The dispute with Big Machine Records over the master recordings of her initial six albums is fully documented. Still, Fearless’s release (Taylor’s Version) was a big reminder of why she is rerecording.
Finally, Taylor Swift’s rerecord is here, which means the small window of peace between now and when she amazes her fans with the next one starts now. She’s kicked off her grandiose scheme to regain the power of the masters to her initial six albums from music executive Scooter Braun with her 2008 sophomore album that is her first to get the Grammy for Album of the Year. She was 17 when Fearless came out, about the same age as Swift when she launched it then; listening to it as a fresh 30-year-old feels like a homecoming.
Taylor’s Version of “Fearless” is a 26-song collection of originals, bonus tracks, and synchronous songs from the vault, all afresh reworked. Nevertheless, it sometimes functions less like an overstuffed album and a delivery system for homesickness and revenge. The redone tracks from the original launch, which make up the album’s front portion, are way better than their forebears: crisper, warmer, more clearly announced. They sound more latest and, simultaneously, more lived-in. Adulthood and years on the road have loaded out Taylor’s voice and increased her range. However, the songs are otherwise as popular as anyone would hope, save for a modified word here, a clipped gasp there.
There are several moments in ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’ when the updated production and road-honed vocal depth can likewise jolt us out of the record. Yet, the cause and story behind it assuredly carry it through.
“We did go in and try to perform a ‘the same but better’ version,” Taylor stated.
“We kept the same parts that I initially fancied up for these songs, but if there was any way that we could grow upon the sonic quality, we did,” Taylor added. “We just kind of took the knowledge that we have earned over decades of playing this music & applied that to it.”