Taylor Swift Fearless (Taylor's Version)

10th August 2021

Michael's Pick

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Format Info

Gold Vinyl 3xLP

You know we love a big Pop album in Monorail, at least Tara and I do in the Mailorder office. Fearless heralds Taylor Swift’s – perhaps the biggest pop star on the planet right now – reclamation of her back catalogue from her old record label. Without getting too much into Copyright law and Publishing precedents, Swift’s project sees her re-recording her 6 albums released on her former label in order to capitalise on the publishing rights. It’s a bold move from a famously business savvy practitioner, but what about the music? Personally, I’ve only ever heard (and enjoyed) the big hits, redolent as they are of late teenage emotional turmoil and finding your way in the world. Fearless, Swift’s second album in its original incarnation, positively smacks of school-term frustrations, coming-of-age drama, young love and, well, resilient fearlessness.

Listening to Fearless, Taylor Swift’s 2021 rendition of her songs written some 15 years ago is a weird exercise in interpretation. I haven’t heard the version on Big Machine, but here there seems to be a whole new layer of pathos as the much more experienced Swift sings lyrics that, when sung by the teenaged Swift already must have seemed sad. Now they are heavy as a broken heart with hard-earned wisdom. Hearing her sing about how “she’s no longer a princess” on White Horse strikes a particularly melancholic note. In 2008 it was about disillusionment with the fantasy of romance but now Swift sings it with a passion forged in the fires of experience.

The power of all pop music is in its ability to inject someone else’s experience into your emotive response system, right? It’s about creating an empathy between the song and the listener, heart to heart. It’s about conveying a feeling that may not completely correspond to something you’ve felt exactly, but it sweeps you along with it, like a massive swell of water on a scorching summer’s day. Granted, much of the subject matter on Fearless isn’t really meant to chime with many 40 year old men but a great pop song transcends these things, cuts straight through to the universal. Taylor Swift is the biggest pop star on the planet and she’s got there not by business acumen but being able to write songs that do that. Fearless is available on a very limited gold vinyl format while stocks last.

Other Releases by Taylor Swift