This album is as close to a time machine as we have right now. Taylor Swift has, without fail, transported us back in time to our youth when we first started singing along to the iconic Fearless album. This time, however, we have more songs to stream from the vault, and they shake the ground. Taylor Swift originally released Fearless in November of 2008, over ten years ago. Like the rest of us college kids, I was in elementary school and had no idea where Taylor Swift’s fame would lead.
The whole reasoning behind the re-recording of Fearless (and more of her albums in the future) is that the owner of her old record label, Scooter Braun, would not sell her the masters of her first 6 albums. This was not a spur-of-the-moment decision. Taylor Swift had been considering re-recording her albums for a long time. She feels that it is extremely important that artists own their own music. By re-releasing her own version of each album, Swift is taking back her music and reclaiming her voice.
Like many of you, I grew up listening to Taylor Swift. We went from the children we were at the initial release of Fearless to the adults we are now during this re-release. A lot has happened over the past almost 13 years. These songs are filled with so many memories and emotions from our past. I still remember the first time I heard a Taylor Swift song—You Belong With Me, blasting over the radio (yes radio). My friend and I convinced our teacher to let us borrow because our fake restaurant needed music. As we passed out plastic food to other kids the initial guitar sequence started and I fell in love from there. Hearing the passion in her voice throughout the song really spoke to her talent and love for music.
Not only did we grow up with these songs, but we got to watch Taylor Swift grow in life and in her music. She released her first album, self-titled Taylor Swift was released when she was only 16. Then she released Fearless at age 18, two years later. This was a very young age for her to enter into the public eye. We got to watch her blossom into the amazing and caring 31 year old she is. As seen through her music, Taylor Swift felt a lot of emotions about her life in the spotlight over the past 15 years. She has always struggled with her reputation and the role the media played in trying to tarnish it. In recent years we have seen her decision to rise above the media and look to herself to decide who she wants to be. No one can decide who she is but her.
The album featured all of the beloved songs from Fearless and so much more. The songs re-recorded from her original album feature the same lyrics and sound that we grew up with. The only difference in those is how well Taylor Swift grew into her voice. She still carries that same love and passion behind the words. The piano version of Forever and Always added to the album can only be described as heart-wrenchingly beautiful. It’s the version we never knew we needed. The album also featured six new songs from the vault: You All Over Me, Mr. Perfectly Fine, We Were Happy, That’s When, Don’t you, and Bye Bye Baby. These songs didn’t make it on the original Fearless album, but Taylor pulled them out of the vault as a gift to us for her new album. They are all amazing, in fact, I’m angry we weren’t given these songs sooner. My favorite song from the vault is, Mr. Perfectly Fine, because that song hits almost as hard as You’re Not Sorry (almost). I’ll leave it up to you to pick your favorites, but let me just warn you to buy some tissues and maybe a pint of ice cream before you sit down to listen. Trust me—you’ll need it.