Jada Hester, Correspondent
Throwing it back to 2008, when most Jacksonville State University students would have been roughly six to eleven years old, “Fearless” by Taylor Swift left its mark on every teenage girl that probably hadn’t even experienced heartbreak yet.
Most of us sang “Fifteen” alone in our bedrooms before we even became teenagers. Swift’s newest album release, “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” is a lovely but emotional blast from the past.
After the fiasco in 2019 when Swift couldn’t buy the masters to her first six albums, “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” is both a way to look thoughtfully into the past and a way to tell her previous record company to buzz off.
The singer was only 18 at the time of the first album’s recording, and the now 31-year-old seems to sing about her experiences a bit differently here.
It’s a bit like those “spot the difference” games with the new “Fearless,” but there are distinct differences from the old version.
Swift’s voice is noticeably stronger and clearer, having used it for many more wonderful albums over the past several years.
She’s known for singing about breakups, but the breakups in “Fearless” are no longer fresh, so Swift no longer has that anger in her voice. Instead, she sounds reflective and almost solemn at times.
One of the biggest changes was the addition of six songs, known as “From the Vault” tracks, that didn’t make the cut on the album’s initial version. Arguably the best song is “Don’t You,” which sounds the most like her recent music on “folklore” and “evermore.”
“Don’t you say you’ve / Missed me if you don’t want me again,” Swift sings, describing herself running into an ex and feeling the heartbreak all over again. All of the songs from the vault fit in well with the rest of the album, and it was beneficial to include some new tracks to complement the old.
“Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” is definitely going to be one of the most memorable albums of 2021, and that’s saying something considering that we’ve all heard these songs 13 years ago.
However, by delving into her past music and slightly altering it to fit her present self, Swift encourages us to look into our own pasts and consider how we’ve changed for the better.
That, and she really just makes great music.