Fearless (#TaylorsVersion) | MY THOUGHTS

So, I meant to post this the other week, but then I didn’t. Instead, here it is now, for your reading pleasure. I know that all of my readers are big T-Swift fans (right?) so sit back and enjoy the ride, as I take Fearless (Taylor’s Version) one song at a time, and give you all of my thoughts…

  1. “Fearless”
    This was always one of the highlights of the album for me, and I was so excited to hear the new version! Did it disappoint? Absolutely not. I feel like this is one of the tracks that’s stayed very close to the original in terms of production, which I’m very grateful for. I’ll also say that I’ve not listened to the original for a while because I don’t want to give that man money from my streams, so bear that in mind regarding my comparisons. I think this is a great updated version, with a maturer voice, but inkeeping with the fairytale, magical feeling of the original.

“You take my hand and drag me head first, fearless”

  1. “Fifteen”
    As an adult, I admit I always laughed a bit listening to 18 year-old Taylor singing about how much more she knows now she’s not 15 anymore. Even at 22, I know that at 18 I knew basically nothing more than I did at 15. So, I love this new version. I know that during the RED tour Taylor sometimes changed the lyrics to “didn’t know who I was supposed to be… at 23” which I really liked, and I do wish she’d updated that line for the new version! However, other than that, I think this version stays close to the original production again, and just gives a maturer sound to the 2008 recording, which definitely adds another dimension, and more depth, to this song.

“I found time can heal ‘most anything, and you just might find who you’re supposed to be”

  1. “Love Story”
    This was my first ever song by Taylor Swift that I heard. The new version definitely updates the backing track, and I think the production is also a bit different, with a more prominent backing track. For me, the updated production and track give the song an overall more mature feel, which is more appropriate for Taylor at 31, as the original, as much as I love it, is definitely high-school fantasy vibes (while appropriate for a teenager, not so much for a 31 year-old!). Given that this is by far the most well-known song on the album, I think Taylor and her team have done a fantastic job of updating it to give it a fresh feel while still keeping the atmosphere intact.

“He got to the ground and pulled out a ring and said ‘Marry me Juliet, you’ll never have to be alone’”

  1. “Hey Stephen”
    The return of Taylor’s country accent? I definitely get a bit of a twang in the vocals here, though toned down from the 2008 recording. I admit, I don’t think this one works as well for me as the original recording did. I do like the backing track, though. I just feel like this one still feels like it’s stuck in the realm of high school, and is a bit too teenage daydream for me. Having said that, it was never one that stood out to me on the 2008 album, so maybe I’m just a bit meh on this one.

“All those other girls, well they’re beautiful, but would they write a song for you?”

  1. “White Horse”
    This was always one of my favourite ‘stare sadly out the car window’ songs, and somehow, Taylor’s Version of it has made it ten times better. Apparently, in the final chorus, the lyrics have changed to “this ain’t our fairytale” (from “this ain’t a fairytale”), which is a subtle, but powerful change. I also think Taylor’s enunciation has really improved on this track, and there’s a lovely softness to her voice.

“And there you are on your knees/ Begging for forgiveness, begging for me”

  1. “You Belong With Me”
    Is this the first outing of sassy Taylor? Listening to this, I can really see where “Shake It Off” came from, even if that’s entirely inexplicable. This is a proper show-closer cheerleader-routine song, and I love the energy, even if the songwriting isn’t Taylor at her best. Again, this is one of the biggest songs on the album, but unlike “Love Story”, I think Taylor has kept the production very similar to the original. Like “White Horse” I can really tell here how Taylor’s enunciation has improved as she’s grown older.

“How could you not know baby? You belong with me”

  1. “Breathe (feat. Colbie Caillat)”
    I’m so glad that Colbie Caillat worked with Taylor again to create the new version of this song. This is another of my favourite ‘stare sadly out the car window’ songs, and I can 100% imagine myself doing the same with this track. I think the backing track is really improved on the old version, and the mixing is better, so you can actually hear the instrumentals.

“I can’t breathe without you, but I have to”

  1. “Tell Me Why”
    This was my favourite angry song when I was a tweenager who felt as though she’d been wronged, and this new version takes me right back there. There’s definitely a part of me that isn’t that small that does enjoy to be the angry, done-wrong-by girl. Generally, I don’t get to be her, so I have to settle for listening to music that makes me feel like I am. So, yeah, this is a great song, and a great new version.

