Album Reviews

Taylor Swift – Fearless (Taylor’s Version) – Album Review

How many artists get to re record an entire album and successfully? Not many – and while of course the reasons behind this are quite unpleasant it is a celebratory time for both Taylor and her fans for sure proving things can and will go in her favour as her fanbase is hugely supportive.

We are unsure of the exact reasons behind releasing Fearless before debut but we are so here for it! So many fans of Taylor’s emerged from the Fearless era so it probably does make sense to have this album first not to mention the original was released 13 years ago which is Taylor’s lucky number so knowing Taylor, that means a great “stroke of good luck” start to releasing her old music and owning the masters.

Starting of course with the title track Fearless, Taylor has stuck to the original sound and stylings of the album throughout as much as she could so we can enjoy it as we remember it and not having to buy the tracks where she doesn’t own the masters on. With Taylor’s voice now being more mature and she herself being in her thirties it does lose that innocent way about it especially in songs such as Fifteen, Love Story and You Belong With Me but that doesn’t take away the fact that the songs are still amazing and this album is pure genius, totally relatable and completely relevant.

Listening to Hey Stephen always brings us back to the Fearless tour and looking around the arena to see which audience section she was going to appear in and walk down the stairs halfway through the song, through the crowd and back to the stage. This song was written about her crush on Stephen Barker Lilies the lead singer of Love and Theft. Stephen, like Tim McGraw were on a VT on Taylors Fearless Tour talking about having a song written about them so all these little moments are coming back to us.

Colbie Cailat returns to share her vocals on the track Breathe which of course had to happen! Breathe was always in our opinion the song where we realised the maturity and wisdom that Taylor had in both her music and lyrics and this song will always have a timeless feel to it. A breathtaking melody, Breathe is a true classic.

Tell Me Why is a fan favourite and one of the most fun tracks on the album. Musically it is incredible and wonderfully catchy. Strong in its country music instrumentation, Taylor’s Version is still in keeping with that and this song is such a great representation of Fearless and how so many people came to not just Love Taylor but how it became apparent she was going to be a superstar.

One of things that have always been great about Swifts music is her ability to deliver a stunning ballad. You’re Not Sorry means so much to so many fans. It’s such a unique tune and I can’t quite put my finger on why but I guess it just brings us back to the whole innocent and relatable theme we keep mentioning.

The Way I Loved You was always the least favourite for me but still a brilliant song.

Forever and Always once such an angry song has lost that edge in this song as of course when it was originally released it was a last minute addition to Fearless and was still a very fresh feeling for her. Of course now, Taylor and the subject of the song are now on good terms. Still brilliant sounding though and I doubt many people will pick up on the emotive element of the track.

The Best Day remains to be one of the most beautifully written songs from Swift and one of the most personal songs to her. Written for her mother, the ballad paints a lovely picture of Taylor’s childhood and the wonderful relationship that she has with her mum. Swifties love mama (aka Andrea) Swift so this song is always a tearjerker in a good way. If anyone was at the US show on the Fearless Tour where she performed the song on Mother’s Day, you are very lucky!

Change – one of the most inspirational and anthem like songs Swift has ever written. The song originally said to be written about being signed to one of the smallest labels on music row in Nashville and fighting against the odds if she and her label would ever make a success or not. Change spoke of the big corporate labels whom one of in particular “shelved” her as an artist and wanted to simply watch her progress before making a decision on whether to give her a record deal or not. Hmmm, bet there’s a LOT of regret there now? This song also took on a new meaning too when Taylor won various awards for Fearless including Grammys and notably Entertainer of The Year at the CMA awards. If that moment when she received her EOTY award and went on stage with her band The Agency doesn’t make you cry then I don’t know what will. But here we are again, another era and the original meaning of the song is now somewhat ironic! Having left Big Machine Records over rights to her masters and more, the song is fitting now as she can now re release all her music legally, own her masters and take down those walls put up to hold her back.

Change was the last track off the original release of Fearless but she then released a deluxe version which thankfully she has included on the Taylor’s version release.

Jump Then Fall was and still is such a fun tune which is quite youthful sounding, tween sounding if you will and has that movie soundtrack feel and Taylor’s version hasn’t lost any of that feeling.

Photo Credit : Hannah Compton

Photo Credit : Hannah Compton

is another song that showed off Taylor’s maturity as a writer early on. Underrated, this song has a magical feel to it and is gorgeous.

I was always a huge fan of the piano version of Forever and Always and still am. I love it when she treats us with different versions of her songs showing them in the light that they were likely originally written. Stripped back, little production this version always showed the truly painful side and confusion to this break up rather than the angry revenge side.

Come In With The Rain is another of her all time best songs in my opinion. A fan favourite at early shows, I remember the excitement of having this on Fearless deluxe.

Superstar, another top quality song which has a sweet youthful element to it and melodically so pretty. Taylor has managed to keep that sweet, youthful vocal style with this song and the same with The Other Side of the Door.

Photo Credit : Hannah Compton

Photo Credit : Hannah Compton

The film Valentines Day bought us the joy that is Today Is A Fairytale. This was a great move to have this song on this new release as is such a good song and takes us back to not just the film but for me, the second leg of the Fearless tour as this song was her encore.

So now on to the vault tracks. We previously reviewed You All Over Me upon its release. The song that features Maren Morris on harmonies is such a treat.

Mr Perfectly Fine is the only track we had never heard before. A fun song from the get-go, this track should definitely have been released back then. It doesn’t fit within the original album per se but has such a strong melody and a movie vibe to it that we would have loved to have had this available to us then.

We Were Happy was and still is an absolute favourite of mine from her unreleased tracks back in the trading days. Taylor’s Version is just as beautiful but the original does have that innocent way about it. This song though was always beyond someone of her age back then and showed her maturity and talent to write music that anyone of any age could relate to. I am so excited to have an official release of this song. The somber song is beautiful in its melancholic melody and lyrics.

That’s When was another track unofficial released years back and this version featuring Keith Urban is very welcomed. Long time supporter of Swift, Urban has taken Taylor on tour with him as a support artist in her early career and also joined her on the Highway Don’t Care track by Tim McGraw. Urban has also been very vocal about her music and covered her song Lover from the Lover album on a live show.

That’s When is a great track but I can see why it didn’t make the Fearless album originally as didn’t quite flow with the rest of the album but what a gem to have it as a bonus track now. It does still scream Fearless era however and is a great fun track that makes me want to play loudly with the windows open on a summer’s day.

Don’t You has a sweet melody but again is such a sad song that Taylor is famously brilliant at writing. The song starts off quite slow and then a catchy beat kicks in which gives it a bit of an 80’s element. Stop making us cry with these songs Taylor, we can’t handle it!

Bye Bye Baby is a song known for years as One Thing and a track I personally have always said was one of her best songs ever and could not believe it had never been released and here we are with an official release and we can’t get over it! I like this version as gives it a more mature edge as obviously Taylor’s vocals have grown some since back then. This song is simply fantastic and wonderfully catchy and a song so so fitting in the Fearless era and we are immediately transported back. I am going to have to dig out the original because I am sure the lyrics have slightly changed. One thing isn’t mention for sure so that bit has changed.

We cannot wait for the rest of the albums to be released and sure hope that this includes the Beautiful Eyes EP and her Christmas album.

We also now of course crave a Lover tour, a folklore/evermore tour and now a revisit Fearless tour. Here’s hopin’.

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