Fearless (Taylor’s Version)
Taylor Swift’s Fearless is like waking up and suddenly seeing the world in beautiful technicolour. At a glance we’ve heard this record before, a classic almost, that we’ve come to know and love yet even familiar hits such as Love Story and You Belong With Me seemingly come to life in the new production. Swift has stayed true to the original recordings so much as they’re still country and it’s the same arrangement yet each instrument is enhanced within the mix as if it’s sitting comfortably in its own space under a spotlight.
We hear a more mature vocal from Taylor as 13 years have passed since she recorded the original ‘Fearless’. I always loved her youthful voice on the original but we hear a new found strength in her voice. Perhaps this has come with age or perhaps it’s the sound of a fiercely independent woman reclaiming her life’s work! Forever And Always is particularly enhanced by the strength of Swift’s voice when she belts out that final chorus.
Songs such as White Horse, the beautiful ballad about the realisation that not all love stories have a happy ending, has so much more depth to it. From the delicate piano accompaniment provided by Paul Sidoti to the backing vocals from Mike Meadows, every aspect helps to evoke emotion, as if the events that lead to this story being written happened just yesterday! It’s great to see the likes of Paul Sidoti and Mike Meadows so heavily involved on this record as they have been touring with Taylor from the very beginning. They are two incredible musicians who know these songs inside out.
Some of Taylor’s finest songwriting was on the original Fearless album, it’s nice as fans to revisit and remember the sublime lyrics Swift crafted – back then she was just a teenager. Songs such as Tell Me Why which she wrote with Liz Rose and The Best Day, which she penned completely alone about her relationship with her mum. Lines such as ‘I know you’re not scared of anything at all’ carry more weight after everything the pair have been through together as a family since the care-free days when Swift first penned the beautiful tribute.
In addition to the original songs we heard on the deluxe edition of fearless, Swift has added six songs ‘From The Vault’ which she penned at the time of the original record release but they didn’t quite make the cut first time around. With Swift now owning her own masters she has a lot more freedom and independence and this time, they made the cut! Fans of Swift are sure glad they did. She teams up with famous faces within the country world in the form of Maren Morris and Keith Urban who both add their own stamp to these songs. The stand out track from the set is one she penned 16 years ago with Liz Rose called Don’t You, Swifts falsetto in the chorus is beautiful and demonstrates two things, firstly the emotion she conveys in the song and secondly Taylor’s excellent vocal control as she sings the song flawlessly.
The six songs ‘From the Vault’ are, to fans, like missing pieces from a jigsaw puzzle and for the first time we can stand back and view the whole picture in glorious technicolour. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is a beautiful snapshot of where Taylor’s been and where she’s going. It’s a record that has the power to change the music industry for the better. The world really is her Oyster and she’s going to dominate it for years to come.