Fearless (Taylor's Version) Album Review

When Fearless was originally released in 2008, I wasn't the Taylor Swift fan I am today. Of course I knew the popular singles that played on the radio, and I'd watched the You Belong With Me music video over and over again because I was amazed and also confused by how Taylor was playing both parts. Despite loving the songs I was familiar with, I'd never listened to the whole album, though I'm not really sure why. It wasn't until 1989 came out that I truly began to love Taylor's entire discography, finally becoming a true fan (at that point I'd gotten over my jealousy of her dating Harry Styles in 2012).

When I listened to Fearless in full for the first time, I felt a deep connection with the album and it's wonderfully beautiful depiction of young love and heartbreak. As the years I went on, I began to relate more and more to certain songs, using them as a way of coping with my own personal problems. Fearless as a whole captures the mindset of a teenage girl: the feeling that everything that happens now is the biggest and most important event in your life, not being able to see past the walls of high school life, only caring about if the boy you like, likes you back, the high-highs and low-lows that seem to make every moment incredibly exciting and emotional.

As I listen to Fearless now, I'm at a much different place in life, thankfully, but it still resonates with me deeply, reminding me of that 17 year old girl with a broken heart and tears in her eyes and reminding me of how much I've grown. Listening to Taylor sing about her experiences from 13 years ago, as a happier and more peaceful person feels similar to my own experience. Not only is her voice more mature and grown, but as a person she is as well. Fearless (Taylor's Version) resembles that feeling of looking back on those old experiences, good and bad, and telling yourself all those years ago that things will be alright one day.

As I shuffle through songs that I've sung along to alone in my bedroom countless times, somehow they all feel new to me, like the first time you listen to a song you feel like you've known forever, but never have. Every time Taylor releases an album, my favorites are subject to change a lot for at least the first few weeks, sometimes months after the release. At a first listen, my favorite re-recorded and new songs are Fearless, Hey Stephen, The Way I Loved You, Jump Then Fall, Superstar, Mr. Perfectly Fine, and Bye Bye Baby. I know, 7 songs are a lot to call my "favorites" but I can't pick just one quite yet.

Fearless

The first song on the album and the title track; Fearless has always been a favorite of mine for the sheer feeling of optimism and excitement it washes over me with. Listening to it now, every word seems to hit much more deeply than before. The passion that Taylor sings with speaks to her journey of re-recording and reclaiming her music as a whole.

Hey Stephen

Listening to Hey Stephen reminds me of all my old high school crushes and the way I completely romanticized the idea of so many mediocre boys who are now dropped out of college. It brings me back to walking the halls of high school, hoping to bump into the one I liked at the time, or cheering on the sidelines of the football games hoping to see him in the crowd. Aside from that cringe inducing memory, I still love the song and the added flair of Taylor's older voice.

The Way I Loved You

Although I've never fully related to this song, bits and pieces have resonated with me at certain points in life. Prior to the rerecording, The Way I Loved You, was one of my favorites off the album, and post- rerecording, it still is. This is the kind of song that makes a tiny part of you wish you could relate just so you could scream your heart out to it.

Jump Then Fall

The album release was timed perfectly; the 70 degree weather and sun filled days are perfect for listening to many of these tracks with the windows down, Jump Then Fall being at the top of the list. This song embodies a warm, summer day, and listening to it fills me with all the same emotions.

Superstar

Superstar is undoubtedly one of Taylor's most underrated songs, there I said it. For a while, I too, didn't appreciate it for what it was, often skipping it as I went through the album. I'm not sure what triggered the switch in my brain, but now I find myself seeking this song every time I open Spotify. I credit my newfound love for Superstar greatly in part to the bridge, something about it just makes me want to play it over and over again.

Mr. Perfectly Fine

The second of the vault songs to be released: Mr. Perfectly Fine. Even 13 years later, Joe Jonas still can't escape his mistake of breaking up with Taylor over the phone way back when. This song is a great addition to the album and adds an element that was otherwise absent.

Bye Bye Baby

I'm not sure how well this song fits into the album from a cohesive standpoint, but I love it regardless. I can't quite put my finger on what it is, but it gives me early 2000s chick flick/Disney Channel Original Movie soundtrack vibes, especially in the bridge, and I absolutely love it. Bye Bye Baby is the song I never knew I needed.

Overall, Fearless (Taylor's Version) is a masterpiece. With 6 new vault songs and the addition of Today Was A Fairytale, the album is stronger than ever before and is even quite overwhelming with the amount of great songs packed in. The old, original and bonus songs hold onto that same early Taylor feeling while adding a refreshing and mature take. Listening to the songs of Fearless all these years later, feels powerful, yet comforting, nostalgic, but also imaginative, and incredibly electrifying in a way only Taylor Swift could accomplish.