In 2019, Taylor Swift announced plans to re-record her six first albums. This announcement came after the controversial sale of her master recordings, and what followed was three new subsequent albums from Swift herself.
Fast forward to February 2021, Fearless was confirmed as the first re-recording. In 2008, Fearless launched Swift into mainstream success and earned the Grammy for Album of the Year. From there, it was the start of Swift’s ever-evolving and lyric-centred style. Throughout each album, she has grown and shifted her sound. From homegrown country to total pop, to even soft folk with the release of folkmore and evermore last year.
Fearless (Taylor’s Version) stays true to the original album; it’s still catchy country pop. However, within the first verse sung, you can tell the difference within Swift’s vocals. You can hear her evolved range and the experience from the past decade. There’s a refreshing clarity and confidence.
The original Fearless source material originated from her teen years and experiences during that time frame. Thirteen years later, when Taylor sings those same lyrics, it takes on a nostalgic tone. In a way, she’s talking to her former teen self, and the lens has shifted on how the lyrics can be interpreted.
This re-release brings back the feeling of hearing Fearless for the first time. There is a rush of excitement because the listener might assume that Taylor’s Version will be a carbon copy of the original.
The original Fearless broke records and expectations of what a country album should sound like; what was expected of a teen idol. Taylor’s Version has the same ground-breaking energy. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is the first re-recorded album to claim the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart, and hopefully, this album sets the foundation for the other re-recordings. It’s not just a simple copy of the original.
Image courtesy of Zugr.