musical arrangements. This meant Scooter Braun profited when anyone bought or streamed Swift’s early discography and could prohibit Swift from performing or using her own music in projects. Swift attempted to buy her masters back but was met with a deal instead: for every new album you make, you can earn one album back. Swift obviously refused this deal and was shocked when her masters were once again sold in late 2020 to Shamrock HoldingsThis purchase came with a condition from Braun saying that the new buyers could not contact Swift or her team while negotiating the deal 

 

As a casual listener, you may not notice any difference between Taylor’s Version and the original. Maintaining this similarity makes the new recordings more valuable than if Swift has changed them. If the new recordings were different than the first recordings, thepeople would still be inclined to listen to the old recordings, thus giving money to the outside investment groups.  

 

Being a Swiftie since the first Fearless era, this was personally an extremely bittersweet experience. The nostalgia was high and I definitely shed some tears listening to this re-recording. Throughout the album, hearing Swift’s mature voice on the same songs I learned in the 1st grade was magical in a whole new way.  

 

Swift first released her re-recorded version of “Love Story” which was also the first single of the original Fearless release. Noticeably, Swift’s voice has become more powerful, and her overall enunciation has improved. Because Swift has been away from the country scene for a few years, she did have to affect a country twang which was very fun to hear again.  

 

The second single Swift released was “You All Over Me,” previously unreleased song with backing vocals by Maren Moris. Aaron Dessner, who worked with Swift on folklore and evermore, produced this track. It’s a fun blend of Swift’s current indie style on a true Fearless-era song. Sadly, Swift’s trend of making her female collaborators sing backup vocals rather than giving them their own verse continued on this songas Moris only lent background vocalswhich unfortunately missed the mark as Moris unique voice clashed with Swift’s.  

 

Keith Urban joins Swift on the song “That’s When.” Urban does get his own verse on this song, and it is a pleasant surprise. His voice adds another layer to the track and the harmony between the two is stunning. Frequent producer of Swift, Jack Antonoff, joined on this track and three other From The Vault songs, as well.  

 

A standout new song is “Mr. Perfectly Fine.” The song channels the petty teenager energy that was a staple for Swift. The song is rumored to be about ex-boyfriend Joe Jonas after a famous breakup previously documented through Swift’s song “Forever and Always.” The lines “Hello, Mr. Casually Cruel, Mr. Everything revolves around you” perfectly encapsulates the fierce emotions Swift is famous for directing at her ex-boyfriends.  

 

As far as most nostalgic re-recorded songs go, “Fifteen,” “White Horse,” “You Belong with Me,” and “Best Day,” take the cake. Hearing 31-year-old Taylor Swift sing about being 15 felt like a living example of how a person can grow. Similar growth is seen with “White Horse” as Swift sings “I’m not a princess, this ain’t a fairytale, I’m gonna find someone someday who might actually treat me well,” after finally finding her own fairytale. 

 

Despite being a re-recorded album, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is being celebrated as though it is new. Swift broke the record for having three No. 1 albums in the shortest amount of time. The record was previously held by The Beatles since 1966 with 364 days. Swift hit this record with only 259 days. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) also made Swift the first female in history to debut nine consecutive studio albums at #1 on the Billboard 200. It has also scored Swift the biggest week on the Billboard 200 in 2021.  

 

As someone who listens to Taylor Swift at least once a day, I was impressed by how these re-recorded tracks felt like brand new songs. After this amazing first re-recording I cannot wait to see what else Swift will deliver with her other 5 albums.  

 

*Author’s Note 

On a completely unofficial capacity, I have a strong hunch that 1989 will be the next re-recording. You can quote me on that 

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