Fearless (Taylor’s Version): ‘Thrilling to listen to’

Staff Writer Danielle Braune writes about Taylor Swift's development and vocal range change since the new rendition of her old album, Fearless, has been released.

Republic Records, under Fair Use

Staff Writer Danielle Braune writes about Taylor Swift’s development and vocal range change since the new rendition of her old album, Fearless, has been released.

Danielle Braune, Staff Writer

WOW. Taylor Swift, huh?

The re-recorded songs of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) packs such a nostalgia kick that all of us need right now. “You Belong With Me” and “Love Story” in Taylor’s new, mature voice? Tears.

Taylor’s voice has matured since 2008 – when the original version was released – and now sounds as smooth as silk. Her vocal range, nowadays, is so wide and powerful, as we can see in her newer albums, Folklore and Evermore. Her voice can go so deep, and I’m sure most of us struggle to go that low when we sing along. Although this isn’t explored much in Fearless (Taylor’s Version) because Swift is trying to replicate her old singing voice (when she didn’t experiment as much with lower octaves), it still is a glorious, mellifluous album to listen to.

Overall, this re-record sounds almost exactly the same as the original, minus a few words Taylor sang differently and instruments that were highlighted and heard better in this version. I honestly don’t dislike any of the songs on this album — each have their own charm that is lovely to listen to. 

It was thrilling to listen to the (From the Vault) songs — the songs that Taylor wrote for Fearless, but didn’t make the final cut, and was thus never recorded. Two of my favorites of these happen to be the two that Swift released as singles before the official release of the re-record, “You All Over Me” and “Mr. Perfectly Fine.”

“You All Over Me”

This song sounds so chill, and I imagine swaying back and forth to it in concert, maybe holding up my phone and shining its tiny flashlight.

We’ve all witnessed how Taylor Swift doesn’t confine herself to one genre and welcomes change, but one element of her music has stayed the same over time: her effortless description and imagery. This is ever-present in “You All Over Me”, especially in the lines “You find graffiti on the walls of old bathroom stalls,” and, “You know, you can scratch it right off / It’s how it used to be.” Regarding the first part, we’ve all seen pencil drawings in school bathrooms before, but Taylor takes the obvious and turns it into a beautiful description that just works. It’s something so obvious that we’ve all seen, but to put something we’ve all experienced before into words helps listeners better resonate with the song. Another powerful example of this is in the song “All Too Well” from Red (2012): “We’re dancing ‘round the kitchen in the refrigerator light.” Who hasn’t taken food from the refrigerator past 8 o’clock and had the refrigerator light illuminate the room?  

Anyway, the lyrics of the chorus of “You All Over Me” are so wise, even though Taylor wrote this when she was only 19 years old in 2008. To hear her sing, “I lived, and I learned, had you, got burned… no amount of freedom gets you clean” as not a girl, but a grown woman, packs that much more of a punch. It’s Taylor looking back at a past relationship and still feeling an attachment to it, upon looking at objects that remind her of the relationship — as explored in further luscious lyrical genius. 

“Mr. Perfectly Fine”

While “You All Over Me” was more mellow, “Mr. Perfectly Fine” digs at an ex — Mister “Perfect face,” Mister “Change of heart,” as Swift calls him, among many other names preceded by “Mr.” I like how the ex-boyfriend is described in this way, rather than just by his looks, because someone’s actions define them better than their appearance ever could.

I love how sassy this song is — “It takes everything in me just to get up each day / But it’s wonderful to see that you’re okay.” And the way the chorus explodes makes me want to blast it and dance around… I wonder how awesome this is going to sound in concert. 

Why weren’t these songs on the original album?? I’ve had them on repeat! I’m so glad we get to hear them now, but it’s a shame we didn’t get to hear them before. 

Fearless always has sounded wonderful to me, but now that the songs Taylor wrote herself are all owned by her, it sounds just that bit sweeter.