Still 'Fearless': Re-Recording The Past On Taylor's Version

On the re-recorded Fearless (Taylor's Version), Taylor Swift – and her fans – reconnect with the past; we asked writers and musicians to share how they hear these songs now.
Source: Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr

On Nov. 11, 2008, then-18-year-old Taylor Swift released her sophomore album, Fearless. The record would become Swift's first No.1, spending 11 weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 and becoming 2009's best-selling album (to jog your memory, the year's other best-sellers included Micheal Jackson's Number Ones, Susan Boyle's I Dreamed a Dream and Lady Gaga's The Fame). Fearless would go on to win the 2010 Grammy Award for album of the year — Swift's first win in said category, making her the youngest AOTY winner until Billie Eilish's 2020 win — as well as best country album.

It's been 13 years — a very Swiftian coincidence, as her purported lucky number occupies an outsized role in Taylor lore — since the release of Fearless, and in the intervening years, plenty's changed. From the coming-of-age country pop of Red, to the harsh heel turn of reputation, to her pandemic-era collaboration with Aaron Dessner, Swift's switched up her sound and stayed centerstage in an ever-evolving industry. But on her latest release, Fearless (Taylor's Version), released April 9 via Republic Records, Swift returns to the past, revisiting a breakthrough moment as an act of reclamation. The result of a high-profile ownership dispute, it's the first of what promises to be a series of re-recordings of her early material in order to regain artistic and financial control of her masters.

Mining the past and making use of a time when touring is off the table may prove to be a savvy business venture, but the long-term impact of and the full re-record project — remains to be seen. For fans, whether you were , or when debuted, feels shrouded in an air of whimsical nostalgia. Swift herself even indulged in a little sentimentalism in the re-release announcement, calling it "an album full of magic and curiosity, the bliss and devastation of youth." In hindsight, it's easy for Swift to sum up the record's warmth; for our assessment of , we chose to consider the perspective of the fans that have grown up — and evolved — alongside Swift. We invited writers and musicians to revisit, NPR Music's version, track by track (almost) in its entirety. —

Vous lisez un aperçu, inscrivez-vous pour en lire plus.

Centres d'intérêt associés

Plus de NPR

NPR3 min de lectureWorld
China's Birthrate Drops, As Census Data Warn Of Aging Population
Leaders in Beijing will need to determine how to continue China's streak of economic growth while caring for a growing, nonworking part of the population.
NPR2 min de lectureCrime & Violence
At Least 8 Dead In School Shooting In Russia
Officials say a 19-year-old former student at a school in the Russian city of Kazan opened fire there Tuesday, killing at least seven eighth-grade students and a teacher.
NPR3 min de lectureWorld
300 More Palestinians Wounded In New Violence; Jerusalem Day March Is Canceled
Fallout from intense clashes prompted organizers to cancel an annual Jerusalem Day march through the Old City, which marks Israel's capture of East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967.