The “Taylor’s Version” albums are only here because of the public battle over the rights to her previous albums, and Taylor wants to reassert her control and ownership on a catalog she signed away when she was just a teenager. Regardless of the reason, these albums are more than welcome. And, “Taylor’s Version” of “Fearless” is resonating with wounds from a different time.
Weirdly enough, the confusion you will feel while listening to the album is not unwarranted. The new recordings are a gold mine for anything from repressed feelings to utter relief. Not only does it have all the songs from the original deluxe edition of Fearless, but you also get several materials straight from “Taylor’s vault.” The recent collaborations with Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff give a whole new twist to the already powerful album to top it all off.
The release of “Mr. Perfectly Fine,” a slightly country, slightly rock ‘n’ roll filled with relatable lyrics and amazing melodies, is an absolute classic from Swift. After all, songs like these are what established Taylor’s foothold in the industry. While “You Over Me” has the same visceral thrills we all know and love about her songs but with a cinematic allure.
The chance to re-experience the joys of the original tracklist is welcome as well. It’s a huge pleasure to re-feel the subtly painful “White Horse,” the delicate restraint that surrounds “Change,” and the strong power ballad “You’re Not Sorry.” Also, “Hey Stephen,” “Fifteen,”
“You Belong with Me” and the absolute classic “Love Story” are still as superb.
The new edition may seem identical to casual listeners, but not for the people who grew up with Taylor Swift’s songs. The way the songs resonate with their pasts is reason enough for Taylor to re-record these albums. And, with how she’s trying to give them a new life through her artistry, we can’t wait to see just how beautiful the remaining albums will be.