Taylor Swift takes back control of Fearless


Photo by Eitan Malkus

Taylor Swift released her rerecorded version of Fearless on April 9, 2021. The original version of Fearless in November of 2008.

Lilli Libowitz, Reporter

Taylor Swift released “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” a re-recording of her hit 2008 album “Fearless” on April  9. “Fearless” was re-released by Swift in an attempt to regain control over her music after record executive Scooter Braun sold the rights to her first six albums without her permission. 

Leading up to the release date, Swift publicized a re-recording of her famous ballad “Love Story” and two new songs, “You All Over Me” and “Mr. Perfectly Fine.”

Swift’s album consists of 26 songs including six “From The Vault” songs that were written in the “Fearless” era that had never been released. In the re-release Swift also includes non-album tracks that were written close to the time of “Fearless” like “Today was a Fairytale.”

The re-recording is relatively similar to the original “Fearless”, yet there are still some key differences. It is clearly reflected that Swift’s voice has matured and her range is slightly lower, so the re-recordings inherently sound different than the original. This is very noticeable in songs like “Hey Stephan” and “You Belong With Me.” 

There are also some musical edits to the previous songs such as a note change on “Love Story’s”, “so close your eyes” and an altogether smoother chorus on “The Way I Loved You.”

The changes make sense as Swift wrote the album at the young age of 18, and is now 31. This age gap in the re-recording is exhibited well for some songs such as “White Horse” and “Breathe”, but for other songs like “Fifteen” or “Today was a Fairytale,” it feels odd that a grown woman is singing about high school and fairytales.

Unfortunately, some of the re-recordings of the songs lack the same passion in her voice. But for the most part, the tweaks and changes reveal how Swift has grown up and developed as an artist. The re-recordings reveal a pearl of newfound wisdom and a sense of control in her voice.

Swift’s six new songs,“From the Vault”, lived up to my expectations. In these songs, it was noticeable that Swift was not trying to mimic her old singing style, which made the songs more authentic and easier to listen to while adding an element of maturity.

My favorite of her newly released songs is “Mr. Perfectly Fine.” “Mr. Perfectly Fine” gives off similar vibes to “Forever and Always” and really fits the essence of the album. I also liked how the song has lyrical parallels to some of her other songs including the line “casually cruel” from “All Too Well.” Similarly, I enjoyed her song “You All Over Me” featuring Maren Morris, which captured the country element of “Fearless” flawlessly.

The other “From the Vault” songs were relatively forgettable compared to the rest of the songs on the album. 

As a whole, I would recommend “Fearless (Taylor’s Version).” The album mimics “Fearless” yet feels more mature as Swift is looking back at the past. In addition, her decision to reclaim her music makes listening to the album more powerful.