Opinion on Fearless (Taylor's Version)

With the start of a new semester, comes the inevitable series of introductions and ice-breakers. Being asked to produce an “interesting fact” about myself is usually quite stress-inducing, while never failing to convince me that I’m the most boring person alive. This time around, I decided to make it easier for myself by making my default answer, “I’m a huge Taylor Swift fan”. I’m entirely happy with that being the singular fact that a couple hundred new classmates know about me and I will gladly take any opportunity to talk about Taylor. Thus, here I am writing this article.

Since August 2019, when Taylor made plans to re-release her albums known to the public, fans have been eager to hear fresh takes on their old favourites with Swift’s more mature vocals and a more contemporary production style. Furthermore, they were excited to be able to support music that Taylor herself owned, unlike the masters of her first six albums. 

In mid-February 2021, Swift announced via an Instagram post that the first album to receive this treatment would be her 2009 album, Fearless. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLJzk9MjcCe/ 

With such an expansive catalogue to choose from, you may wonder why this is the album she chose to start this journey off with.  While it’s not the album I’m personally most excited to hear remade (that spot is reserved for 2012’s Red), there’s no denying that Fearless is a worthy album for this honour. It was her first album to win a Grammy for Album of the Year in 2010. Taylor was only 20 years old at the time, making her the youngest solo artist to receive this award, until she relinquished this title to Billie Eilish in 2020, who won the award at age 18. 

Fearless is the home of modern classics such as You Belong with Me and Love Story, songs which put Taylor on the map as a rising pop icon of the 2010’s. The nostalgia factor alone will draw in a significant crowd of people who might not have actively been listening to her recent music. Let’s be real, if “you’re on the phone with your girlfriend; she’s upset” starts playing, you’ve got a guaranteed jam sesh. If that’s not the mark of a top tier throwback song, then I don’t know what is.

Love Story (Taylor’s Version), released as the first single of Fearless (Taylor’s Version), is just as magical as the original and proves its ability to create hype for the album release. While some artists may become jaded towards their earlier hit songs as the years go on, Taylor pays a respectful homage to one of the songs that started it all for her and approaches it with a sense of reverence that encourages the listener to do the same. 

Taylor’s Instagram post also announced that six unreleased songs from this era would be on her version of Fearless.  The first song of this variety, You All Over Me (feat. Maren Morris), was released on the 26th of March 2021. While the melody and writing style is undeniably from the same realm as the original Fearless line-up, this song could effortlessly find a place on Swift’s latest folk-pop album Evermore. This creates an endearing duality of Taylor’s past and present styles of music and elicits an almost comforting feeling, like catching up with an old friend and seeing all the ways they’ve changed and all the ways they’ve stayed the same. 

Taylor has been an advocate for artists owning their work for many years, using her platform and influence to stand up for herself and other artists. Calling this album Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is a simple and effective assertion that this is the more legitimate and authentic version. As stated by Taylor herself in her post, no one knows the intricacies of the album she created as well as she does. It’s inspiring to see her reclaim what is rightfully hers in this way, and I am living for April 9th when we can finally see what Fearless (Taylor’s Version) has to offer in its entirety.