“Sick and tired of your attitude/I’m feeling like I don’t know you”

  1. “You’re Not Sorry”
    This was one I was most excited to hear, because I think the lower voice Taylor sings in now is better suited to these angrier tracks, and I also loved the mashup of “Bad Blood” and “You’re Not Sorry” that Taylor performed on the reputation Stadium Tour. I was absolutely not disappointed with Taylor’s Version of this song, and it basically just levels up the 2008 version in every respect.

“I’ve been giving out chances every time and all you do is just let me down”

  1. “The Way I Loved You”
    This is another where I’m just going to rave about the new backing track. Honestly, the instrumentation on Taylor’s Version generally is just levelled up! I love the ‘you-ooo’ in this new track, because I think Taylor’s more mature voice suits it a lot better than her younger voice. Overall, Taylor’s Version is much improved on the original with this track.

“Breaking down and coming undone, it’s a rollercoaster kinda rush”

  1. “Forever & Always”
    Return of the sass! This one reminds me of “The Story of Us”, with its anger at the impending crash, but the suspense of not having yet gone through that crash. Taylor keeps the latent anger, bristling just below the surface, imbuing it into every line. On the original album, I preferred the piano version of this song, but there’s something about the ferocity of Taylor’s anger that I love in this version that the softness of the piano version just can’t capture.

“It rains in your bedroom, everything is wrong, it rains when you’re here and it rains when you’re gone”

  1. “The Best Day”
    This song always made me emotional, and 13 years later, it’s even more poignant. Taylor’s love for her family has been regularly drawn upon in her songs, most touchingly in “Soon You’ll Get Better”. Taylor’s mother, Andrea, is battling cancer for the second time now I believe, and I can’t listen to this song without getting a bit teary. In this song, Taylor manages to recapture the youthful, innocent love she poured into the original track, and the song really transports me back to my own childhood.

“Now I know why all the trees change in the fall/I know you were on my side, even when I was wrong”

  1. “Change”
    Yes, yes, and yes! Another upgraded angry song. This was always one of my favourites from this album because I found it so empowering, and this version is just… a step up. It’s another that has depth of meaning added to it seeing as Taylor has now pushed through so much more than she had when she initially wrote and recorded this track. I think this one nabs the top spot for me on this album! But we’ll see when I do the rankings…

“Tonight we’ll stand, get off our knees, fight for what we worked for all these years/And the battle was long, it’s the fight of our lives, but we’ll stand up, champions tonight”

  1. “Jump Then Fall”
    The country twang is definitely present here again, even if just a little bit. Lyrically, this has never been one of my favourite songs, but I’ve always thought that it’s good fun, and my feelings towards it are basically unchanged with the rerecording.

“You got the keys to me, I love each freckle on your face”

  1. “Untouchable”
    It’s really not one of my favourites on the album, and I do find it a bit of a skip… and I still feel that way! I do prefer the rerecording to the original version, but it still doesn’t quite do it for me.

“Untouchable, burning brighter than the sun/And when you’re close I feel like coming undone”

  1. “Forever & Always (Piano Version)”
    I don’t really have a lot to say about this one that I didn’t already cover when I talked about the non-piano version. I think this is one of the few songs where I’d say I prefer the 2008 version to the 2021. That, however, is mainly because the regular version on Taylor’s Version is so much better, so this one seems much worse in comparison. Having said that, the way Taylor says ‘silence’ in this version is everything.

“So here’s to everything, coming down to nothing, here’s to silence”

  1. “Come in with the Rain”
    Again, it was never my favourite! I don’t really have a preference between this one and the original recording either. I think perhaps I’ve listened to it less so I don’t know the original as well to compare it to the new one.

“I’ll leave my window open/Cause I’m too tired at night for all these games”

  1. “Superstar”
    We’ll have to wait until the rankings to find out for sure, but I suspect this is my least favourite song on the album. I do prefer Taylor’s mature voice on this track to her younger one, but it’s still definitely a ‘meh’ from me.

“Dim that spotlight, tell me things like I can’t keep my eyes off of you”

  1. “The Other Side of the Door”
    So it seems all the platinum version tracks are ones that didn’t really hit the mark for me! The teenage drama of this song doesn’t really work with Taylor’s adult voice if I’m honest, but I do like the backing track and production. There’s also a nice breathy moment at around 3 minutes that I enjoy.

