In today’s music industry, few other names are as well known as that of Taylor Swift. The 31-year-old singer-songwriter released her hit album Fearless (Taylor’s Version) on April 9, 2021. The album comes as the first of a series of re-recordings of Swift’s previous works.
The release featured tracks from her original Fearless album, which debuted in 2008, later paving the way to Swift’s first Grammy for Album of the Year in 2009. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) features 20 re-recorded songs from the original album, as well as six new, “from the vault” tracks, which originally were intended for Fearless but never publicly released.
Fearless (Taylor’s Version) debuted No. 1 on Billboard, creating Swift’s ninth No. 1 album. Far from slowing down, the 2021 album will be her third No. 1 album just in the past year alone. Because of this Swift has made history by being the first Billboard artist to top Country Song Writer and Country Producer charts at the same time.
Swift’s contract with record label Big Machine Records ended in 2019, as per her contract, Swift’s old music was under ownership of Big Machine Records. After a turbulent legal battle, Swift announced in 2020 that she would be re-releasing her music in order to regain control over her original music.
Although it has been 13 years since Fearless was released, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) holds true to the youthful diligence of the 2008 version, all while giving room to Swift’s maturity in her popular songs such as “Fearless” and “Hey Stephen.” The re-recordings feel as if Swift is revisiting her 18-year-old self through her music in “Fifteen,” “The Best Day” and “The Way I Loved You.”
Lyrically the re-recordings weren’t that different from the 2008 versions. The production has been revamped with the help of musical talents Christopher Rowe, Jack Antonoff and Aaron Dessner, who have all collaborated with Swift for previous records. Altering the production allowed Swift to hone in on her voice itself, staying true to the country sound she had in 2008. Improving upon the production quality itself allowed for Swift to revisit her music and create a new, better and more intentional piece of work.
Swift plans to re-record her other albums in the future that were under her previous label including Taylor Swift, Speak Now, Red, and 1989.