When Taylor Swift announced the release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version), I was excited for two reasons.
First, I believe that artists deserve to own their work, which was the catalyst for Taylor’s decision to re-record her first six albums. (More on that here). Second, I couldn’t wait to hear reimagined versions of so many songs that I love and have grown up with.
And can I just say that Taylor did not disappoint?
Aside from minor lyric and production updates as well as more mature vocals, these songs have the same essence as those on the original Fearless album (released November 2008). They also remind me why Taylor is my favorite artist.
Although Fearless was Taylor’s sophomore album, it was her first cross-over album, thanks to songs like, “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me.” It was also this time in Taylor’s career that she really showed people who she is as an artist–myself included.
Taylor was–and still is–the curly-haired hopeless romantic who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s like the wise older sister who knows a thing or two about relationships and she shares her life lessons with you, her listener. Pushing play on one of her songs is like opening up her diary–you learn her innermost thoughts, desires, secrets, and regrets. And often enough, if you relate to one or more of her songs, then you swear she’s ripped a page out of your diary, too.
Hearing these songs again made me nostalgic in the best way. As I listened to Fearless (Taylor’s Version), I thought about my life at the time the original Fearless was released (I was in high school) and all the memories I associate with these songs from back then: listening to “Breathe” non-stop after I lost my best friend, discovering my love of words and deciding to be a writer, and seeing Taylor on her first headlining tour, to name just a few.
In addition, hearing the previously unreleased “From the Vault” tracks was also a treat. (Aside: I’ve always wondered what happens to the songs that don’t make the album and stay on the cutting room floor). While my favorite keeps changing, “You All Over Me” (featuring Maren Morris) is pretty high up on my list. So is “That’s When” (featuring Keith Urban). (Probably because the first time I ever saw Taylor perform live was when I went to Keith Urban’s Escape Together world tour in 2009 — cue the sobs).
“Taylor was–and still is–the curly-haired hopeless romantic who wears her heart on her sleeve. Pushing play on one of her songs is like opening up her diary.”
The tracks are classic Fearless-era Taylor–she shares her wide-eyed and whimsical thoughts on love in a confessional manner.
Overall, getting to re-visit Fearless was a fun trip down memory lane that makes me look forward to hearing the remainder of her reimagined albums.