The time has finally come when Taylor Swift takes back what is hers. After a long battle with record producers Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta, and the selling of her original master tracks while under contract with Big Machine Records, Swift had announced that she would be re-recording her first six albums.
During her American Music Awards Artist of the Decade performance back in 2019, she wore a men’s dress shirt displaying the names of the albums that had been stolen from her. With the title Fearless being shown on the back of the shirt and being shown just as the performance started, fans guessed that this would be the first album to be re-recorded. As it turns out, they were correct.
On February 11th, Taylor Swift posted a modified, more mature version of the 2008 cover of her sophomore album on Instagram. She announced that there would be 26 songs on the album including unreleased songs from “The Vault” that were written between 2005 and 2009. Two of the songs feature country singers Keith Urban and Maren Morris. The first single from the album was released February 12th, “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” which had devoted long-time fans like me emotional and nostalgic. The updated lyric video for the song was dedicated to these fans as a slideshow of pictures from the early 2000s was synchronized with the lyrics. It featured photos from behind the scenes of Taylor’s tours and recording sessions and meet and greets with fans from all over the world.
Skeptics were concerned that re-releasing an album of songs already heard by the world over 13 years ago would lead to an unsuccessful push back from Swift. After being prominent in the country, pop, alternative, and folk genres, critics were doubtful. Though, Forbes Magazine went from wondering “just how much her “Fearless” strategy was worth” to writing that “Taylor Swift’s Re- Recordings Could Make Her One of the Most Successful Artists in Hot 100 History”
It is no doubt that no matter her artistic endeavors, Taylor Swift perseveres. Since being released on April 9th after a series of posts creating hype for the album, every song on the re-recorded album is topping the country charts this week. Her songwriting was well beyond her years as they are still relevant to her life. Her mature vocals make the album up to date and valid even at her age of 31 years old.
Immediately after its release, Swift’s beloved fans took to social media writing their stories about how listening to the album brought them straight back to 2008. For these fans, Fearless was their shoulder to cry on for their first heartbreaks, their first kisses, and their first high school crushes. It was a soundtrack to their lives. This shows the power that Swift holds in her pen-- even from 13 years ago.
The success of releasing her albums for a second time comes from the pure loyalty of Swift’s fans. She single-handedly changed country fans to pop fans just by being her gracious and unapologetic self. Most importantly, Swift is fighting for artists’ rights to own their work and have control over who handles it. Reading the credits on the covers and pamphlets of Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is the most powerful part of the musical experience because at the very end you get to read, “Owned by Taylor Swift.”