Fearless Rerecording Exceeds Expectations

Michaela Ely, Webmaster

         After two surprise albums in 2020, Taylor Swift released her first rerecording of her sophomore album, Fearless, April 9. It includes all 19 songs from the original Fearless Platinum Edition, a bonus song and six brand new tracks “from the vault.”

         The “vault” tracks are songs that were in the running to be on the original album in 2008 but didn’t make the cut and have now been rerecorded and released. Rerecording her albums wasn’t a monetary decision but a necessity in order for her to own her music. Because of this, all of her songs on her rerecording have (Taylor’s Version) added to the titles.

         Throughout Fearless (Taylor’s Version), you can hear how her voice has matured since 2008. Even though her voice is missing the strong country twang that defined Swift’s country eras, the subtle changes she makes help redefine this album. Between pronunciation and note changes, these small changes make a big difference.

          One of my favorite “from the vault” tracks was Mr. Perfectly Fine, an upbeat breakup song presumed to be about Joe Jonas. She released this song the day before the release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and it is the perfect scream in your car with windows down type of breakup song. Even if you haven’t gone through a breakup or even if you have but your experience isn’t reflected in the lyrics, you can still admire Swift’s lyricism and ability to tell a story in a song.

           Two of six of the vault tracks are collaborations with country artists Maren Morris on You All Over Me and Keith Urban on That’s When. Both songs have your classic Taylor Swift country feel to them. Between the instruments she chose and the way she chose to sing the songs, both strongly fit in the pop country category that Swift dominates and excels in. Her voice blends well with both Morris and Urban in each song which helps add to the country feel with the feeling of a classic country duet like You’re Still the One by Shania Twain and I Hope You Dance by LeeAnn Womack. Both songs were extremely impressive to me.

           A couple key songs that were highly anticipated in this release were Love Story and You Belong With Me. Both were key songs in Swift’s original Fearless era and the rerecordings do not disappoint. While she didn’t rerecord the music videos, all of the new lyric videos on YouTube include photos and videos from 2008 which is a brilliant stylistic choice.

           This album, like most of Swift’s albums, was near flawless with the only flaws being due to my opinions on the original songs on Fearless. However, as rerecordings go, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is an album I’d recommend to any fan, new or old.