In the past couple years, the well known battle between Scooter Braun and Taylor Swift has been made public to the media’s enjoyment. Scooter decided to sell her first 6 albums for $300 million without consulting her, after her contract ended with Big Machine, and she switched over to Republic Records and UMG. This led to the incredibly anticipated release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version), a rerecording of her second studio album, which won her her first 3 Grammys at 18. Along with the rerecordings of 2000s hits such as ‘You Belong With Me’, ‘Love Story’, and ‘White Horse’, Swift released 6 extremely awaited songs “from the vault”.
Fearless (Taylor’s Version) has flawlessly captured the nostalgia of her older songs while continuing to keep a current sound. The album, not as country as the original, takes you back in time to young love, heartbreak, the tumultuous life of a 15 year old, and simply trying to find “the perfect guy”.
This album, if not better than the original, has truly maintained the essence that we all felt hearing those songs for the first time in 2008. Slight differences arise as the album proceeds, young Swift’s country-accented high pitched voice is no longer the same, it has matured and has gained a much more melodic strength.
An impressive hour and 45 minutes later, the album doesn’t fail to leave a long-lasting impression. Songs like ‘Fifteen’ or ‘Fearless’ encapsulate a strong sense of reminiscence, as Swift sings of teenage love and life. Giving a lesson to all those naive teenagers out there, ‘Fifteen’ continues to remind everyone to “Take it in / This is life before you know who you’re gonna be / At fifteen”.
Swift’s last 6 tracks were the perfect touch to the repurposed album, bringing a strong sensation of nostalgia to never-before-heard lyrics. ‘Mr Perfectly Fine’ in particular feels as though it was never missing, with its catchy chorus and angsty edge. Fueled by anger and heartbreak, it’s almost as though you can hear 18 year old Taylor Swift belt out, “Hello Mr. Perfectly Fine / How’s your heart after breaking mine?”. Another hit from the vault, ‘You All Over Me’, featuring Maren Morris’s backing vocals, is a haunting song that exudes the difficulty of getting over a relationship. Heavily weighted with emotion, her words are sung softly through the chorus as she says; “No amount of freedom gets you clean / I’ve still got you all over me”.
Now being 31 , Swift has managed to give a new purpose to this old album, reclaiming what it means to be 18 and in love. Overall, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) has succeeded in being better than the original without losing its youthful touch. Swift has notably matured, and her voice has improved while hints of the “Old Taylor” remain.