Taylor Swift reclaims previous hits with the re-release of “Fearless”

Featuring old songs and new, her latest work stirs nostalgia and tastes like freedom.

Emily Coffey, Deputy Arts and Entertainment Editor

On April 8, Taylor Swift’s long-awaited victory lap album “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” finally dropped on streaming platforms, featuring a newer, more authentic production of older songs and releases from “the vault,” which blend seamlessly with the work. Not only is the album perfect, but it is also a genius power play in which she can finally reclaim her older track royalties from music mogul Scooter Braun.

THE THROWBACK WE ALL WANTED (AND MORE)  

The first 20 tracks on the album are the same as the previous tracks on the Platinum Edition of “Fearless” and produced similarly, but with a more mature vocal approach on the part of Swift. Her upper notes show more tone and flexibility, her range consistently shining throughout the tracks. 

Forever & Always” is given in a piano version this time, transforming it into a heartbreaking and gorgeous ballad. The instrumentation features the occasional banjo, plucking above the rest of the work, uniting not only the whole work but the last decade of her music. 

Other than a few minor changes, the tracks stay congruous with previous work, and rightly so. Swift is not trying to change her past, she is reclaiming and celebrating where she has been. Adding tracks from “the vault” evokes a sense that instead of just recounting the past, audiences are also getting a deeper glimpse into who Swift was—and how that authenticity informs her future. 

You All Over Me (Feat. Maren Morris) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” reminds audiences of Swift’s country roots, while still keeping hints of the dreamy production found in “evermore.” It fits very well into a consistent heartbreak theme, even mentioning rain in the first line, calling back to “Hey Stephen,” “The Way I Loved You” and “Bye Bye Baby (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault).”  

“Once the last drop of rain dries off the pavement / Shouldn’t I find a stain, but I never do,” Swift sings.   

THE “FEARLESS” MOTIVE 

Two years ago, Swift failed to claim the rights to this album, thanks to Scooter Braun’s acquisition of the rights to all of her work at the time, meaning that she would not be able to gather all of the profits she was able to claim under a different deal. She does still own the songwriting rights to the songs on “Fearless” however, which is what allows her to re-record this new album. 

The motive, quite simply, is to make more money. It is genius, considering the momentum she gained after her recent documentary on Netflix, “evermore” and “folklore.” But more than that, it is the next installment of the power she has been reclaiming since the release of “Reputation.” The narrative she so eloquently crafts in her songs she is also crafting through her actions—a narrative that is very clearly “Taylor’s Version.” 

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