Taylor Swift releases new recording of hit album Fearless

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On April 9, Taylor Swift released the re-recording of her second studio album Fearless, titled Fearless (Taylor’s Version). Fearless (Taylor’s Version) was recorded in collaboration with Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, Swift’s co-producers who worked with her on folklore and evermore. The full tracklist consists of 27 songs, including six never-before-released songs from the vault. Fearless captures the experiences of a daydreaming girl in love, navigating the often turbulent ups and downs of adolescence. Swift’s lyrics are emotional and expressive, allowing listeners to relate to them.

The album is the first of six re-recorded albums that Swift is planning to release in the coming years. In 2019, the master recordings of Swift’s first six albums, which were all released under Big Machine Records, were sold to music manager Scooter Braun for an estimated $300 million. The masters were sold without Swift’s knowledge, despite the fact that she had been actively trying to purchase them. Therefore, Swift does not own the masters to the albums Taylor Swift, Fearless, Speak Now, Red, 1989, and Reputation. The re-recordings were born of Swift’s desire to regain control of her musical legacy and own her own work.

When asked about Taylor’s decision to re-record her discography, junior Nissabelle Rianom said, “I think Taylor’s decision to rerecord her first six albums was a really good one because it gives her the right to actually own her music, which is how it should have been like in the first place, and allows fans to re-experience each era or experience them for the first time.”

Senior Nejra Barakovic also said, “I think that Taylor choosing to re-record her first six albums is absolutely the best move on her part. She manages to write and create all of her music pretty much on her own and when the rights of her first six albums got taken away by her at the time ‘boss’ Scooter Braun, a big record executive, she lost all of her hard work. With the re-recordings, she manages to bring back nostalgia for her fans as well as receives the well-deserved recognition for her music.”

Fearless is one of Swift’s most successful albums. It won Album of the Year at the 52nd Grammy Awards, debuted at No. 1 in the United States, and was the best-selling album of 2009. Hits from her album Fearless like “Love Story,” “You Belong With Me,” and “Fifteen” were staples in many Harrisites’ childhoods, so it’s no surprise that this release is especially nostalgic. 

Freshman Raine Wu said, “When I was younger, I really only knew about ‘Love Story’ but when it came out there was just a flood of emotions that came out of me because I remembered being in my dad’s car in kindergarten while he was driving me home while ‘Love Story’ was playing in the car. I was usually half asleep when the song played and her releasing her re-recorded version made me feel like waking up from a good dream. It was also really fun to listen to ‘You Belong With Me’ because I have a lot of memories with my friends associated with that song and Taylor just has a way of making people reminisce on good times.”

Junior Alyanah Piedal said, “I remember my four or five year old self memorizing the lyrics to ‘Love Story,’ and dancing to ‘You Belong With Me.’ Being able to listen to it 12 years later, it feels like my childhood is being relived.”

Fearless (Taylor’s Version) shows just how much Swift’s vocals have matured over the past 13 years. Though the re-recorded album stays true to the original version, devout fans can catch subtle differences.

“Taylor’s Version definitely sounds more grown up and exhibits her mature voice. I was really surprised to hear how she sounded so similar to her old self, especially in ‘The Best Day,’ but you could definitely hear how her voice has developed over the years,” said Raine. “For me, she seemed to have to really put a lot of effort to hit the right notes in the original album, but in Taylor’s version, she’s able to sing her old songs with ease and it shows how she really mastered her voice.”

The release of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) gives the songs new meaning, both for Swift and listeners who have grown up alongside her. Nejra said, “It feels surreal to experience the maturity and growth with Taylor Swift as we listen to her Fearless (Taylor’s Version) 13 years after its original release. Now, Taylor has a mature relationship with someone that treats her well and finally has exactly what she had wished for in all of the songs that she wrote back then.”

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