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The Story of Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

On November 18th of 2008, Taylor Swift took the world by a storm. Releasing her second studio album, Fearless, at only 18 years old, she captured the attention of fans all across the world while transforming the music industry as a whole. The album later went platinum and received the Grammy’s Album of the Year award with its iconic singles that we know all too well: “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me”.

I still remember clicking shuffle on my silver MP3 player (yes, MP3 player) over and over again, just to get to my favourite song: “You’re Not Sorry”. Back then, my second-grade self was completely oblivious to Google and its ability to provide lyrics within a few seconds of searching. I would anxiously press pause and play after each line, attempting to transcribe the heartfelt bridge into my notebook. 

Undoubtedly, Taylor Swift’s music has changed throughout the decade as she shifted from country to pop, and then alternative within nine studio albums. However, on April 9th of 2021, Taylor Swift released her much anticipated re-recording of Fearless, also known as Fearless (Taylor’s Version). Delivering a nostalgic country experience to Swifties all across the world, this record provides the same wholesome feeling as it did over ten years ago while standing up for something bigger.

What’s the big deal?

The big deal is the fact that Taylor Swift is finally able to gain ownership of her albums. After the whole situation between Scott Borschetta and Scooter Braun, she essentially gets the last word. Of course, it’s not just about being better at revenge, but also raising awareness for artist’s rights in the music industry. As the Artist of the Decade, Taylor Swift undoubtedly has one of the largest platforms of our time, and by re-recording, she is using her platform to stand up for herself while sparking change for others. So, when you choose to stream Taylor’s Version over the original, you are essentially giving the profits to Taylor Swift, the writer and performer of the music, rather than an investment firm (and Scooter Braun), that had no affiliation in the creative process.

What’s the difference?

Aside from her matured vocal ability and the improved instrumentals, Taylor Swift also added six additional bonus tracks which she labelled as “From the Vault”. These songs were written originally for Fearless but originally excluded from the final cut. Fans now have a chance to experience new music in a nostalgic era as these unheard pieces differ greatly from those of her newer albums, Folklore and Evermore. My personal favourite is “Mr. Perfectly Fine” as I’m still trying to process how she could leave such a catchy masterpiece off the original!

What’s next?

It is expected that Taylor Swift will re-record all six of the albums she created with Big Machine: Taylor Swift (Debut), Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989, and Reputation. Reputation, however, cannot legally be re-released until November of 2022 because of a five-year clause. Although she has not officially claimed the releases of the remaining four albums, there is a fan theory that the order of the next three will be 1989, Red, and Speak Now. The artist is also known for her sneaky easter eggs among her music videos and social media posts, and recently, the entire album drops out of nowhere, so we can expect upcoming releases soon.

What are you waiting for?

So, what are you waiting for? Stream Fearless (Taylor’s Version) now — just make sure it really is, Taylor’s Version.

 

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Jessica Ho

Ryerson '24

Jessica is a Creative Industries student at Ryerson University, specializing in business and journalism. When she isn't listening to Folklore or coping with stress through crochet, she enjoys watching her favourite show, The Blacklist, while urging everyone else to watch it too – but seriously, watch it.
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