Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is HERE! After teasing her single, “Love Story,” last December in the Match.com commercial, fans eagerly waited to see how the new re-recording would compare to the originals. The re-recorded album includes 26 songs. My favorites (why do I say this, I love them all) include “That’s When,” featuring Keith Urban, “Today Was a Fairytale,” “The Best Day,” “You All Over Me,” and of course, “Fearless.”
After blasting the album that Friday, my family was saying how it sounded JUST like the originals.
My family: “Emily, why did you pay for an album you already have when it sounds the SAME?”
Me: “Because I want to support Taylor in owning her OWN music, plus she copied them on purpose so that people wouldn’t have a need to really listen to the originals. There’s no reason to when her vocals on these new versions are stronger.”
My family: *proceeds to test me on whether I can recognize the smallest changes between the albums*
Taylor Swift expertly “copied” her original recordings, only with stronger vocals. Her marketing of the album was also GENIUS, by releasing snippets of fan favorites and a couple of songs from the “vault.” The vault includes all the songs that never made the album. She used social media platforms, including Snapchat, Tumblr, Instagram, and TikTok to tease snippets on Thursday, one day before the album release.
On Snapchat, there was a sticker fans could use to hear a snippet of “Fifteen.” On Tumblr, fans heard a snippet of “Breathe,” featuring Colbie Caillat. On Instagram, Gen-Z stars Olivia Rodrigo and Conan Gray danced to “White Horse” and on TikTok, they held up the signs from the original “You Belong With Me” music video. On Twitter, Taylor released a snippet of “Hey Stephen.” On Good Morning America, Taylor teased “Fearless.” This demonstrates Taylor’s ability to connect with Gen-Z superstars, as well as spread awareness on voicing the rights for musicians to own their catalog of music.
It can be pretty hard to keep up with Taylor Swift and her Easter Eggs (all her clues). So, I recently came across the Ringer podcast, “Every Single Album: Taylor Swift” hosted by Nora Princiotti and Nathan Hubbard. This podcast is great for breaking down each album, and how Taylor Swift got started in the country music industry and made the transition to pop. Nathan Hubbard and Nora Princiotti argue that Taylor Swift doesn’t need to “fit” into a category of music, demonstrated by her latest album releases, including Folklore and Evermore. Her connection and relationship with her core fan base, as well as her talented songwriting skills, put her in a great position to release her re-recordings.
After all, Taylor Swift is not only a GENIUS singer/songwriter, but also a GENIUS businesswoman. I feel like most musicians would have trouble releasing old music. Also, is this a move to negotiate her catalog of music? Nathan Hubbard broke down the streaming ratio, comparing the originals to the newly released Taylor’s Version. The streaming ratio he found was that people were streaming the new versions 30:1 compared to the originals. I found this fascinating and after listening to the episode, I saw an Instagram post on a Taylor Swift fan account which showed how to “hide” Taylor’s originals from accidentally playing on Spotify playlists. After typing into Spotify or other streaming platforms, I found that Fearless: Taylor’s Version is the first result, followed by her originals.
I can’t wait to see what she does next...1989 anyone?