Sparkly dresses, curly hair swings, bedazzled guitars and hundreds of screaming fans looking up at their teen idol, Taylor Swift is what ‘Fearless’ looked like in the 2008-2009 role out. 13 odd years later, the now 31-year-old gives her new and old supporters another version of the star’s breakout album, this time called ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’. Although the re-releases of Swift’s first six albums were a necessity after losing the right to be able to buy her own masters the feeling of vengeance isn’t the overpowering atmosphere surrounding ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ but rather love, love to her fans who stood by her since the start of her career, love to the journey she has been on and love for everyone who has supported her along the way.
Ever since ‘Love Story (Taylor’s Version)’ was put into the world the start of a new era started, the beginning of Swift’s independence and control all the while putting it in a blanket of nostalgia. Light and fun tracks like ‘Hey Stephen (Taylor’s Version)’, ‘Change (Taylor’s Version)’ and ‘Jump Then Fall (Taylor’s Version)’ completely captivate the sound and memory of what Taylor Swift was like as an 18-year-old, even possibly creating the illusion of being sung by a teenager to the untrained ear yet capturing all the joy once felt when first listening to these tracks all those years ago.
Throughout the album, it becomes apparent that although the arrangements are similar there is a slightly different progression which excels for Swift’s mature and more powerful than ever before vocal cords. ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ makes you remember the teenage angst once felt years prior or for the newer fans the motion they’re living through at this moment but as did the original a silver string of glee and absolute pleasure is the overarching theme. And yes, even ‘You’re Not Sorry (Taylor’s Version)’ and ‘White Horse (Taylor’s Version)’ don’t deviate from that tale, it just makes it all combine in a wonderful story that translates the young adult experience into a 26 song record.
The six previously unreleased vault tracks open up with ‘You All Over Me (Taylor’s Version)’ creating the illusion that Swift snuck back to the past in order to make a reflective lullaby that ties together her country past with the abundance of experience in love and lost she has had during her 31 years on this planet. “I lived and I learned” “But no amount of freedom gets you clean” are standout lyrics that were presumably written about one of her first boyfriends from Nashville, Tennessee yet without any prior knowledge could also be seen as a mature reconnection of everything that made her into the person she is now.
The other five swing from tracks that could have been topping the radio hit lists to emotional tear-jerkers creating a state of melancholy and terrifying loss but all of them have one thing in common, as with everything that Taylor Swift touches the vault tracks are sparkling gold and are going to be alive in all of her fans’ mind for the years to come.
With ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’, Swift once again proves that she is not just an amazing songwriter but also an artist that creates a personal connection with every single soul who is touched by her music. Whether her fandom includes hundreds, thousands or millions of people Taylor Swift finds a way to make all of them feel like they have a special place in her heart because as ‘Love Story (Taylor’s Version)’ indicated the original message of romantic love got replaced by the love she has found in her fans. Therefore, it would be fair to say that the record that’s finally completely owned by Taylor Swift is a gift to the people who have believed in her ever since the very first day.
Written by: Lauren Dehollogne