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  • ruby crowhurst


RANKING: 8.5/10

13-years after its initial release, the re-recorded version of Taylor Swift's Fearless is finally here, with all its nostalgia and charm but taken to new, maturer, heights.

With its 6 extra vault tracks, Fearless (Taylor's Version)'s running time comes in at a whopping 1 hr 46 minutes long, so it's a big task to give it a listen, but it'll absolutely be worth your time.

The album is inherently not that different from the initial release, other than the 6 extra vault tracks. But, that's kind of the point. Fans are meant to have a direct copy of that album so they can stream the newer version that Taylor owns, rather than the old one she doesn't have the rights to. Swift has meticulously copied the initial tracks down to incredibly tiny details, but somehow has still made them sound fresh, which is no mean feat.

The main worry with these new releases is that the charm and nostalgia of Swift's less mature voice and naive fairytale-like narratives would be lost by the fact it is no longer being told from an 18-year-old Swift's perspective. Sure, that energy of the album might be missing a little, but it's replaced with the concept that an elder, wiser, Swift is looking back and re-telling these stories, which adds a different kind of charm that feels warm and nostalgic.

Fearless has proved to be timeless. Songs like 'Love Story' and 'You Belong With Me' acted as a benchmark for pop in 2008, and they're still acting as a benchmark for pop over a decade later. The iconic songs haven't lost a single drop of their moreishness, with 'You Belong With Me', dare it to be said, sounding better than the original.

Moving on to the vault songs, we now step into the realm of 'sounds like Taylor Swift in 2021 but lyrics of Taylor Swift in 2008', which essentially means, these songs have producer Jack Antonoff's fingerprints all over them.

'Don't You' stands out amongst the new tracks as a song that, on the surface, sounds like it easily could have been placed on Lover or evermore. It has an incredibly modern sound to it, which could easily be jarring against the older lyrics like "Don't you smile at me and ask me how I've been / Don't you say you've missed me if you don't want me again", but somehow it works.

Swift has also teamed up with country legend Keith Urban on one of the tracks 'That's When', which is a nice nod to the fact that Fearless wasn't quite free of her country roots yet. This track also stands out amongst the new additions with its sparkling instrumentals and the way Swift and Urban's vocals complement each other.

Fearless (Taylor's Version) may not feel exactly like the initial release, but it adds a different kind of magic that should be appreciated by fans and new listeners alike.

This re-recording has proved incredibly successful as a first-of-its-kind and has stirred up even more excitement about the re-recordings for upcoming albums, particularly as the vault songs on further releases will be completely unheard, whereas most of those on Fearless (Taylor's Version) were known about before.

Taylor Swift, once again, has the music industry in the palm of her hand just waiting for her next move.


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