“I said leave, but all I really want is you/To stand outside my window, throwing pebbles, screaming ‘I’m in love with you’”

  1. “Today Was A Fairytale”
    OK, I love the new backing on this track. This wasn’t released on Fearless, but was for the movie Valentine’s Day. I love the whimsical feeling Taylor gives to such everyday things in this song. Overly romantic? Absolutely, but I appreciate it.

“Today was a fairytale, you’ve got a smile, takes me to another planet/Every move you make, everything you say is right”

  1. “You All Over Me (feat. Maren Morris)”
    The first vault track! When I first heard this, it immediately took me back to childhood. The country vibes just fitted so well with Fearless that it felt as though this song had always been on the album. It didn’t feel like a new song, it felt like coming home.

“Like the dollar that’s been spent and traded in/You can’t change where it’s been, reminds me of me”

  1. “Mr. Perfectly Fine”
    So Miss Swift just sat on the phrase “casually cruel” for 4 years? I think we need to talk. This is another song just dripping with sass, and it’s just good fun! I love the drawn-out words at the end of so many of the lines. While this is a fairly repetitive song, I just love how bouncy it is.

“Hello, Mr. Casually Cruel, Mr. Everything Revolves Around You/I’ve been Miss Misery since your goodbye”

  1. “We Were Happy”
    This is probably one of my least favourites of the vault songs. I just find it a bit… boring? It’s very slow, and the lyrics aren’t the standout I’ve come to expect from a slow Taylor song. The tempo picks up a bit when it gets going, and then I like it a bit more, but overall I’m just not a big fan.

“Laughed in the dark, talking ‘bout your daddy’s farm/We were gonna buy someday”

  1. “That’s When (feat. Keith Urban)”
    This reminds me of another song that I can’t quite put my finger on. It has a more mature feel than anything on the album, really, and I’m surprised that this was a Fearless era song. I also love that Keith Urban features on this song, as I think his voice is just perfect for this, and works really well with Taylor’s voice.

“When can I come back?/That’s when, when I wake up in the morning, that’s when, when it’s sunny or storming”

  1. “Don’t You”
    I adore the production on this. I’m reminded of “exile” which is one of my favourites on folklore. The production is ethereal almost, and doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the album, but I don’t care. Occasionally the lyrics are a bit clumsy, but it’s one that I really enjoy regardless because the production is so good.

“It’s been a while, I didn’t mean to stare/I heard she’s nothing like me, I’m sure she’ll make you happy”

  1. “Bye Bye Baby”
    This one brings out the element of disillusionment in love Taylor showed in her earlier works. It’s definitely a bit on the bittersweet side, though it feels quite mature compared to some of the other songs she wrote on this topic, as it feels like there’s more acceptance here. It’s enjoyable, but probably not a favourite of mine.

“You took me home, but you just couldn’t keep me”

Rankings

  1. “Change”
  2. “Fearless”
  3. “Fifteen”
  4. “Love Story”
  5. “The Best Day”
  6. “You’re Not Sorry”
  7. “You All Over Me”
  8. “Don’t You”
  9. “Breathe”
  10. “Forever & Always”
  11. “That’s When (feat. Keith Urban)”
  12. “Today Was a Fairytale”
  13. “You Belong With Me”
  14. “The Way I Loved You”
  15. “White Horse”
  16. “Tell Me Why”
  17. “Mr. Perfectly Fine”
  18. “Bye Bye Baby”
  19. “Hey Stephen”
  20. “The Other Side of the Door”
  21. “Jump Then Fall”
  22. “Come In With The Rain”
  23. “We Were Happy”
  24. “Forever & Always (Piano Version)”
  25. “Untouchable”
  26. “Superstar”

2 thoughts on “Fearless (#TaylorsVersion) | MY THOUGHTS

  1. I always loved “Come in with the rain” for the way she refers to God and I am not even religious. The only new version song that I was sad changed is “Untouchable”, but I totally agree with you on the other points! And Mr Perfectly Fine IS a banger!

    Like

  2. I loved reading your post! I can’t get enough of this re-recording. This album was my whole life as a teenager. The orchestrations on this new recording are so crisp and gorgeous and her vocals are so much richer. We are truly blessed that Taylor is re-recording her music 💛

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.