Taylor Swift – “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” Review

Story posted April 14, 2021 in Arts & Entertainment by Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu.

In 2008, Taylor Swift released her second studio album “Fearless.” The album would become one of the best-selling albums of the 21st century and made Swift one of the biggest names in music.

Additionally, Swift won her first Album of The Year at the Grammys with “Fearless” at 20, making her the youngest recipient of the award at the time.

13 years later, Swift has re-recorded the album as “Fearless (Taylor’s Version).” Swift announced her plan to re-record her first six albums back in 2019 after her masters were purchased by music manager Scooter Braun and later sold to Shamrock Holdings.

In “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” Swift perfects her country-pop sound with stronger and more mature vocals but remains faithful to the original sound. The album also features six additional songs that were never released, which Swift called “From the Vault.”

With six songs being unreleased, Swift brought in new and old artists for guest vocals such as Maren Morris in “You All Over Me,” Keith Urban in “That’s When” and Colbie Caillat returns for “Breathe.” Swift’s frequent collaborators in “folklore” and “evermore” Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff also helped produce the six unreleased tracks.

What’s impressive about this album is how Swift is able to channel her 18-year-old self while still sounding mature. Her vocals have grown a lot since her debut in 2006, and “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” is perhaps the perfect chance for Swift to tell her story with even more control.

Songs like “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me” will still be sung at the top of every fan's lungs; “Fifteen” and “The Best Day” will still hit the audiences’ guts after all these years.

However, songs with notably stronger vocals include “White Horse,” “Tell Me Why,” “Forever and Always (Piano Version)” and “The Other Side of the Door.”

Additional tracks from the Vault will certainly satisfy the fans who crave more of Swift’s country-pop sound. Dessner and Antonoff remained truthful to the productions during the “Fearless” era. The guest vocals from Morris and Urban add another layer to their songs.

The album does have a sense of nostalgia to it, but it also tells a coming-of-age story of a teenage girl's journey through the ups and downs of young love — themes that are still relevant and relatable to this day.

“Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” isn’t just a replica of the original “Fearless,” it’s a celebration for Swift gaining control of her own music while reminding the audience how timeless and versatile her music is.

Rating: 8/10
Reviewer’s Favorite Song: “Fearless,” “Fifteen,” “Breathe”
Reviewer’s least Favorite Song: N/A

Jimmy (Chien-Hsing) Lu is a senior majoring in telecommunications. To contact him, email jfl5603@psu.edu

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